Managing information cycles for intra-organisational coordination of humanitarian logistics
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As the humanitarian aid sector is expanding, the need for enhancing coordination capabilities increases as well. This holds especially for the area of logistics, because humanitarian operations typically take place in unstable and risky environments, where infrastructure is poor, while staff turnover is high. The effectiveness of humanitarian logistics critically depends on the availability and quality of logistics support information, but data is often scarce and ICT support to remote areas is limited. The challenges caused by these constraints call for conceptual insight into the intra-organisational coordination process in humanitarian aid. In order to assess current practice of intra-organisational logistics information management for humanitarian aid, we combine humanitarian logistics and organisational literatures to develop a model that ties in information cycles with activity cycles that ultimately should lead to value creation. The model serves as a basis to analyse coordination practice at the Dutch filial of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Holland) and develop implications for research and practice.