Project pillars

Data collection

What is the current pre-positioned emergency stock?

This pillar revolves around the twofold question of what pre-positioned emergency stock is currently available and where.

Activities around data collection are essential to map the existing emergency stock situation and identify its gaps and duplication. This mapping exercise, done using the STOCKHOLM platform, will then form the basis for the activities linked to the Data Analysis pillar, which offer further tools to inform decision-making processes about coordinated pre-positioning strategies that can lead to more effective emergency responses.

Data analysis

What would be the optimum pre-positioned emergency stock strategy?

This pillar focuses on defining the optimum pre-positioned emergency stock in each location, based on a combination of historical disaster response data, a set of humanitarian logistics information, and other variables which are relevant to the humanitarian context (i.e. absorption capacity, replenishment times, etc.).

Stock data are analysed through a mathematical model elaborated in partnership with Penn State University, MIT, and other academic institutions.
The model provides two outcomes: an Assessment of existing stock and a set of Recommendations toward a more optimum and collective strategy.

  • Assessment: the model assesses the current pre-positioned humanitarian stock, highlighting gaps and overlays in inventories at different locations.
  • Recommendations: based on this, as well as on the stock reports collected through the STOCKHOLM platform, the model also provides insights on the recommended stock quantities to store in each location in order to be able to respond to a certain percentage of disasters occurring in country. These recommendations, provided at a collective level, can be provided for each core relief item independently of who owns it.

Recommendations, in turn, inform the decisions of in-country authorities and partners on better coordination as well as the elaboration of more effective collective pre-positioning strategies, at country level. The final goal of such strategies is helping humanitarian actors to optimise average response times and costs.


What is the added value of stock pre-positioning coordination?

Through in-depth studies carried out in close collaboration with Ozyegin University (Turkey) and HEC Montreal (Canada) and Tilburg University (Netherlands), ESUPS aims to demonstrate and communicate the added value of a collective approach when it comes to defining stock pre-positioning. This is done by examining the impact of sharing stock-related data, adopting and strengthening loan-borrowing mechanisms for relief items as well as moving toward a branding postponement approach (this is known as delayed product differentiation in the private sector, where the approach is widely implemented).

Based on logistical and historical responses information provided by ESUPS partners, researchers analyse how much time and money could potentially have been saved by the humanitarian community in several recent large-scale disasters, had they had collaborative strategies in place before the advent of a disaster.
In addition, examining the key aspects mentioned above (with a focus on loan-borrowing and branding postponement) will facilitate the elaboration of collective logistics strategies, adapted to different settings where humanitarian actors operate. Humanitarian agencies and organisations will be able to draw their own strategy from a set of recommendations and evaluate the benefits of collaborative pre-positioning, with a view to maximise the impact of their future responses and reach an ever-higher number of people in need.

The research findings will contribute to other similar studies in the domain of humanitarian logistics undertaken in recent years, including a report on practices related to pooling logistics resources prepared by RĂ©seau Logistique Humanitaire.

Finally, in line with SDG 17, this collaboration contributes to the reinforcement of partnerships between academic institutions and humanitarian practitioners.

All project activities under this pillar are designed to support a change in mindset, promoting a more concrete collaboration among humanitarian stockholders, with the goal to increase the efficiency, efficacy and overall coherence of coordinated pre-positioning strategies.