Now in its sixth year, the conference will be hosted in Latin America for the first time, hosted by Tecnológico de Monterrey and co-organized by Georgia Tech, INSEAD and MIT. The mission of the conference is to stimulate innovation and build capacity to manage humanitarian supply chains around the world. It brings together high level speakers from across the health and humanitarian sectors, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry, government, etc. Discussions will focus on the role of logistics in areas such as disaster response, health systems and food security as well as highlight the unique logistical challenges for humanitarian response in Latin America. You are welcome to email your ideas for panel themes, workshop topics, and potential speakers/facilitators to

Conference Co-Chairs

Ozlem Ergun, Jarrod Goentzel, Pinar Keskinocak, Miguel Martinez, Eric Porras,
Julie Swann, Luk Van Wassenhove


The conference is intended to be highly interactive, where participants will have ample time to discuss different view points rather than simply listening to speakers. In many conferences, even if there is time for participants to ask questions, only a handful speak up. Therefore we have adapted the conference agenda to allow for various kinds of interaction.

For instance, panel speakers will give brief presentations, allowing plenty of time for participants to discuss the topics amongst those at their tables. A representative from each table will then direct a summary statement back to the panel with one or two resulting questions or challenges.

There will be a number of break-out workshops of small groups of participants led by experts in a given topic. These sessions will focus on discussion and exchange, allowing for different participants to share their views and make connections with each other.

Following the workshops, a final plenary discussion will summarize the conclusions from the various workshops and the panel will discuss outcomes and potential action steps to move the agenda forward following the conference.


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Zip file - Zip file of all below available presentation material [38MB]

Day 1: Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 (9 - 17:30 HR)

Congress Room - Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Santa Fe

  Breakfast served at Tecnológico de Monterrey Conference Center
08:45 Conference Organizers Introduction
09:00 Welcome Address:
09:10 PDF Keynote Speaker Opening remarks: Vaccination and Epidemiological Challenges Facing Mega-Cities -
Panel 1: Vaccination Supply Chain in Global Public Health

Today 83% of children around the world are vaccinated for the 6 leading preventable diseases according to the World Health Organization, and 2.5 million lives are estimated to be saved each year and millions more are protected from chronic illness and disabilities. In developing countries in particular, with a lack of adequate public health infrastructure, systems and personnel, vaccination campaigns provide an opportunity to treat large populations with little access to routine care. However, such campaigns also face significant challenges particularly related to supply chain management such as forecasting for a limited supply, delivery to populations in remote locations, and education and awareness of disease prevention. Campaigns also differ according to the type of targeted prevention (endemic vs. outbreak) and to the types of capacities demanded for response (supply, storage, human resources, etc). In the Vaccination Supply Chain in Global Public Health panel, we will examine the challenges, trade-offs, and successes and explore ways that the scientific and academic communities may contribute new research to address them.

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11:00 Break and Poster Session
Panel 2: Market Mechanisms for Food Assistance

Humanitarian organizations increasingly rely on local markets to provide assistance in emergencies through cash and voucher-based programs. The dynamic strategies to combine these response options with traditional in-kind aid can have dramatic impact on beneficiaries and local markets – good or bad. This panel will use the context of food assistance to explore how we can build better evidence and make better decisions in planning response operations with a mix of transfer modalities. They will specifically focus on how a better understanding of the supply chains that support local markets is critical in this process and consider the impact that this may have on the logistics community.

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12:45 Boxed Lunch
Workshop Session 1
  • PDF Strategies to Manage Material Convergence (unsolicited donations, etc.) to Disaster Sites

    Large disasters prompt individuals, companies, public agencies, and international organizations to send relief supplies to disaster sites. The resulting flow of supplies, referred to as material convergence, is a highly heterogeneous mix that encompasses items that: (1) are urgently needed by either the impacted population or the response itself (high priority supplies); (2) may be needed at a later stage of the response (low priority supplies); and (3) are not needed at all, are not consistent with the local needs and culture, are expired, are not amenable for efficient distribution, are dangerous to the people in need (non-priority supplies). The complications produced by the non-priority supplies--that could represent 60% of the total of supplies that arrive at the disaster in the initial phases of the response--are such that it is referred to as "...the second tier disaster..." As part of this workshop, the panel will discuss the strategies to deal with this vexing problem.

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  • PDF Advancing the Health & Humanitarian Logistics Profession

    Public health and humanitarian supply chains share similar missions and operate in similar contexts. Organizations in both sectors also face a shortage of experienced logistics professionals. This workshop reflects on existing efforts to advance the profession and considers new paths. Leaders from the Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA), the International Association of Public Health Logisticians (IAPHL), and People that Deliver (PtD) will briefly present the history and current status of each effort. Participants will then work in groups to consider the role of supply chain professionals in these sectors and propose ways to develop critical skills. Finally, the group will discuss ideas to strengthen and grow the network of health and humanitarian supply chain professionals.

  • PDF Health System Transportation

    In this workshop, we will discuss the crucial role that transportation plays in ensuring quality health care delivery and access. As many know only too well, access is particularly challenging throughout rural areas, and there is an overwhelming tendency for vehicles to break down before the end of their mechanical life. These breakdowns thwart health care delivery efforts and cause many costly bottlenecks in systems. Despite this, often enough, transportation is not carefully considered or planned for as a major support area (or building block) for the health system. This workshop is aimed at a wide audience, including participants from governments, NGOs, academics, industry, etc. We would like to build on this diversity of expertise to elevate the issue of transport, share experiences, highlight successes and innovation as well as challenges, and learn from each other. We hope that the information discussed will help prioritise transport and influence policy, planning and budgeting, accordingly.

15:30 Break and Poster Session (Congress Room)
Workshop Session 2
  • PDF Electronic Logistics Management Information Systems - A New Open Source Option

    Public health supply chains need accurate, timely logistics data from health facilities to make decisions about procurement and resupply. In low- and middle-income countries the distribution of medicines relies on a fragmented array of software systems that often focus on isolated parts of the supply chain or on a single health program. OpenLMIS is a global initiative that has developed enterprise-quality open-source electronic logistics management information system software. In this workshop OpenLMIS will be introduced and demonstrated followed by an interactive discussion.

  • Decision-support Tools to Assist in Supply Chain Management

    Health and humanitarian supply chains can be very complex, with demand that is seasonal or uncertain; sourcing of products that can be local, regional, or international; or with decisions that interact across the supply chain. Decision-support tools can be developed to assist in aggregating information, analyzing decisions, or understand the trade-offs between different elements. In this workshop we describe three such tools, which perform the following functions: 1) forecasting of disasters and the associated supply requirements for 100+ countries using historical data and population growth; 2) develop a distribution system for deploying teams for Indoor Residual Spraying to prevent seasonal malaria; and 3) design an end-to-end supply chain from creation of a food basket, to sourcing, transportation, and comparison to vouchers. These tools have been created in collaboration with entities including CARE-USA, the World Health Organization, and the World Food Programme. Each will be discussed with participation from the audience, along with ideas for future decision-support tools in the health or humanitarian sectors.

17:30 Break and Poster Session (7th floor, FEMSA Building)
18:00 Welcome Cocktail - Buffet/Networking

Nota: Traducción simultánea en el evento

Day 2: Thursday, June 5th, 2014 (9 - 17:30 HR)

Congress Room - Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Santa Fe

08:45 Reflections from Day 1
09:00 PDF Keynote Speaker 2: Mexico Infrastructure Plan- 2014-2018 -
09:30 PDF Keynote Speaker 3: Strategies and Coordination for Disaster Prevention and Response -
Panel 3: Infrastructure Needs for Coordination and Collaboration

Our goal is to discuss what underlying infrastructure is needed for the humanitarian actors to be able to collaborate effectively. Although collaboration and coordination have been pointed out as an important area for increasing effectiveness of humanitarian actions often such collaborative activities are limited by lack of infrastructure. We hope to engage the panelists in a discussion on the current practices, challenges, and opportunities in establishing collaboration and coordination among different entities such as the local government, NGOs, military, and industry in responding to a humanitarian event; identifying areas in which collaboration and coordination can be most beneficial; understanding the physical and technological infrastructure needs for enabling such collaborations; and the challenges in providing for these needs.

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11:15 Break and Poster Session (Congress Room)
Panel 4: End-to-End Supply Chain Strategy for Health and Humanitarian Response

Our goal is to bring together practitioners who deal with designing supply chain strategies from programming to distribution. By bringing together different perspectives from different sectors and viewpoints we hope to discuss issues and challenges on a variety of topics including the interaction of programming and supply chain actions, impact of local procurement, etc. We will also address in what ways developing a comprehensive supply chain strategy may impact health and humanitarian operations and how can this impact (long and short term) be measured?

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13:00 Boxed lunch served
Workshop Session 3
  • PDF Transportation Market Analysis and Procurement Strategies in Developing Countries

    Empirical research characterizing transportation markets in developing countries is scarce. Lack of information makes transportation procurement and cost evaluation difficult for health and humanitarian organisations, which often operate in these markets. During this workshop, we will present results from econometric analysis of World Food Programme (WFP) transportation contracts in Ethiopia. This case illustrates how analytical approaches lead to insights on transportation cost drivers that operators themselves may not realize. We will discuss how such insights enhance transportation procurement and contracting practices to improve both cost and reliability. Finally, we will open the floor to discussion of workshop participants' experiences with transportation and consider how better transportation market analysis can facilitate economic development.

  • Humanitarian Logistics in Action: Decision Making for Natural Disaster Preparedness and Response

    In this workshop students are confronted with a challenging case involving planning of a company’s supply chain operations to deploy inventories during a natural disaster preparedness and response phases. Uncertainty in terms of supplies’ demand and natural disaster impact is a key element to be taken into account in the planning strategy. Students will present the main case assumptions and results in an exciting competition facilitated by Georgia Tech and Monterrey Tech faculty

    • TLIC Students
  • Disaster & Humanitarian Collaborative Intervention Models in Mexico and LATAM

    This workshop will consist of presentations by two Mexican based NGO's:

    • PDF Emilia Garcia-Arteaga, TECHO-Mexico, Director of Administration and Finance - TECHO is a youth led NGO organization present in over 15 countries in Latin America. TECHO'S Community Intervention focuses on the most excluded slums of the continent. The joint work of families and young volunteers, who work to produce concrete solutions to the problematic of poverty, is the key driver of the intervention. TECHO drives a continuous community strengthening process, taking community development as the transversal axis of the intervention TECHO'S Community Intervention focuses on the most excluded slums of the continent. The joint work of families and young volunteers, who work to produce concrete solutions to the problematic of poverty, is the key driver of the intervention. TECHO drives a continuous community strengthening process, taking community development as the transversal axis of the intervention. In association with Fundacion Kaluz (, they support the rebuilding stage and temporary housing in case of natural disasters in collaboration with the communities, the government, and other NGO's.
    • Unidos por Ellos Foundation - An initiative born in 2002 as a response to natural disasters, based on promoting a prevention culture supporting immediate and long term support to displace families due to natural disasters in Mexico. They have created a national supply chain for consolidation of supplies and support. Their intervention model integrates the efforts of the private, public and social sectors for effective actions in case of natural disasters. Their efforts have accomplished positive impacts in cases such as: Northeast droughts, Southeast floods, Haiti earthquake, and Hurricane Stan/Wilma and Isidoro.
15:30 Break and Poster Session
Workshop Session 4
  • PDF Logistics Preparedness - More Than Prepositioning of Goods?

    In spite of increased attention, there is no unified understanding of logistics preparedness and how it contributes to improvements in humanitarian operations. On the one hand, organizations lack tools to assess and improve their preparedness. On the other, humanitarian logistics research focuses mainly on one aspect - prepositioning of goods. Through short introductions the workshop leaders will provoke discussion on what constitutes logistics preparedness, on gaps between practice and research, and on how applied research can support organizations in developing and improving their preparedness.

  • PDF Supply Chain Design in the Complex Field of Health and Humanitarian Logistics

    Evaluating and balancing the inherent trade-offs in factors like service, cost, complexity, and risk is a difficult but necessary task for every successful logistics network, especially those in as important and complex an area as Health and Humanitarian aid. With Supply Chain Design, an analytical approach is utilized to help better understand and plan the future state of a given supply chain. In this workshop, participants will go through a hypothetical case study with the help of an experienced Supply Chain Designer from one of the leading technology providers in the field. Health context, data sensitivities, political considerations, and logistics impacts will be explored numerically and graphically, and participants will gain an understanding and appreciation for how Supply Chain Design techniques can be applied in their country-specific context.

17:30 Concluding Remarks (Congress Room)

Nota: Traducción simultánea en el evento

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