CROSS-SECTOR PARTNERSHIP : COLLABORATION BETWEEN HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Disasters can occur anywhere in the world and when they do, human lives as well as infrastructure are affected in diverse ways. The impact of disasters usually warrant an immediate response from aid agencies because human lives are at stake and that is where humanitarian logistics comes into play. Humanitarian organizations involved in relief efforts have an enormous task of responding to emergencies in a very swift manner and are constantly seeking for new and innovative ways to reach their beneficiaries with utmost satisfaction. One way of doing this is through collaboration and engaging in partnerships with private sector companies. Given the fact that humanitarian organizations and private sector companies operate in different sectors, such partnerships could be challenging yet beneficial in diverse ways. The purpose of this thesis was to analyze the cross-sector partnership between humanitarian organizations and the private sector. In order to achieve this aim, a frame of reference was developed with an operational partnership model and theory whislt examining and contrasting both humanitarian and business supply chains. Our methodology involved both primary and secondary data collection with empirical data collected from two private companies and one humanitarian organization. Data collected for the study were then analyzed in relation to the literature and models outlined in the frame of reference. The results of the study showed that the partnerships between the firms of the two sectors studied were philanthropic, long-term and mutually beneficial in diverse ways. Whilst the private companies benefit through improvements in Corporate Social Responsibility, creating public awareness of their corporate image, and brand among other benefits by engaging in the partnership, humanitarian organizations on the other hand, partner with companies which fit their expressed needs and gain benefits in both monetary and non-monetary terms. Moreover, knowledge transfer through the sharing of skills, experiences, resources and expertise are also very important elements which add to the benefits gained by both partners. In addition, the findings obtained from the respondents of the study demonstrated that trust, personal connection, regular communication and working together are very important elements which can be considered as critical success factors which sustain partnerships.
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