System Dynamics Base-Model of Humanitarian Supply Chain (HSCM) in Disaster Prone Eco-Communities of India: A Discussion on Simulation and Scenario Results

System Dynamics Base-Model of Humanitarian Supply Chain (HSCM) in Disaster Prone Eco-Communities of India: A Discussion on Simulation and Scenario Results

Sanjay Bhushan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6195-8.ch012
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Humanitarian Supply Chain is central to the capacity building in the eco-communities which are located in the disaster prone regions. In this study, an attempt has been made to develop a system dynamics model of humanitarian supply chain in order to capture causal dynamics and inter linkages within the system under investigation and suggest some critical intervention strategies for enhancing overall performance. An economic sub-sector base model for the Indian tribal communities has been calibrated and used for simulation analysis as a reference case-study. Conclusion & Results: It has been established through the simulation results that the success of short-term relief work lies in the long-term capacity building and, is critical to the performance of both current and future humanitarian operations and programs. The scenarios studied in this paper are with respect to those crucial decision environments and their underlying complexities which create an inherent endogenous dynamics perpetuated by various stakeholders giving functional response towards the humanitarian supply chain.
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1. Introduction

Eco-communities are human-scale, full-featured settlements in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world. It is potentially supportive of healthy human development, and can be successfully continued into the infinite future. Demographically, these can be urban or rural communities of people, who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life. The primary motivation for eco-communities is the choice and commitment to reverse the gradual disintegration of supportive social/cultural structures and the upsurge of destructive environmental practices on our planet. Although being environmentally rich, these people, particularly under the rural or tribal setting, are often devoid of supplies of rich Physical, Social, Economic, and Technological resources and they are forced to struggle on a daily basis to survive and are unable to cope with any additional stress factors like population growth and abject poverty. Limited livelihood alternatives, competition over scarce resources, weak educational-governance structures and lack of access to healthcare can compromise a community’s ability to respond to a hazard event (Hewitt, 1983).

In this regard, sustainable humanitarian supply chain management and community based resource management can collectively promote more resilient communities through supporting sustainable livelihoods, conflict prevention and strengthening cooperation for good governance (Fritz Report, 2005). Moreover, sustainable HSCM is universally considered to promote social, economic and environmental equity and ethical imperatives for sustainable community development (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Humanitarian Logistics and Humanitarian Supply Chain


In the present paper, special attention has been given to the development of a sustainable humanitarian supply chain model comprised of various delivery sub-systems and their causal relationship indicating key decision-points for community development.

1.1. Significance of Study

Environmental conservation and disaster management are critical to the livelihoods of indigenous people who often live in hazard-prone areas (Anderson et. al. 1989). They have built up, through hundreds of years of experience and intimate contact with the environment, a vast body of knowledge on hazards and the environment events. This knowledge is a precious resource that continues to contribute to environmental conservation and disaster management in these regions. However, with the disruption of traditional lifestyles, changing settlement patterns and most significantly, because of the socio-economic-technological deprivation, it is a challenge to maintain the environmental capital of these communities (Kate, 2002). Hence, an active communion and delivery mechanism is primarily required among various resource-sectors like Physical, Social, Economic and Technological.

1.2. Outline of the Paper

In the following Section 1, conceptual and literature background of the basic theme of research have been explained together with introducing the system dynamics modeling technique for identifying and testing the dynamic hypothesis formulated to capture the inherent ad integral elements of Humanitarian supply chain.

Under Section 2, an attempt has been made to develop a simulation ready model of humanitarian supply chain to capture certain endogenous and exogenous dynamics of the system under investigation. Section 3 elaborates on various presumptive scenarios for evaluating the sensitivity of humanitarian supply decisions and reaching out to the most viable decision-sets. Towards the end and conclusion, some key critical research findings are discussed.

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