Examining the barriers to operationalization of humanitarian supply chains: lessons learned from COVID-19 crisis

Vishwas Dohale, Priya Ambilkar, Angappa Gunasekaran, Vijay Bilolikar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Humanitarian supply chains (HSC) have vital significance in mitigating different disruptive supply chain risks caused due to natural or man-made activities such as tsunami, earthquakes, flooding, warfare, or the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Each kind of disaster poses a unique set of challenges to the operationalization of HSC. This study attempts to determine the critical barriers to the operationalization of HSC in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, we determined and validated 10 critical barriers to HSC operationalization through a Delphi method. Further, we analyzed the barriers by computing the driving and dependence power of each barrier to determine the most critical ones. To do so, we coined a distinct form of interpretive structural modeling (ISM) by amalgamating it with the neutrosophic approach, i.e. Neutrosophic ISM. The findings indicate, “lack of Government subsidies and support, lack of skilled and experienced rescuers, and lack of technology usage” are the most critical barriers that influence the streamline operations of HSC during the COVID-19 outbreak, unlike other disruptions. This is the first-of-its-kind research work that has identified and analyzed the critical barriers to HSC operationalization during COVID-19 in the Indian context. The results and recommendations of the study can aid policymakers and HSC professionals in formulating suitable strategies for successful HSC operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1176
Number of pages40
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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