Original Research

Supply chain management best practices: A case of humanitarian aid in southern Africa

Ngonidzahe K. Ngwenya, Micheline J.A. Naude
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 10, No 1 | a242 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v10i1.242 | © 2016 Ngonidzahe K. Ngwenya, Micheline J.A. Naude | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 May 2016 | Published: 27 September 2016

About the author(s)

Ngonidzahe K. Ngwenya, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Micheline J.A. Naude, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Background: A key contemporary issue in the southern African region is the increased frequency of the number of natural disaster occurrences. Because of the extent of the damage as a result of these disasters, beneficiary needs have to be met to mitigate against consequent hardships and the loss of lives in the affected communities.

Objectives: This article reports on a study that investigated supply chain management best practices that are employed by the United Nations World Food Programme’s (UNWFP) when dealing with disasters.

Method: This exploratory study consisted of five in-depth interviews with voluntary participants at the UNWFP regional office in Johannesburg to determine the various initiatives adopted by the UNWFP that ensure successful disaster relief operations. Thematic analyses were used to analyse the collected data.

Results: Based on the themes generated from the in-depth interviews, supply chain best practices were mainly linked to the concepts of agility, responsiveness and flexibility.

Conclusion: The main findings revealed that the strategic planning, implementation and controlling of agile, flexible and responsive supply chain practices can contribute to the success of logistical operations supporting humanitarian efforts in southern Africa.


humanitarian logistics; supply chain management


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