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Keywords:

  • humanitarian;
  • disaster;
  • relief planning;
  • response;
  • recovery;
  • supply chain;
  • logistics

With an increasing number of disasters disrupting commerce and community life around the world, it is timely to position humanitarian and disaster relief supply chains (HDRSC) within the broad field of supply chain management. This article presents a framework to that end. It distinguishes attributes of the environment that illustrate the difficulties encountered in supply chain management. Although considerable research has been conducted in logistics issues affecting HDRSCs, very little management research speaks to the complicating attributes. Thus, this article describes activities such as demand determination, supply chain coordination, recognizing when to move along the life cycle and post-disaster reconstruction that differentiates supply chain concerns from logistics concerns. From this backdrop, some of the areas where research into HDRSCs can inform supply chain management in general are presented. The article concludes by discussing critical areas of research need as identified by experienced practitioners. Research in these areas will provide insights for supply chain managers facing similar issues in other environments.