SCL Course: Tactical Decision Making in Public Health and Humanitarian Response

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Numerous tactical decisions must be made in the response to a public health or humanitarian event. Many of these decisions are concerned with the timely and efficient procurement, allocation and distribution of resources (e.g. funds, supplies, volunteers) through a supply chain. This course will explore methodologies for tactical decision making, including procurement and inventory policies, strategies for distribution and allocation of limited resources and transportation decisions.


Tactical and strategic members of non-governmental organizations, private corporations involved in the humanitarian relief efforts, U.S. federal government employees, U.S. state or local government employees, humanitarian foundation members, program managers, directors of field operations, disaster relief managers, director of logistics and inventory, and logistics officers


  • Optimize procurement decisions considering key factors affecting inventory policies such as lead time, variability and product type (e.g., perishable goods).
  • Compare and contrast inventory techniques for a single event versus ongoing operations.
  • Evaluate resource allocation tradeoffs in response to a health or humanitarian crisis and develop policies for the allocation of scarce resources in alignment with the supply chain network.
  • Develop resource allocation and transportation strategies in alignment with the supply chain network structure.
  • Develop strategies for allocating funds incorporating the interdependencies of decisions across time and space.
  • Provide immediate impact to their organization through learnings gained from applied and real-world case studies.
  • Learn to bring NGOs, businesses or government entities together to enhance collaboration, cooperation and communication.
  • Discover current trends and procedures to help their organizations and team members get ahead and stay ahead of the curve.
  • Build a critical knowledge base to make tactical decisions around inventory, routing and distribution.
  • Deliver best-practices to measure and evaluate outcomes of humanitarian relief efforts.
  • Ultimately transform the humanitarian sector with increased capacity to participate in planning and strategic decision-making for effective supply chain management.


Pre-Course Activities (4.5 hrs) - Online via HELIX platform
Classroom Activities (2.5 days) - Georgia Tech Global Learning Center

NOTE: Pre-course activities will conducted online using the HELIX platform online learning management system. Access instructions will be provided to registrants when details become available.

Pre-Course Activities - Conducted online via HELIX platform

Inventory – 2 hours
Resource Allocation – 1 hour

Classroom Activities

Day 1

  • Inventory

Day 2

  • Resource Allocation/Network Design & Pooling

Day 3

  • Transportation Decisions
  • Warehousing



  • Participants receive readings, case studies, spreadsheet files, and lecture slides, and will be given access to the pre-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).


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).


For those interested in earning the Health and Humanitarian Supply Chain Management Certificate, this course is the second of the three-course certificate program. To earn the certificate, participants must register and complete the following courses within three years:

  1. Pre-planning Strategy for Health and Humanitarian Organizations
  2. Tactical Decision Making in Public Health and Humanitarian Response
  3. Systems Operations in Health and Humanitarian Response



Julie SwannOzlem ErgunPinar Keskinocak


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Andy Haleblian
  • Created:11/17/2015
  • Modified By:Andy Haleblian
  • Modified:10/21/2019


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