Humanitarian operations and crisis/disaster management: A retrospective review of the literature and framework for development


Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version


Document Type



Humanitarian logistics; Humanitarian operations; Disaster management; Humanitarian organizations; Disaster policy


The aim of this paper is to review the literature on humanitarian operations and crisis/disaster management in order to identify the current research and to provide direction for future research in this growing field. Articles from supply chain management, disaster management, and economics were reviewed, keywords were identified within a disaster management lifecycle framework, and a lexical analysis of the articles was conducted. The analysis reveals that previous research has primarily focused on humanitarian operations, with researchers adapting established supply chain methodologies to improve humanitarian disaster response. While this has benefited humanitarian organizations in their ability to respond to disasters with greater efficiency, it also clarifies that there has been little research done on humanitarian development, the overlooked part of humanitarian operations. This finding suggests the need for future research to focus on the role that humanitarian development plays in reducing future social and economic disaster losses.

Published in

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction