Humanitarian logistics and supply chain standards. Literature review and view from practice

Claudia Paciarotti, Wojciech Piotrowicz, George Fenton

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

1 Citeringar (Scopus)


Purpose: The paper is focused on standards in humanitarian logistics and supply chain. Standards, implemented between organisations, allow improving the interoperability of humanitarian operations. The paper aims (1) to review a state-of-the-art approach to the topic by the academic community, (2) to evaluate the current use of standards among humanitarian organisations and (3) to investigate the perceived need for further and specific standards. Design/methodology/approach:To achieve the aims, the literature was reviewed; then a survey on 227 professionals from the humanitarian logistics sector was conducted.
Findings: Based on 227 responses, it is possible to conclude that most surveyed professionals recognise the need for and the importance of standardisation in humanitarian logistics, especially in areas such as procurement, distribution, medical logistics and logistics planning, which were perceived as critical areas that require standardisation.
Research limitations/implications: Practitioners and scholars were targeted via social media, through mailing lists and via communication from the practitioner organisation – the Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA). While it provided good access to different groups of respondents, the response rate is not possible to calculate.
Practical implications: The findings confirm the high importance of standardisation, indicating areas and functions that should be standardised first. Standardisation may improve cooperation between different humanitarian actors, allowing better service provision for beneficiaries. Thus there are also potential negative impacts, i.e. impact on localisation, which should be overcome. Social implications: Results do not have a direct social impact; however, they stimulate research and work among practitioners on standardisation, which in turn could improve cooperation between humanitarian actors, thereby enabling a better humanitarian response in emergencies.
Originality/value: The majority of papers on standardisation use a qualitative approach. This paper applies a survey among a large network of humanitarian practitioners, capturing their view on the topic and perception of the need for standardisation. The work is descriptive; however, it could be used as a base for further studies related to humanitarian standards.
Referentgranskad vetenskaplig tidskriftJournal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Sidor (från-till)550-573
Antal sidor24
StatusPublicerad - 19.07.2021
MoE-publikationstypA1 Originalartikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift


  • 512 Företagsekonomi

Styrkeområden och områden med hög potential (AoS och AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitär och samhällslogistik


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