MIT Course on Humanitarian Logistics (ESD.283)
The MIT graduate course on Humanitarian Logistics (ESD.283) explores how logistics management principles apply when responding to humanitarian crises. After an overview of humanitarian operations, class sessions dive into the strategies, technologies, and management approaches organizations use for effective logistics performance. Class sessions combine interactive presentations, case discussions, practical exercises, and guest speakers. The course is designed to accommodate students from various backgrounds, including those with limited supply chain experience.
Credit: 6 units (2-0-4)
Note: ESD.284 offers 9 units (2-0-7) with optional project
Time: Thursday 6:00-8:00pm in E51-149
Instructor: Jarrod Goentzel, email@example.com
Note that the case mentioned is part of a class that integrates other exercises and content, i.e. discussion will not be limited to that case alone.
02/06 1 Supply Chain in the Humanitarian Context
02/13 2 Needs Assessment, Distribution Tracking (Case: Haiti Earthquake)
02/20 3 Forecasting (Case: Red Cross)
02/27 4 Procurement, Mobilization (Case: Hurricane Season Planning)
03/06 5 Inventory Management (Case: Partners In Health)
03/13 6 Integrated Supply Chain (Case: Plumpy'Nut)
04/03 7 International Transportation (Case: Djibouti Port, Port au Prince Airport)
04/10 8 Inland Transportation (Case: WFP Ethiopia)
04/17 9 Warehousing (Case: Virtual Warehouse Visits)
04/24 10 Coordination & Prioritization (Case: UN Logistics Cluster)
05/01 11 Performance Measurement (Case: International Rescue Committee)
05/08 12 Technology and Information Management
05/15 13 Project Presentations
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING
PARTICIPATION (20%) – quality (not the quantity) of the contributions to class discussions.
EXERCISES (20%) – a mix of take-home and in-class exercises that give students practice applying concepts.
ASSIGNMENTS (30%) – two individual written assignments.
PROJECT (30%) – team project planning a logistical operation based on realistic data and information.
Students wishing to conduct deeper studies may conduct an individual or team project to analyze the response to a previous event. This year we will likely focus on the response to Typhoon Haiyan, utilizing data and information directly from the UN, Red Cross, government and NGOs. Students working on this additional project should register for ESD.284 instead of ESD.283 to receive the additional 3 units of credit (2-0-7).
REGISTRATION FROM OTHER UNIVERSITIES
Note: Grades will be submitted in time for all students, including those scheduled to graduate, to participate.
- Harvard students from four different schools have successfully cross-registered for this course. For more info: Harvard site, MIT site.
- Tufts students should arrange for independent study credit for this course with Prof. Peter Walker, firstname.lastname@example.org.