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Barriers to the diffusion of humanitarian last mile technology: An ANT perspective
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In a bid to tackle relief chain and last mile logistics challenges, over the past decade, humanitarian actors have been consulting increasingly with allies in the commercial sector. This collaboration between humanitarian and commercial players has borne some productive fruit, particularly ini-tiatives pertaining to the use of technology within the relief sector; and increased incorporation of varieties of information technology as part of relief efforts during some recent disasters, has fostered a new concept, ‘Humanitarian Information Communication Technology’ (HICT).

In spite of the wealth of evidence from these recent disasters providing strong impetus for a healthier adoption of technology within humanitarian last mile operations, there is still a notable lack of pervasion in the incorporation of HICTs by emergency relief actors (Vinck et al., 2013).

Few HICTs indicate the sluggishness in the diffusion of technology within relief chains better than WorldVision’s Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS) technology. In spite of the benefits it offers and the fact that it has been proven and now been deployed in 26 countries, only about 12 agencies have piloted or fully incorporated LMMS as a standard element of their operations (Chi-bafa 2014; Chibafa & Farkas, 2014).

The purpose of the current study is to increase appreciation of the role that Information Com-munication Technologies (ICTs) play within the last mile of relief supply chains through ascer-taining what challenges could be impeding a more rapid diffusion of LMMS (and in so doing, Humanitarian Information Communication Technologies). A qualitative single case study strat-egy pursued using secondary data sources and semi-structured interviews is used to produce a holistic picture of the evolution of LMMS; and a combination of Actor Network Theory (ANT) and a review of pertinent extant literature is used to analyse the empirical findings and extract factors that might be impeding a more rapid translation of LMMS and other ICTs within the humanitarian system.

The case study analysis yields possible explanations for the slow diffusion of HICTs that are an intertwined mesh of operational level and organisational level factors – including everything from a lack of innovative leaders, risk aversion, and bureaucratic inertia, to an innovation’s attributes, difficulties associated with trialling new innovations, and a failure to involve field staff in the innovation process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 80 p.
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-27233ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20150089OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-27233DiVA: diva2:822006
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Available from: 2015-06-30 Created: 2015-06-16 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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More languages
Output format
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