Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sustainable Operations and Humanitarian Supply Chains (IL9HE9)


The overall aim of the module is to explain the purpose and value of humanitarian organizations and supply chains within the society. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences between commercial and humanitarian operations by discussing the trade-offs in decision making through social and financial frames of reference. As a whole, this module sets out to provide a holistic strategic view of social enterprises through a comprehensive discussion of critical operational issues pertaining to performance, risk, strategy and sustainability.


This is a five-day intensive module; including lectures and seminars.

The lectures will be supported by 3 Guest Presenters who are experts in Humanitarian Supply Chains and Social Enterprises. The potential guest speakers are as follows:

  • Mr. R. Maher: Social Auditor of Supply Chain Sustainability – sustainability auditor of global supply chains of Nestle, Shell and Rio Tinto. He will discuss years of experience of auditing supply chains in Nigeria, China and Chile.
  • Mr. T. Denskus: Social entrepreneurism in development, debates on 'DIY aid', volunteering/voluntourism and the changing nature of development.
  • Mr. R.J Wallace: Humanitarian Aid in Rwanda – will discuss his experience in disaster and on-going aid from a United Nations perspective.

15 CATS:

Oral presentation


 30 CATS:

Oral presentation;


Student-devised project

The student-devised project for the 30 CATS assessment will offer an opportunity for students to work in collaboration with the tutor and to create a piece of work that offers a solution to a controversial topic or question that has interested them during the module. Students are encouraged to undertake their own research utilising methodologies presented during the module.

Indicative syllabus

The module will consist of 5 days sessions. The module leader will attend all of each session, to integrate and stimulate the interdisciplinary learning.

 Day 1:

  • Welcome and introduction to the Module.
  • The basics of operations, logistics and supply chain management (L&SCM)
  • What is humanitarian L&SCM? Defining humanitarian operations and supply chain management
  • Similarities and differences across commercial and humanitarian operations

Day 2:

  • Disaster versus on-going aid supply chains
  • Performance objectives for SCM Relationships
  • Stakeholder theory principles

Day 3:

  • Managing social enterprises and not-for-profits
  • How do social enterprises create value: bricolage, networking
  • Social vs. business frames of reference for decision making
  • The measurement of social value

Day 4:

  • Social entrepreneurism in development, debates on 'DIY aid', volunteering/voluntourism and the changing nature of development.
  • Experience in disaster and on-going aid from a United Nations perspective
  • Cross Case Discussions and Preparation for presentations

 Day 5:

  • Case Presentations: Rana Plaza Disaster, Haiti Humanitarian and On-going Aid, Rwanda Crisis; Doctors Without Borders; Ebola crisis
  • Review of the module content

Quick links:

Available on:

Haiti Aid airdrop

US Airforces drop approximately 14,000 bottles of water and 14,500 Ready to Eat meals on Jan. 23, 2010, to the outlying area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti following a magnitude 7 earthquake that hit the city on Jan. 12, 2010.