Oxfam and Deloitte Develop Innovative Framework to Deliver Disaster Relief Supplies to Pacific Islands

Oxfam and Deloitte in New Zealand have teamed up to develop a logistics framework and management plans for disaster support and relief in the Pacific region, using expertise and insight initially developed in the private sector.

When a disaster such as a flood or cyclone strikes, a priority for responders such as Oxfam is to get clean water, sanitation and hygiene packs to affected communities. In the Pacific, the agency faces an exceptionally challenging environment, with both the geography and the fragile infrastructure making it hard to reach vulnerable, remote island communities.

Deloitte New Zealand recently partnered with Oxfam New Zealand to co-create an innovative solution, leveraging the latest practices in supply chain and logistics to create a scalable, transferable set of tools to support disaster response. The new framework aims to help Oxfam reach affected communities with vital life-saving supplies, faster.

Logistics Framework and Management Plans

The framework considers different elements that, when implemented together, will improve Oxfam NZ’s and other NGOs’ ability and capacity to respond. These elements include:

A step-by-step guide in how to respond to a disaster
: The framework has been designed to be an active tool so that NGOs know what stage they are at in the response process and can easily prepare for what is required next.

A register of risks and control methods: This register includes what to look out for and consider in each step of the response process.

A disaster simulation tool: A simulation tool (including imputing data on the country, population size, type of disaster, etc.) to forecast the type and quantity of aid required.

A set of metrics to measure the effectiveness: Including quantity, quality, timeliness and cost of aid of both historic and future responses.

Improvement initiatives: These complement the response process and improve Oxfam NZ’s overall capacity to respond to disasters in the future. These initiatives include mapping of prepositioned stock, changing the way that aid packages are labelled to help with customs; establishing supplier arrangements for purchasing and/or donating aid in advance of a disaster; creating joint storage facilities with response partners; and building common processes for moving aid with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the New Zealand Defence Force.

At least three Pacific Island countries are affected by cyclones each year as Rachael Le Mesurier, Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director, explains: “Cyclones are becoming more frequent and more intense in the Pacific and communities need our help now, more than ever. We are always seeking to improve, and we wanted to answer a critical question: are there ways for Oxfam NZ to get vital water and emergency supplies to Pacific communities following a disaster faster, and more efficiently? ”

Deloitte Consulting, New Zealand worked with Oxfam to tackle this challenge. Working collaboratively they used expertise and insight developed in the private sector to developed a logistics framework and management plans for disaster support and relief in the Pacific region. The framework will help Oxfam NZ reach affected communities with vital lifesaving supplies, faster.

“The framework considers the movement of aid following a disaster from the point of purchase to the point of entry into the affected country. The framework was developed to improve the effectiveness of a response by reducing the costs, reducing the time, and improving the quantity and quality of aid”, says Deloitte NZ partner David Lovatt.

For more infomration on the logistics framework and management plans for disaster support and relief in the Pacific region, see Deloitte New Zealand here.