Performance management practices in humanitarian organisations

Hella Abidi, Sander de Leeuw, Wout E.H. Dullaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We examine how design and implementation practices for supply chain performance management that have proven successful in commercial organisations apply to humanitarian organisations (HOs) to guide the process of designing and implementing performance management in humanitarian organisations. Design/methodology/approach: We identify from the literature ten successful practices regarding the design and implementation of supply chain performance management in commercial businesses. We apply these, using action research over a four-year period, at Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) Belgium and draw conclusions from this. Findings: We find that tools and techniques, such as workshops and technical sheets, are essential in designing and implementing supply chain performance measurement projects at HOs. Furthermore, making a link to an IT project is crucial when implementing performance measurement systems at HOs. Overall, our case study shows that performance management practices used in business can be applied and are relevant for humanitarian supply chains. Originality/value: Previous research has argued that there are few empirical studies in the domain of performance management at humanitarian organisations. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to provide a longitudinal understanding of the design and implementation of supply chain performance measurement at HOs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-168
JournalJournal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Action research
  • Empirical study
  • Humanitarian supply chain
  • Performance management practices
  • Performance measurement and management


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