Collaborative Prepositioning in Humanitarian Supply Chains

Burcu Balçık, Özyeğin University


While prepositioning is an essential disaster preparedness strategy, it can be substantially expensive. Improving the efficiency of prepositioning is an important challenge for humanitarian actors. In this talk, I will discuss two recent projects that investigate the benefits of horizontal collaboration in prepositioning networks. In the first study [with J. Rodriguez-Pereira, M.-E. Rancourt, G. Laporte], we focus on a ulti-country setting. We collaborate with the inter-governmental Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, which is interested in evaluating the benefits of regional collaboration and creating a methodology to allocate costs among partner countries. We propose a novel insurance-based framework and compare the performance of alternative methods in achieving an equitable allocation scheme. We present results that show the benefits of collaboration for partner countries with different disaster risk and economic profiles.In the second study [with L. Kasap, F. Chane], we focus on collaboration among humanitarian agencies that preposition relief items in a regional warehouse. We evaluate the effects of delaying product differentiation (i.e., postponement) and stock sharing practices on critical response metrics by using Monte Carlo simulation. We present results based on a case study developed with data from the ESUPS project and several international humanitarian organizations.

Short Bio

Burcu Balçık is a professor at the Industrial Engineering Department, Özyeğin University. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, and M.S. and B.S. degrees from Middle East Technical University, Industrial Engineering Department. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University. Dr. Balçık’s main research interests are in the areas of humanitarian logistics and disaster management. She focuses on developing strategies and methods to improve decision making for better disaster preparedness and response. In her projects, she has collaborated with a wide group of practitioners from governmental and non-governmental organizations. Dr. Balçık has received several research awards including the Turkish Science Academy’s Young Scientist Award (BAGEP, 2014), Production and Operations Management Society (College of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management) Best Paper Award (2019), Faculty Research Excellence Award (Özyeğin University, 2020). Dr. Balçık serves as an Associate Editor of Transportation Science. She is on the Editorial Boards of Production and Operations Management, Transportation Research Part E, Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Sustainability Analytics and Modeling. She served as the president of INFORMS Public Sector Operations Research (2015-2017) and is currently a co-coordinator of the EURO Working Group on Humanitarian Operations (EURO-HOpe).


Friday, May 20, 2022, 4.00 pm - Zoom Meeting


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