This article proposes a multi-agent simulation model to examine how different operational environments and incentive mechanisms affect the collective performance of complex humanitarian response systems. Using the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) system as an example, a stylized model of one service provider, two member organizations and multiple humanitarian crises is developed to illustrate the changing uses of four alternative relief goods sourcing options, namely: i) own storage for own items ii) UN storage for own items iii) stock-swaps and iv) white stock uses. Under the plausible assumption that the past success of sourcing options influences member organizations' future resource allocation, the model indicates that the additional buffer stock capacity offered by horizontal cooperation induces undesirable system dependency: while it gives member organizations more flexibility to meet highly stochastic demands under uncertainty, it also encourage them to store less of their own relief goods as a result. This tendency was particularly notable under a flexible budgeting regime, highlighting the further need to understand and evaluate the details of the decision-making heuristics of individual member organizations.
- 512 Business and Management
- Horizontal Cooperation
- Humanitarian Organization
- Agent-Based Modeling
Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)
- AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics