Exploring the challenges in implementation of

Report
Exploring the challenges in implementation of
Information Technology in Humanitarian relief
organizations in India: A qualitative study
Gaurav Kabra (Research Scholar)
Dr. A Ramesh
Department of Management Studies
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
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Contents
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
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Difference between Commercial and Humanitarian
SCM
Importance of IT in HSCM
Data collection
Identification of Barriers
Conclusion
Limitations and future research
References
Table 1:Difference between CSCM and HSCM
(Source: Mustafa et al, 2011)
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Table 2: Year-wise damage caused due to floods, cyclonic storms,
landslides etc. during last ten years in India (Source: MHA, 2011))
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Importance of IT in HSCM
 IT enablement of the supply chain makes it possible to
 process more information,
 more frequently, more accurately and
 for more sources, all over the globe.
 IT also makes it possible to act on this information by
using sophisticated analysis, modelling, and decision
support capabilities (Kehoe and Boughton, 2001).
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Importance of IT in HSCM cont…
 Provide assistance in integration of various activities
and provides useful information for effective
functioning of the system (Roh et al., 2008; Pettit and
Beresford, 2009).
 Specific decision support systems, communications
and information systems are considered as most
important in managing relief operations (Pettit and
Beresford, 2009).
 Power (2005) also demonstrated that the decision
support system can provide help in the better decision
making during a disaster.
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Importance of IT in HSCM cont…
 IT is also found to be the very helpful in coordinating
the relief activities during different phases of a
disaster.
 For example, it serves as a communication tool,
provides enhanced access to past experiences (Telleen
and Martin, 2002; Jefferson, 2006; Stephenson and
Anderson, 1997; Chan et al., 2004; National Research
Council Washington, 1999).
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Data Collection
 Data was collected by interview with disaster victims,
several experts, newspaper articles and from various
actors who organized rescue operations, restoration of
communication, and transport, and informal
discussions with local residents. A brief profile of the
Designation
Years of3.
Qualification
experts
is givenOrganization
in following Table
experience
8
Logistics officer
HROs
10
Post Graduate
Medical logistician
HROs
10
MBBS, MD
Senior Operation
officer
Assistant Director
HROs
12
BE, Ph.D
HROs
15
Post Graduate, Ph.D
Director
HROs
20
BE,ME,Ph.D
Barriers
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
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Low level of Investment for implementation of IT
Lack of Strategic Planning
Lack of Management Level SCM professionals
Lack of supply chain understanding
Decentralized Org. Structure
Resistive to change to IT enable
Low Priority by management
Lack of Common Language
Low level of Investment for implementation of IT
 India is far behind in the use of IT in disaster
management as compared to other developed countries
 One reason for low use of IT can be considered as
lack of awareness about how a technology assisted
response could help in managing the situation better
 Prior awareness and training is required to tap into
such technology, but the task is a challenging, due to
involvement of many actors in the humanitarian supply
chain (HSC) and low investment in IT.
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Lack of Strategic Planning
 The key to an effective disaster response is increasing
awareness in the mind of local peoples so that they can
learn to help themselves
 It is needed to train local teams to better prepare and
respond to local disasters and address the frequent
issue of a limited pool of trained staff
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Lack of Management Level SCM
professionals
 HSCM involves various activities i.e. procurement,
warehousing, transportation, inventory management,
bidding, reporting and accountability.
 In the CSC, these activities are performed by experts
but in the HSC presence of experts for all the activities
is rare.
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Lack of supply chain understanding
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Decentralized Org. Structure
 The main advantage of a decentralized organizational
structure is that field workers can develop better
understanding of the local situation, needs of the
people etc. where disaster has occurred.
 But the disadvantage of decentralized structure comes
into the picture when field officers work according to
their wish, they choose separate software or not to use
them at all, complicates the process of information
sharing which is considered essential for the effective
and efficient management of relief activities
(Christina.et.al, 2005).
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Resistive to change to IT enable
 IT often represents completely new for many people’s
working in the HROs.
 The perception of an employee that advanced
technologies represent a daunting curve and possible
chances that they can lose their job introduces fear into
their mind about IT and creates significant resistance
to change (Suzanne Beaumaster, 2002).
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Low Priority by management
 If an organization wants to implement IT, this requires
a large amount of fund, effort and time.
 This requires the support and commitment from top
management—not at some particular stage, but starting
from the initial planning stage through complete
implementation.
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Lack of Common Language
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Conclusion
 If HROs want to implement IT , then they have to




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overcome the above discussed barriers.
A holistic approach is required to overcome these barriers.
Lack of coordination between actors has been seen in the
interview and new strategies should be developed to
overcome this as a barrier.
The development of an early warning system has to be
looked into more specifically.
The long term relationship with the suppliers and
prepositioning of the warehouses as well as training the
professional to deals with the conditions forming the
environment of HSCM has to be planned strategically.
Limitations and future work
 It was difficult to identify and distinguish the organizations
that they were really involved when there is a disaster and
which is not.
 As such the population chosen for the study was easily
reachable. If all organizations were to be considered may
be the result would have been different.
 Further study can be done to make a hierarchy-based model
in order to identify the relationships among the existing
barriers and classifying them into the driver and dependent
categories to understand that how these barriers are
influencing each other, so that the decision makers can
focus on overcoming these barriers and successfully
implement IT in HROs.
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References
 Mustafa Alp Ertem, Nebil Buyurgan, (2011) "An auction-based
framework for resource allocation in disaster relief", Journal of
Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 1,
No. 2, pp.170 – 188.
 Sameer Kumar, Kristin Niedan-Olsen, Lynn Peterson, (2009)
"Educating the supply chain logistics for humanitarian efforts in
Africa: a case study", International Journal of Productivity and
Performance Management, Vol. 58, No.5, pp.480 – 500.
 Richard Oloruntoba, Richard Gray, (2006) "Humanitarian aid: an
agile supply chain?", Supply Chain Management: An
International Journal, Vol. 11 No: 2, pp.115 – 120.
 Marianne Jahre, Leif-Magnus Jensen, Tore Listou, (2009)
"Theory development in humanitarian logistics: a framework and
three cases", Management Research News, Vol. 32, No. 11, pp.
1008 – 1023.
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References (cont….)
 Peter Tatham, Karen Spens, (2011) "Towards a humanitarian
logistics knowledge management system", Disaster Prevention
and Management, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp.6 – 26
 Mustafa Alp Ertem, Nebil Buyurgan, (2011) "An auction-based
framework for resource allocation in disaster relief", Journal of
Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 1,
No. 2, pp.170 – 188.
 Christopher Sandwell, (2011) "A qualitative study exploring the
challenges of humanitarian organisations", Journal of
Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 1,
No. 2, pp.132 – 150.
 Balcik, B. B., Krejci, B. M., Muramatsu, C. C., Ramirez, K. M.,
(2010) “Coordination in humanitarian relief chains: Practices,
challenges and opportunities”, International Journal of
Production Economics, Vol. 126, pp. 22–34.
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