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Title: An assessment of the impact of supply chain risk management in food-aid distribution in Zimbabwe
Authors: Ngarize, Peter
Keywords: Disaster;Food-Aid;Humanitarian Stakeholders;Supply Chain Management;Supply chain risks;Vulnerability
Issue Date: Sep-2020
The present study sought to investigate and interrogate supply chain risks prevalent in the
humanitarian sector with reference to food-aid distribution and to also assess the impact of
supply chain risk management as a strategy for cost- effective food-aid distribution operations
in Zimbabwe. The global increase of disasters and their devastating effects has left
communities vulnerable and in need of help from Donors, humanitarian agencies and the host
governments. The damage by disasters notably droughts, floods and cyclones have caused
various forms of vulnerability on populations living in disaster struck countries, including
Zimbabwe. The natural disasters and catastrophes have inadvertently solicited for committed
investment by both local and international governments to assist those unfortunate to have been
struck by disasters and their impacts. Information on disaster impacts specifically related to
food-aid distribution is gathered through an analysis of risks prevalent along the food and
humanitarian aid supply chain network. This information will be used by government and
various humanitarian stakeholders in the formulation of strategies to mitigate disaster and
supply chain risks in humanitarian aid distribution.
A mixed-method approach was employed to assess the impact of supply chain risk management
in food-aid distribution in Zimbabwe. A sample size of 80 Humanitarian Aid stakeholders from
the District Drought Relief Committee completed structured questionnaires. The Cronbach
Alpha Test showed high reliability for the scales used in the study. Furthermore, the study used
information from key informants, at least fifteen (15) members from the secretariat, namely,
the District Administrators, the Social Welfare officers, as well as the Zimbabwe Republic
Police (ZRP) personnel who were readily available at their stations for one-on-one interviews.
Five strategies, that include flexibility, collaborative, prepositioning, hedging, and governance
were explored and their impact on distribution of food-aid analysed. Quantitative data was
analysed using STATA (version 16). Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression was used to
investigate the nature and magnitude of the relationship between food-aid distribution
efficiency and supply chain risk factors, while also controlling for the effect of demographic
variables and results were compared with those of the Tobit models as a test for robustness of
the results. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis derived from observations
and interviews and descriptive statistics presented in tables. This study tested the robustness of
the five strategies used in food-aid distribution and noted that the most commonly used strategy is insurance, followed by governance, then collaboration, flexibility, prepositioning, and
It is expected that the study will assist the Government of Zimbabwe, other governments in
Southern Africa, and humanitarian aid stakeholders in the formulation of policies for the
humanitarian food and non-food-aid distribution. This will lead to improved efficiency in foodaid distribution. Policy recommendations highlight the need for synergistic relationships
between WFP, the Meteorological Department, Department of Social Welfare, and the Civil
Protection Department. The Government of Zimbabwe should therefore create an enabling
environment for stakeholder partnerships in the Humanitarian Food -Aid supply chain that
should cascade to the village and community levels. Disaster interventions should not only
come from National Central Government but, where necessary and feasible, should be from
local community to National, building a bottom up approach in disaster mitigation strategies.
Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Management Sciences (Public Administration), Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2020.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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