Monday, November 29, 2010

Goodies Delivery~

I was reading through online updates on Merapi eruption and came across this post on one blog:

Bis Mania Community blog
And I was pathetically questioned myself: "What is logistics?"

It embarrassed me as after we had a lecture on logistics management I discovered that eventually, one of the critical success factors on disaster management is an effective logistics management. Plus, UNDP (1993) stated that logistics is often the largest and most complex element of relief operations.

Relief/Humanitarian Logistics:

Humanitarian logistics involves delivering the right supplies to the right people, at the right place, at the right time, and in the right quantities. (Cottam, Roe, & Challacombe, 2004)

Mobilizing the staff, equipment and goods of humanitarian assistance organizations, the evacuation of the injured or the resettlement of those directly affected by the disaster, requires a logistics system to maximize effectiveness.

We can say that logistics serves as a bridge between disaster preparedness and response.

Emergency situation like disaster requires emergency supplies. Several most important emergency supplies usually are medicines, water and environmental health, health supplies or kits, food, shelter, electrical, construction, logistics or administration, personal needs, education, human resources, agriculture or livestock and many others of which we must never pay only one eye to.

Lists of important necessities of the refugee in Posko Maguworhajo, Yogyakarta. Photos courtesy of Intermed07

The flow of supplies logistic in Indonesia shown below will also help to know the coordination of authorities responsibled in  logistics (medical) management.

Flow of supplies logistics (DepKesRI, 2007)
The organization and command system is at most the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and the national board involves BNPB (Badan Nasional Penanggulan Bencana) directed to BPBP (Governor), then to BPBK/ KT (Bupati or Mayor).

The typical network structure of relief logistics is as below:

Relief Logistics Network Structure


As we can see in the image above, transportation plays a big role in the whole network structure. Transportation makes it possible for assistance to reach those in need.

For example, during the Tsunami (2004), an illustrative relief shipment could have arrived in Indonesia in Jakarta through commercial transport by sea from Singapore. From Jakarta, it was flown by charter aircraft to Medan in Sumatra and stored in an organizations regional warehouse. When it was needed, the shipment was loaded on an International Organization for Migration (IOM) caravan headed to Banda Aceh. In  Banda Aceh, it was unloaded from the large IOM trucks and delivered by smaller vehicles to the beneficiaries (victims).

Counted how many types of the transportation mentioned already?
4- Ship, aircraft, trucks, smaller vehicles (may be cars or vans), and we' re not even counting based on quantities yet:)

"Stocking or Storage" 

This is under the inventory subsystem which includes different types of warehouses:
  • Central warehouse
  • Regional warehouse
  • Entry point
  • Collection site

The beneficiaries receive the supplies at places there are gathered at, like the many number of posko provided for the refugee to stay in Merapi eruption disaster. The distributions of the goods are not necessarily done by significant authorities but also by the volunteers, even the students from UGM:)


Literature studies showed that the main problem occurred in the field of coordination (communication and organization) and logistical processes.

Take the earthquake in Bantul (2006) an an example, where it was reported that the preparations were quite systematic where the managements had good transportation, good communication, pre-existing of emergency services networking, and the presences of quick response of the local, regional and even international team. Unfortunately, there was no well- coordinated works between the managements related.

Nevertheless, I personally believe it's due to fact that the event was out of anyone’s expectation; it happened suddenly and huge. Plus, the involvement of large number of authorities (community itself, NGOs, private sectors, hospitals, individual volunteers, etc) in such a no- plan manner caused the rapid but yes, hectic uncoordinated works especially as they may have different approaches or goals.

But as what was told by dr. Hera Nirwati, the co- operation of the community of Bantul itself and the improvements of works coordination between the authorities helped the quick recovery process of Bantul. Let's pray for them:)
Now.. Another problem.
What do you think when you see this picture?

Heaps of clothes in Posko Manguwoharjo
This scenery are seen in almost all posko (source: Kompasiana) showing one of the ineffective managements in the logistical process. Believe me, the refugees are not to be blame fully on this matter the fact that they are thousands of them in one refugee camp; not everyone can behave in truly good manner. But if only there are more staffs provided, or there are schedule or terms and conditions for refugee to pick up the clothes which are best for them; things will be better..

Well.. May there will be more and better efforts to achieve the effective relief logistics management, and we are part of the contributors:)

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