Frontline Humanitarian Logistics


Supply & Logistics is a critical technology capability that is required for Humanitarian emergency operations. Many of the 71 million forcibly displaced people depend on humanitarian response for lifesaving support in post-disaster and conflict environments. Yet in 2019 much of the humanitarian sector is still dependent on spreadsheets to manage Frontline Humanitarian Logistics. This unserved need is due to industry specific requirements of the Humanitarian sector that are quite unlike commercial logistics solutions. Commercial solutions have proved inadequate in the last-mile, austere and rapid scale up environments that we face in humanitarian response.

The sector has created many home-built solutions or cross-organisation attempts such as HELIOS. While fulfilling the immediate needs at the time, these solutions have not delivered on their promise. Ultimately, Humanitarian INGO’s are not resourced to continually maintain and support software. We also see sub-verticals in our sector such as healthcare and WASH, that lead organizations to developing custom, non-interoperable solutions. These are failing to deliver capability and value to sector organizations due to inadequate investment.

Unless we solve this challenge, Humanitarian Organizations will fail to deliver the impact they could. Further, with aging systems in Tier 1 response organizations we risk severe impact on Humanitarian Operations if we do not act in the near term.

With many INGO’s moving to ERP in 2019/20 there is a window of opportunity to deliver a sustainable technology capability for our Humanitarian Community, interoperable with our wider organisation’s capabilities.

Interested in learning more? Read our Charter.

Contact Mike Smith, Information Architect at Oxfam International for information on how you can get involved in this important initiative. Use this link* to submit your expression of interest for Frontline Humanitarian Logistics

Do you work for a NetHope Member organization? Access the Member-only Working Group Initiative page. You may need to create a NetHope Solutions Center User account first.

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