Humanitarian work in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – one of the world’s largest and most densely populated refugee settlement areas- requires dealing with a thousand challenges simultaneously in an extremely highly fragile ecosystem. Enhancing humanitarian logistics capacities on the ground are critical to enabling humanitarian professionals to respond to emergencies as efficiently and effectively as possible.
HELP Logistics, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK), Kerala, India, and Handicap International - Atlas Logistique, delivered training on humanitarian supply chain management to practitioners from over 30 local and international humanitarian organisations and aid agencies in Cox’s Bazar.
The training, which took place between the 9th and the 12th of May, covered vital topics in humanitarian logistics management, including, but not limited to: forecasting, inventory management, fleet management, warehouse management, and coordination and collaboration.
Facilitators employed various teaching pedagogies to introduce and reinforce participants’ understanding of the various concepts. Participants were divided into groups to work jointly on inventory calculation and forecasting exercises. Prof. Anand Gurumurthy from IIMK discussed a case study on partnerships with the World Food Programme and addressed critical issues in emergency operations, including coordination and collaboration between partner organisations, identifying and addressing potential challenges, and managing expectations.
The participants highly praised an adaption of the popular beer game, a top-rated simulation game developed in-house by HELP Logistics – The High-Energy Biscuit (HEB) simulator. The simulation game introduces participants to distribution, safety stock and forecasting. It is used to explain information asymmetry, the impact of inventory build-up, and the importance of coordination during humanitarian operations.
Commenting on the training, Anaelle Chivot from Handicap International - Atlas Logistique said: “This is a unique opportunity for humanitarian professionals to strengthen their capacities, specifically in the field of humanitarian supply chain management. It helps them understand and appreciate the decisions made during disaster management's planning and relief stages.”
HELP Logistics and IIM Kozhikode provide training on humanitarian supply chain management on a pro-bono basis in various South Asian countries. The training materials have been developed in collaboration with leading global academic institutions and are updated frequently.