Many humanitarian aid organizations had difficulty meeting the logistical needs of the December 2004 tsunami relief effort, a new study says.
Conducted by the Fritz Institute in San Francisco, in conjunction with KPMG and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the survey questioned some 100 logisticians from 18 of the world’s largest humanitarian aid groups.
Because of a lack of trained field logisticians, almost nine in 10 groups were forced to pull logisticians from other projects to handle the tsunami effort, the report says.
Only about one-quarter of the groups surveyed had access to technology designed for tracking and planning the collection of goods in the field, the report says, with the remainder constructing “homegrown” technologies such as spreadsheets to manage the flow.
While almost three in four groups had the processes in place to create plans for delivering relief in the wake of the tsunami, a majority said the plans they developed proved inadequate.
To improve future response, the report recommends increasing the number of trained logisticians, improving training for people working in the field, developing more flexible tracking technology and encouraging collaboration among humanitarian groups, the military and government.