Keywords: humanitarian supply chains, supply chain management, SCM, performance measurement, case study, humanitarian logistics, Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF, data accuracy, performance indicators, disaster response, emergency management, risk assessment, emergency logistics
Performance measurement in humanitarian supply chains
Recent humanitarian disasters, such as the Asian tsunami and Katrina, have pointed out the importance of supply chain management in dealing with the complex emergency situations and risks that humanitarian organisations are faced with. Although performance measurement is known to be crucial for performance improvement, little insight exists in how effective performance indicators can be selected in the humanitarian context. This paper adds to this insight through the use of an extensive literature review to identify necessary conditions for an effective performance measurement system. Subsequently, we conduct a case study at the Dutch filial of Medecins Sans Frontieres to investigate whether these conditions are met or not. It appears that the biggest challenges lie in data accuracy and the fact that the current set of performance indicators is not geared towards future improvement. As MSF is known for its emergency logistics performance, it is not unthinkable that other humanitarian supply chains struggle with the same issues.