Assessment of Humanitarian Supply Chain Management Challenges on Performance: The case of World Food Programme- Ethiopia

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In today’s world, many people are being exposed to a number of natural and man-made disasters which claimed lives of several of them. Under such situations, the presence and relevance of humanitarian organizations is very crucial to allow the victims have access to basic supplies. In this process, the role of supply chain is paramount despite humanitarian organizations face many challenges with regards to supply chain management. Many research works were carried out in the field of humanitarian supply chain management. However, much focus has not been given to address the challenges of humanitarian supply chain management in emergency or relief operations and their impacts on operations of humanitarian organizations particularly in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a landlocked country often affected by drought with food insecurity crisis. In this respect, the country is facing unique challenges in its humanitarian supply chain management which in turn influence the operations of humanitarian organizations. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the challenges of humanitarian supply chain management in WFP Ethiopia. The study adopted descriptive research type and involved collection of primary data through questionnaire survey and the contents of the questionnaire had two parts: (1) the profile of the respondents and (2) humanitarian supply chain management challenges in the form of Likert scales. The focus of the questionnaire in terms of humanitarian supply chain challenges were related to lack of coordination, information and communications integration, inadequate transport capacity, port congestions and custom clearance and inadequate warehousing. In addition to the questionnaire survey, key-informant interviews were made with senior management personnel of WFP Ethiopia and NDRMC. Secondary data on relevant items were also collected. The survey results showed that an inadequate warehouse in terms of capacity and number was the most supply chain challenges that WFP Ethiopia was facing. The rating of the challenge of warehouse was followed by lack of transportation facilities and coordination related challenges. The result of the key-informant interviews also showed similar result in which most of the informants agreed that various inter-related challenges are existing in WFP Ethiopia supply chain management. Based on the present study, it is recommended that emphasis should be given to warehouse, transportation and coordination management in order to improve supply chain management of the organization.


A Thesis Submitted to Graduate Stduies of Addis Ababa University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Business Administration


Humanitarian Organizations, Supply chain management challenges