Prof. Sarkis & Prof. Kovács: How humanitarian logistics can inform a new normal for supply chains – post-COVID-19

[Photo by Kristjana Adalgeirsdottir: RedCross humanitarian response, delivery of aid items in Philippines, February 2020]

Prof. Joseph Sarkis, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (US) & Prof. Gyöngyi Kovács, Hanken (FI)

How Humanitarian Logistics Can Inform a New Normal for Supply Chains – Post-COVID-19

HUMLOG Blog, 11 May 2020 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastation to people’s health, safety, and livelihoods. It has also caused our supply chains to be reevaluated. The concerns are pervasive and supply chain fragilities became conspicuous.

These concerns have caused supply chain and logistics academics and practitioners to evaluate the situation and provide insights into potential solutions.  These efforts are early at the writing of this blog and will likely continue for years; with significant uncertainties persevering. 

We felt an urgent need for sensemaking in our supply chain community. But, we could not turn to conferences and face-to-face meetings.

Thus, a small concerned group of the community sponsored an open forum on “An Action Agenda for Effective Post-COVID-19 Supply Chains”.

How supply chain practitioners can learn from humanitarian logistics became an important topic of conversation.

Joseph Sarkis & Gyöngyi Kovács put together the main points of this discussion for the HUMLOG blog.

See the video recording of the open forum here

The HERoS Project – Health Emergency Response in Interconnected Systems

HUMLOG institute at the Hanken School of Economics is one of the 11 organizations of the new EU-funded international, multi- and interdisciplinary HERoS project. The aim is to study and improve the effectiveness of societies, and especially public health organizations, in responding to the global pandemic. HERoS is a three-year project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. 

“The overall objective of HERoS is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the response to the Covid-19 outbreak. HERoS creates and provides policies and guidelines for improved crisis governance, with a core focus on responders to public health emergencies, and their needs to make informed decisions. This aim shall be achieved by enabling information-driven self-organisation and co-ordination that considers behaviour, as well as rapid adaptation to dynamically changing situations. To achieve this, HERoS will foster organisational and technical innovation during disasters for responders during critical scenarios from inaccurate, distrusted, and overhyped information. To this end, HERoS will provide them with accurate, validated, enriched, high quality, and actionable knowledge.”

Read more here or contact Prof. Gyöngyi Kovacs,

Prof. Joseph Sarkis

Joseph Sarkis is Professor of Management within the Foisie Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  He is also an International Scholar at the Humlog Institute within the Hanken School of Economics. He is the editor of IEEE Engineering Management Review and an associate editor for Resources, Conservation and Recycling on the topic of sustainable supply chains. Sarkis is also an international coordinator for the Greening of Industry Network; a founding member of the International Forum on Sustainable Value Chains (ISVC); and member of the Future Earth Knowledge Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production.  His research interests include Environmental Supply Chain Management, Sustainability, Operations and Technology Management, and Supply Chain Management.

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Prof. Gyöngyi Kovács

Gyöngyi Kovács is Erkko Professor in Humanitarian Logistics at Hanken School of Economics. Her field of expertise includes, for instance, Humanitarian logistics & supply chain management; Disaster relief, disaster management, and preparedness; Development aid; Sustainable supply chain management.

Gyöngyi Kovács is actually the first professor in humanitarian logistics worldwide, and also the founding editor of the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management. She is the former (founding) director, and board member of the The Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (HUMLOG).

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