Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Logistics with Humanitarian Goals as New Research Centre Opens

A More Sustainable, Social and Economic Supply Chain Target
Shipping News Feature

SWITZERLAND – WORLDWIDE – Kühne Logistics University (KLU) and HELP Logistics are to cooperate together with the establishment of a new research centre for humanitarian logistics and regional development. Both institutions have the aim to support social and economic progress in low-income countries.

The new Centre for Humanitarian Logistics and Regional Development (CHORD) is intended to provide world-class academic research and training in supply chains and logistics. Prof. Dr. Thomas Strothotte, President of the KLU, commented on the opening of this, the university's third research centre:

“Humanitarian logistics has been an important focus of research here since the KLU was founded. We look forward to further strengthening our activities in this area and to conducting research at the highest level in the new joint centre with our partner HELP Logistics."

HELP Logistics is a subsidiary of the Kühne Foundation and CHORD's projects are fully funded by external donors. The cooperation agreement between HELP and KLU for the new centre will initially run for five years. Dr. Christian Berthold, Managing Director of the Kühne Foundation observed:

“Supply chain management is the backbone of humanitarian operations and the lifeline of sustainable economic development. Thanks to CHORD, we will have two strong units within the Kühne Foundation that offer unique services in the humanitarian and development context. "

CHORD's work focuses on analysing and strengthening supply chains in the context of disaster risk reduction and resilience, nutrition and agriculture, pharmaceuticals and health, and sustainability and it will work to combine world-class academic research and education with operational training and technical excellence. Sean Rafter, Managing Director of HELP Logistics and Operations Director of CHORD, added:

“We have carried out several high-impact projects in the past few years. CHORD will take the collaboration between HELP and KLU to the next level. We are particularly looking forward to working with the other KLU research centres such as the Centre for Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CSLS) and also with local universities or regional HELP offices in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, as well as in Western and Eastern Europe East Africa."

Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou, Professor of Humanitarian Logistics and Academic Director of CHORD, emphasised that the area of humanitarian action offers a wealth of opportunities for relevant and effective research, saying:

“CHORD gives the KLU the opportunity to work much more closely with humanitarian actors involved in this In the area. HELP Logistics, on the other hand, has access to many disciplines such as leadership and artificial intelligence. "

The new centre will take on several joint projects that KLU and HELP have already started in the past. One example is the Executive Supply Chain Management (ESM) program, which is a series of seminars by professors and experts offered to executives and senior managers of humanitarian organizations and local governments. The program was developed at the KLU in Hamburg and has since been expanded to include Dubai and Nairobi.

In the research field, CHORD has developed a number of system dynamics models (which simulate the nonlinear behaviour of complex systems over time) to better understand the complexity of humanitarian supply chain systems. The results of the relevant studies provide a basis for meaningful business cases for investments and have facilitated discussions between donors, humanitarian organisations and governments.