What can business learn from humanitarian supply chains? The case of the Spanish red cross in Haiti

Publication date



This paper analyzes the response of the Spanish Red Cross to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, looking for clues of the remarkable lean-agile performance of this organization, and how they could be applied to business operations. The paper first looks into the history and organization of the Red Cross, analyzing in more detail the deployment of the Spanish Red Cross in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Five clues to the performance of the Red Cross are identified: a global, multi-level organization; modularity; standardization; knowledge management; and flexible funding mechanisms. These findings are then put into the framework of humanitarian logistics. Finally, the possible extension of the findings to business operations is discussed.



What do Haitians need after the earthquake?

The earthquake that hit Haiti in the beginning of 2010 led to tremendous international solidarity in the recovery effort. Despite the tons of aid sent to Haiti, relatively little is known about the effectiveness of the aid or about the continuing needs of the Haitians. Using data collected from in-person surveys with over 1,000 Haitians, we sought to quantify some of the impacts of the earthquake while determining people’s relative preferences for food and other basic needs in the aftermath of the Haiti’s earthquake.

Read More »

The Honest Broker? Canada’s Role in Haitian Development

Since the early 1990s Canada has played a key role in Haiti’s development process. The article explores whether Canada’s foreign policy is becoming more reliant on military-assisted solutions, including peacekeeping, as a way to solve Haiti’s internal problems and achieve good governance. The article also examines the Canadian concepts called “Responsibility to Protect, React and Rebuild” which are linked to humanitarian intervention, and their implication for Haitian sovereignty.

Read More »