Reducing the Cost of Humanitarian Operations Through Disaster Preparation and Preparedness


Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version


Document Type



Humanitarian logistics, Humanitarian operations, Disaster management, Humanitarian organizations, Disaster policy


While there have been claims that disaster preparation and preparedness reduce the cost of humanitarian disaster response, there is little substantiated evidence to support this claim. We investigate this relationship using data from 2002 through 2014 of 71 OECD countries that received disaster assistance. We find that investing in disaster preparation and preparedness has no significant reduction on the cost of emergency response and that it in fact drives up the cost of emergency response in the following year. Additionally, we find no support that investing in disaster preparation and preparedness reduces the number of people affected or the number of deaths resulting from natural disasters. We conclude by discussing these results and provide insights toward future research.

Published in

Annals of Operations Research

Citation/Other Information

Goldschmidt, K.H. & Kumar, S. Ann Oper Res (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-017-2587-z