SCL Course: Systems Operations in Health and Humanitarian Response

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Despite having common goals, often the lack of cooperation and coordination between humanitarian organizations results in procurement and allocation inefficiencies. As a result, a systems view of a humanitarian effort is needed to ensure appropriate use of scarce resources to meet the goals at hand. This course will focus on conceptual and modeling skills to understand and effectively manage humanitarian response from a systems perspective. Models will address system characteristics (e.g. demand dependencies) that drive system dynamics and policies to regulate performance. Course topics include methods for improving coordination and collaboration, addressing demand dependencies, and reliably measuring and evaluating system performance.


  • Tactical & strategic members of Non-governmental organizations
  • Private corporations involved in the humanitarian relief efforts
  • US Federal government employees
  • US State or local government employees
  • Humanitarian Foundation members
  • TITLES: Program Managers, Director of Field Operations, Disaster Relief Manager, Director of Logistics & Inventory, Logistics Officers


Pre-Course Activities (6 hrs) - Online via MoodleRooms Classroom Activities (2.5 days) - Georgia Tech Global Learning Center Post-Course Activities (4 hrs) - Online via MoodleRoomsNOTE: Pre-course and post-course activities will conducted online using the MoodleRooms online learning management system. Access instructions will be provided to registrants when details become available.Pre-Course Activities - Conducted online via MoodleRooms
  • Coordination and Collaboration – 1 hour
  • Incentives – 1 hour
  • System Analysis - 4 hours
Classroom ActivitiesDay 1
  • Dependent Demand
  • Coordination and Collaboration
Day 2
  • Performance and Measurements
  • Incentives
Day 3
  • System Analysis
Post-Course Activities - Conducted online via MoodleRooms
  • Dependent Demand – 1 hour
  • Performance and Measurements – 1.5 hours
  • Systems Analysis – 1.5 hours


Participants receive readings, case studies, spreadsheet files, and lecture slides, and will be given access to the pre- and post-course web-based activities.


Students need a laptop with Microsoft Excel and the ability to connect to a high-speed internet connection (internet access is provided for onsite portions of course).




Dr. Swann is the Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Associate Professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. She is currently focused on the modeling and analysis of problems and algorithms in logistics, transportation and supply chain management. She has particular interests in developing and analyzing tools to manage demand, such as pricing, revenue management, or lead-time quotation, to increase the flexibility in the system and is currently doing work in humanitarian supply chains. Other research interests include applications of economics and optimization to healthcare policy.She was awarded an NSF CAREER grant in 2004, and recently, one of her papers was selected as a Finalist in the Shepherd award at the CDC. In 2002, she received the Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Council of Logistics Management and was a Finalist in the Dantzig Doctoral Dissertation Competition at INFORMS. In 2006 she was inducted into the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni of Georgia Tech.Dr. Özlem Ergun is the Coca Cola Associate Professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. She holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Ergun's research focuses on the design and management of large-scale networks. Specifically, she studies logistics and communications networks that are dynamic, partially decentralized, and are used and operated by coordinating but selfish entities. Her main research contributions are the development of a set of new algorithmic and analytical tools and their applications to important real world problems. She is also a co-founder and co-director of the The Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics at the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in optimization and logistics. Dr. Ergun was awarded the NSF Career Award in 2003.Pinar Keskinocak is the Joseph C. Mello Professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Associate Director of Research for the Health Systems Institute, and the co-director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in industrial engineering from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and a Ph.D. in operations research from Carnegie Mellon University.Dr. Keskinocak's research focuses on supply chain management, with an emphasis on resource allocation, revenue management, auctions/pricing, due date/lead-time decisions, production planning/scheduling, and logistics/transportation. She is also actively engaged in research and applications in healthcare and humanitarian logistics.Dr. Keskinocak is an associate editor of Management Science and IIE Transactions, a senior editor of Production and Operations Management (POMS), and on the editorial board of Journal of Revenue & Pricing Management. She is one of the founding members of the INFORMS-JFIG (Junior Faculty at Informs) group and has served as the president of JFIG.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Anita Race
  • Created: 04/22/2014
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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