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2013/2014  KAN-CM_SU2C  Humanitarian Operations (Intensive)

English Title
Humanitarian Operations (Intensive)

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
6 week course (3 weeks of classes, 3 weeks of exam). Please check www.cbs.dk/summer for the course schedule.
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Rolando Tomasini
    Patricia Plackett - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
Last updated on 25-01-2013
Learning objectives
Students should be able to:
  • Understand the context of humanitarianism and how it impacts and influence the supply chain for disaster relief operations
  • Become familiar with the policies, rules and regulations driving humanitarian operations
  • Understand the critical processes and actors playing a role in the humanitarian supply chain
  • Be able to critically analyse the performance of a humanitarian organization
  • Be able to articulate the challenges of each different type of operation.
  • Develop the business case for partnerships, coordination, and collaboration with other public and private partners.
Course prerequisites
Students most benefiting from this course have a background or a strong interest in corporate social responsibility, supply chain management, humanitarian or military operations. The course is multidisciplinary based on qualitative analysis and can be adapted to several profiles.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Requirements about active class participation (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: A group assignment will be given that incorporates the applications of the lessons learned from the readings, into one of the cases read in class. The groups will have a presentation on the final days of class with critical feedback to prepare them for the final exam.
Project/Home Assignment, 15 pages:
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure
A take-home project will be given to the students in which they will analyze a disaster relief operation and the performance of a particular humanitarian agency using the analytical tools, theories and principles provided. Information will be based on a case study.
Course content and structure

The course is designed in three main sections. The first will give students an overview of the humanitarian system and the role of logistics/supply chain management in disaster relief. The second section is meant to discuss different management issues in the preparedness (working between disasters) and response (coordinating during a disaster). The third section is meant to discuss how the private sector can contribute to each of the disaster stages. For this we will discuss different partnership models including corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship.
Lectures will be based on case study analysis paired with discussions from the book readings. Students will be provided with questions ahead of time to prepared for each session where group work may take place. 
Book:  Humanitarian Logistics. Rolando Tomasini and Luk Van Wassenhove. Palgrave MacMillan 2009 (ISBN- 978-0-230-20575-8)
Case Studies from the INSEAD Humanitarian Case Study collection.

Coordinating Disaster Logistics in El Salvador using SUMA 10/2003-5145
Fuels: A Humanitarian Necessity in 2003 Post-Conflict Iraq.                      . 07/2005-5290
Genetically Modified Food Donations and the Cost of Neutrality. Logistics Response to the 2002 Southern Africa Food Crisis 03/2004-5169
IFRC Choreographer of Disaster Management. Gujarat Earthquake 06/2002-5032
IFRC Choreographer of Disaster Management. Hurricane Mitch 06/2002-5039
WFP Lesotho : Building Sustainable Operations 01/2008-5495
Logistics Moving the Seeds of Brighter Future: Afghanistan 2nd Year .  09/2003-5135
Managing Information in Humanitarian Crisis: UNJLC Website.  04/2005-5278
Moving the World : Learning to Dance 03/2004-5194
Moving the World : Looking for a Partner 02/2004-5187
UNJLC Afghanistan Operations First Year.  05/2003-5092
UNJLC An Operational and Conceptual Inter-Agency Logistics Platform. 05/2004-5213
UNJLC The Genesis of a Humanitarian Relief Coordination Platform       . 04/2003-5093

The course's development of personal competences:
Students should be able to:
  • understand the main players in the humanitarian sector
  • understand the theories, concepts and frameworks that apply to disaster preparedness, disaster response coordination and private sector intervention
  • analyze different stages of disaster management and how companies can contribute to them in form of corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Teaching methods
The course will be taught through a series of lectures, case studies and in-class individual/group exercises. In-class exercises will include evaluating recent disasters and evolutions in the humanitarian organizations. A humanitarian guest speaker will be considered (pending availability) for an in-class presentation and panel discussion.

Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings to be read before the start of classes with a related task or tasks in the first two classes in order to 'jump-start' the learning process. Students will be given asked to choose a humanitarian organization and read all the information about the recent activities, their logistics capabilities, and fundraising strategy and status.
Expected literature

See list of case studies cited above in addition to a selected articles from the following list of readings developed by Emerald depending to be provided during the course.

Last updated on 25-01-2013