What's new at the Institute?

Here you can find the latest news from the HUMLOG Institute, including current and coming events. Stay tuned!

EURO-HOpe mini-conference 2021

The European Working Group on Humanitarian Operations (EURO HOpe) and the HUMLOG Institute at Hanken School of Economics are organizing the fifth EURO HOpe mini conference in Helsinki, Finland on the 24.-25. November 2021. This year the event will be in hybrid format. Read more about the conference here.


The Universal Logistics Standards Handbook is now available online

The HUMLOG Institute has been involved in the creation of the Universal Logistics Standards (ULS) handbook and also in earlier research regarding the project. The handbook was prepared by the INSPIRE Consortium as one of several outputs from the project “Development of Best Practice and Universal Standards for Humanitarian Supply Chain and Logistics”. This activity is funded and supported by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

You can find the handbook here and watch the informal video about ULS here.


Humanitarian Networks & Partnerships Week

19.4.-7.5. 2021

The HNPW, organized by OCHA, is the largest events of its kind, providing a collaborative space for practitioners and experts from a large variety of humanitarian stakeholders including UN agencies, Member States, NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, academia, the military & private sector initiatives, to collaborate in identifying solutions to common challenges in crisis preparedness and response.

This year the Institute will participate with three interesting sessions:

  • Continuity of activities during pandemics: Diego Vega and Felicia Saiah.  21.4. at 13:00 (UTC+3)

  • The HERoS Project - Health Emergency Response in Interconnected Systems: Gyöngyi Kovács.  29.4. at 13:00 (UTC+3) 

  • A conglomerate of servicescapes: A new conceptualization of NEXUS environment, Diego Vega 3.5. at 13:00 (UTC+3)

And the HUMLOG Institute will be present at the online Marketplace.



Responsible Organising Conference #4

This year's theme is “Re-imagine!/Re-organise!/Re-build!”.  HUMLOG Institute is participating to the conference with a panel session titled "Response to COVID-19 - learning from humanitarian operations". Follow more about the event during the spring here. The event is held online 28th of April 9-16 Finnish time.


Newest blog post: Your face mask impacts the global supply chains

"The Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) pandemic has created a worldwide health crisis with an impact not only on peoples’ lives but also on the global medical supply chain network." You can read the newest blog post by Dr. Ioanna Falagara Sigala, Project Researcher at HUMLOG Institute here.


Series of blog posts presenting the solutions from The HUMLOG Challenge: Team Los Andes

The fifth and last blog post in the blog series is out! The blog post is written by the team representing Universidad de los Andes. Team Los Andes was the winning team of the entire competition with their Water Supply Chain Solution in La Guajira, Colombia.

Read their blog post here!


The HUMLOG Institute's Board Award - Deadline for nominations is February 15th 2021!

The HUMLOG Institute rewards each year one Master’s student and every second year one Doctoral student who have been writing the best theses in Humanitarian Logistics.

The topic of the thesis has to relate to humanitarian logistics and supply chain management.

Nominated Doctoral and Master's thesis need to fulfill the criterion of being a "research-based thesis with a good grade from a recognised university".

Submitted Doctoral thesis have to be finished and defended within the time frame of 2014-2020.

Submitted Master's thesis have to be completed the year prior to the nomination.

Call for HUMLOG Institute Board Award


Nominations shall be done by the supervisor of the thesis and include the following:

- An extended abstract and/or executive summary in English

- A short reasoning why this Doctoral / Master's thesis is exceptional and nominated for the award including the grade (if applicable) and an explanation of the university's grading system.

- A link to the thesis online and/or an electronic copy (scan). Paper versions are allowed but need to reach the HUMLOG Institute by the deadline.

- The contact details of the nominee and supervisor(s) (e-mail and address)

Nominations have to be sent to humlog@hanken.fi, deadline for submissions is 15th of February 2021.


The prizes consists of: 


Series of blog posts presenting the solutions from The HUMLOG Challenge: Team_WU

The fourth input in our blog series is out! This week, Team_WU from Vienna University of Economics and Business presents their Sars Cov2 Testing Solution in Vienna, Austria. Read it here!

Series of blog posts presenting the solutions from The HUMLOG Challenge: Team Houston

The third input in our blog series is out! This week, Team Houston from University of Houston, Texas presents their solution on PPE Shortage Solution in Harris County. Read it here!

Series of blog posts presenting the solutions from The HUMLOG Challenge: Team_QUT

The second input in our blog series is out! This week, Team_QUT from Queensland University of Technology presents their solution on Electronic Waste Solution in Colombia. Read it here!

The first blog post of 2021: Series of blog posts presenting the solutions from The HUMLOG Challenge

Today, on 22nd of February starts a blog series including 5 articles presenting the results of the science competition organised by the Global Business School Network and the HUMLOG Institute at Hanken School of Economics: The HUMLOG Challenge. Each of the posts will be published in Friday afternoon weekly. Read this weeks blog post here, written by a team representing The Goa Institute of Management in India.

The latest HUMLOG blog post: When Staying at Home is No Longer an Option

Read our newest blog post here, written by Russell Harpring, PhD Candidate at the HUMLOG Institute.

Fact sheet to prepare for COVID-19 vaccination programmes.

By the team of the HUMLOG Institute: Ionna Falagara Sigala, Gyöngyi Kovács, Amin Maghsoudi, Wojciech Piotrowicz, Isabell Storsjö and Diego Vega. 

The donwloadable graphic: 

Download Factsheet_covid-19_A4 as .pdf


Proposal for safe water supply won the HUMLOG Challenge


A group of students, who presented a solution to how the indigenous community Wayuu in South America could secure access to safe water for hand washing and hygiene, have won the science competition organised by the HUMLOG Institute at Hanken School of Economics.

During the month of October, over four hundred students from 16 countries and six continents, worked to identify and frame problems found in supply chains within their local communities. The competition entries held a high standard and showed exceptional innovation.

The Los Andes team, from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, secured the victory with the topic Fog catcher systems in the desert of La Guajira: Analysis of the water supply chain disruption caused by COVID-19. The team investigated how to provide clean water to the indigenous community Wayuu, who live on the Guajira peninsula in northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.

The panel of esteemed judges was led by Hanken School of Economic’s professor Gyöngyi Kovács. Her thoughts on the winner:
- The problem is relevant both overall to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also addresses the context of the indigenous community of the Wayuu. The team has managed to delineate the problem from the user and health authorities’ perspective and ascertain that the solution is technically feasible, and suppliers and materials would exist in the region. The recommended solution overcomes the problem of shipping water, as well as access to safe water.

In second place was Team WU from Wirtschaftsuniversität in Vienna with the topic Mobile COVID-19 testing in Vienna during flu season. Third place was secured by Team Houston from the University of Houston, Texas, USA with the topic Sourcing PPE during COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas.

The winning team earned both a mentoring session and the 5,000 USD scholarship award that will contribute to their ongoing education.

The HUMLOG Challenge competition was arranged by Hanken’s HUMLOG Institute for research in humanitarian logistics, together with the Global Business School Network.


HERoS Webinar 27.10

The HERoS project – which aims to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak – completed its Rapid Response Phase in September 2020. This is a big milestone in the project and during the webinar these rapid response phase results are presented.

To share the results of this initial period, the consortium organises a free webinar open to all on Tuesday, October 27th from 12-13h CET. /13-14 Finnish Time

The webinar will present results from the following deliverables:

D1.1 Recommendations for governance and policies in the COVID-19 response

D2.1 Local behavioural model and recommendations for local COVID-19 response

D2.2 Public health system analysis and recommendations

D3.1 Gap analysis and recommendations for securing medical supplies for the COVID-19 response

D4.1 Assessment of the online spread of coronavirus misinformation 

More Information on the HERoS project webpage

The HERoS project is an EU H2020 funded project, led by the HUMLOG Institute, Hanken School of Economics. The overall objective of HERoS is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the response to the Covid-19 outbreak. HERoS creates and provides policies and guidelines for improved crisis governance, focusing on responders to public health emergencies, and their needs to make informed decisions. HERoS further improves the predictions of the spread by understanding and modelling the impact of local behaviour on the spread of the disease. Furthermore, HERoS improves the management of medical supply chains for preparedness and response, as well as evaluates the impact of cascading effects across global supply chains.

The HERoS consortium researchers from humanitarian logistics and supply chain management (Hanken), epidemiological modelling and policy design (TUDelft), crisis governance (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); machine learning and information sciences (Open University), public health services (Nordic Healthcare Group) to space research and geoinformation (Centrum Badań Kosmicznych Polskiej Akademii Nauk), to UAV development (Squadron), health emergency responders (Polskie Centrum Pomocy Międzynarodowej, Croce Rossa Italiana, Project HOPE) and project management (ARTTIC).

Registration: https://bit.ly/31n5sDu
Detailed information: https://bit.ly/34bM8Ln



The HUMLOG Challenge

Global Business School Network and the HUMLOG Institute have worked together to bring students an interdisciplinary, team-oriented, interactive digital competition experience, that drives solution development in their local communities. We are moving beyond the traditional competition and allowing for absolute creativity and exploration for sustainable humanitarian solutions. Throughout the month of October, teams will work through checkpoints. The Student Track will also offer teams access to professional development workshops and webinars focused on careers and learning. The HUMLOG Institutes very own Gyöngyi Kovács is the head of the jury.

“We hope you, as participants, are inspired and implement much-needed change in your local communities”

In partnership with Localized, all participating teams will have access to participate in employment development opportunities such as a two-day virtual career fair. Students will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with potential employers across various industries from across the globe. All teams will have the opportunity to showcase their work in a Virtual Presentation Hall. This opportunity allows for networking, idea development, and unique presentations that can both spark interest and create investment in the ideas.

The winning team will be offered a 5,000 USD prize to be used towards their continuing education. Top FIVE teams will be offered a one hour professional mentoring session from one of our judges.

Read more about the challenge here!


HUMLOG MOOC ‘Introduction to Humanitarian Logistics’ was a success!

1364 people from 120 countries joined our Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
61% of the participants told that the course was better than they expected and 37% said that it met their expectations. We would like to thank everyone who participated and inform that this course will be offered in the future as well! More details on that will follow later.our

Rise in e-commerce during corona crisis has revealed the need for sustainable choices for last mile deliveries

last mile delivery

Due to a rise in e-commerce and urbanization there is a rapid increase in last mile deliveries in the Nordic countries and internationally. This pace may increase due to the Corona crisis where many choose to shop on-line in order to avoid crowds.

In a few years, last mile deliveries may impose a considerable problem for cities where activities are already competing for space. The last mile is often the most inefficient, costly, and emission intensive part of the transport chain. The negative effects of transport (emissions, congestion and accidents) become critical in cities where people live and work.

The research project Innovative sustainable urban last mile: small vehicles and business models (i-SMILE) develops an innovation platform for upscaling sustainable business models for urban last mile deliveries.

– Our project will try to identify the drivers for making sustainable choices in last mile deliveries, and propose innovative business models. We look at it from various perspectives:  consumers, shippers and logistics service providers, as well as municipalities. We are also interested in  how sustainability is established through interaction in the delivery system, says Anna Aminoff, Assistant Professor in Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility at Hanken..

To meet the growing demand for logistic services due to e-commerce, the project will further investigate the use of light electric freight vehicles (LEFVs) and automatised delivery vehicles in last-mile deliveries.

– Presently, several logistics service providers test LEFVs in urban last-mile deliveries. They search for sustainable business models and ways of upscaling the use of these vehicles. One major, outstanding question is, however, what type of LEFV is optimal for transporting which freight flows, Aminoff comments.

The Nordic research consortium brings together multidisciplinary competences including businesses and research institutes from Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The three-year project is partly funded by Nordic Innovation and has a total budget of 750 000 EUR (Hanken’s part 145 000 EUR).

Key Partners:

Hanken School of Economics, Finland
VTI, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Sweden
TÖI, Institute of Transport Economics, Norway
CBS, Copenhagen Business School, Danmark

Corporate partners: 

DHL Express
Amedia Distribusjon
CoReorient Oy
AtoB Finland Oy
Seulo palvelut/ Kauppahalli 24


Anna Aminoff, Hanken
Niklas Arvidsson, VTI
Sidsel Ahlmann Jensen, TOI
Britta Gammelgaard, CBS


Academy of Finland funds HUMLOG Institute’s research project related to COVID-19


HUMLOG Institute’s research project Cash and/or Carry: The challenges and modalities of delivery in Covid-19 crisis has been selected in the special call for research into Covid-19 by the Academy of Finland.

The aim of the research project is to analyse the aid delivery mechanisms in complex emergencies, especially in responding to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused disruptions throughout the supply chain, resulting in short-term solutions, use of extra resources, and redesign of processes to implement social distancing measures. The project will address changes implemented in the supply chain, especially in-store and in the last mile delivery.

– The project will examine solutions developed in the immediate response phase, especially additional resources used, such as volunteers or military, review technology-based solutions that are used, and changes in processes, with a focus on best practices, says project leader Wojciech Piotrowicz, Director of the HUMLOG Institute and Associate Professor in Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility.

The Academy of Finland wanted to fast-track a special funding opportunity to support and accelerate research into the Covid-19 epidemic and the HUMLOG research project received 200 000 EUR from this grant.

This project complements the new EU H2020 project, HERoS, Health Emergency Response in Interconnected Systems, also a Covid-19 research project, co-ordinated by the HUMLOG Institute. While HERoS focuses on disruptions in medical supply chains, this project focuses on retail.

More information:

Wojciech Piotrowicz
Director of the HUMLOG Institute


HUMLOG Best theses Award 2020: the results are out! Congratulations to all on the good work! All the information here.

The HUMLOG Institute rewards each year one Master’s and every second year one Doctoral student who have been writing the best theses in Humanitarian Logistics. The topic of the thesis has to relate to humanitarian logistics and supply chain management.


An Equitable, Inclusive and Environmentally Sound Circular Economy -- Post-COVID

We invite you to join an open forum on how to plan for a Circular Economy transition that is equitable, inclusive and more environmentally sound – especially with respect to climate change in a post Covid -19 World.

When: May 13, Wednesday, 2020 at 15:00 GMT+2 (~90-120 minutes)


As the COVID-19 pandemic touches every aspect of modern society, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the slowdowns and shutdowns may inadvertently enable us to shape a new conception of prosperity and good livelihood. Points of departure for this conversation include:

•             Planetary Thinking: Climate Action and the Circular Economy

•             Technology for/against the Circular Economy

•             Whose Circular Economy? Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice


NOTE: The Forum will be recorded via both Zoom and a YouTube Livestream; your registration for this Forum indicates your consent to be recorded. The recording will be available to both the organizers as well as registered participants, to facilitate coordination on next steps for publications or proposals that might emerge from this conversation.

On behalf of Future Earth, The Greening of Industry Network, International Forum on Sustainable Value Chains, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the HUMLOG Institute


The HUMLOG Institute at Hanken School of Economics is the co-ordinator of the Horizon 2020 research project Health Emergency Response in Interconnected Systems (HERoS) in connection to the present corona virus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The HUMLOG Institute will contribute to the project with its research and training expertise in the areas of humanitarian logistics and supply chain management, including medical logistics, and the evaluation of supply chain disruptions.

”We at the HUMLOG Institute are very excited about this project and are looking forward to conducting research with immediate value to the incredible health care responders and humanitarian organisations working with this right now. As always, research with a measurable benefit to people requiring assistance is at the core of any project we do”, says Gyöngyi Kovács, professor and principal investigator for the research project.

The project involves 11 partners from six countries and has a total budget of 2,8 MEUR over three years starting in April 2020.

Visit HERoS official website here


HUMLOG MOOC ‘Introduction to Humanitarian Logistics’ started 6th of April 2020!



It is a 2-week course where participants can understand the fundamentals of humanitarian logistics and discover supply chain management in a humanitarian context. The course has been developed by HUMLOG Institute at Hanken. The lead educators are Gyöngyi KovácsDiego Vega Bernal and Graham Heaslip.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will be going live this spring on the social learning platform Future Learn, with millions of users around the world. The courses are open for anyone and everyone around the world.

Join course for free


HUMLOG and World Humanitarian Forum have signed a partnership agreement

World Humanitarian Forum Partnership Logo

HUMLOG is excited to work with the Forum, which aim is to provide an international platform for the world’s humanitarian community, leaders, NGOs and private sector. The event in London, April 2020 (rescheduled to May 2021 due to COVID-19 outbreak) has a wide portfolio of events, nine thematic theatres, three dedicated exhibitions, two conferences, roundtables, workshops and high-level forums.

There will be three side events at the Forum: Aid&Trade brings together major stakeholders working across the Global Aid and the International Development Industry. The International Disaster Management Exhibition (IDME) is an international platform for the world’s disaster management and response community to exchange science, policy, and best practice. Emergency Show London features advancements in products and services for procurement across the Emergency and Blue Light sectors.

HUMLOG is looking forward to disseminate research and learn about current issues in the field and to assure that our research has practical relevance. As we are working with humanitarian organisations, the World Humanitarian Forum will help us establish new relationships as well as strengthen current ones.