Gyöngyi Kovács

Gyöngyi Kovács

Gyöngyi Kovács is the Erkko Professor in Humanitarian Logistics, and founding Director of the HUMLOG Institute.


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  • Thanks for flagging out, everyone, that the page has been moved. We are working on getting it back. In the meantime, please move on to the next point in this week.

  • Thanks, Tuija, great examples! Here is also some research on drone-based Covid-test deliveries in Austria: (Kunovjanek & Wankmüller, 2021)

  • Interesting distinction between the online vs word-of-mouth misinformation. In your experience, how did they differ in their effects?

  • Very nice analysis from different power dimensions, thank you!

  • Thanks for raising the matter with the current scabies epidemic! It's all across Europe but the decisions you mentioned clearly impact on how it may or may not be contained in Finland.

  • Thanks for spotting that, the link has been corrected in the text. It should be

  • What are your experiences in comparison? Can we add some more countries and cultures' experiences here?

  • Good point with sharing ICU capacities across borders. That was indeed done in the COVID-19 pandemic in the EU, and this tool helped in those decisions.

  • This tool was indeed used for decisions on moving patients also across borders. Spot on with the question what is restricting ICU capacity. More often than not, it is a matter of ICU staff, also since that's a highly specialised environment.

  • Indeed, AI is used quite a lot for predictive models. How would you though see to it that it gets the parameters of an unknown pandemic right?

  • Hi everyone! In addition to the above, we are now facilitating the course with a team of educators who will be active on this platform during March-April 2024. Meet also Margot Rocheteau, Sarah Schiffling, and Tamara Kirkwood-Wright. All of them have worked with various humanitarian organisations before, especially in the area of medical aid. Sarah is also the...

  • @RajithaWickramatunga , what was the most surprising thing you've learned from this podcast?

  • Many countries have indeed relocated PPE production back to their countries & regions, and also in other supply chains, there has been a rise of at least a "China + 1" policy to mitigate the risk of disruptions.

    However, many crucial raw materials for PPE do not exist in every country. What are your suggestions for how to tackle issues with such global...

  • You have a fair point with pre-positioning some of these supplies, and indeed countries that did fared somewhat better in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-positioning also gives time to activate procurement while starting to use this stock. Then again, how would you address the next step if there is no PPE production in country?

  • Back to you: what is your experience with medical logistics and supply chains?

  • Interesting examples, thanks for sharing!

  • There are in fact targeted endeavours to do just that, e.g. the IMPACCT project (
    Also, countries have in fact refused e.g. vaccines they deemed they couldn't handle - but that results in delays in vaccination outroll. It may seem like a big challenge with some vaccines...

  • So true! This is an inherent difficulty in managing pandemics, as well as mitigating supply chain disruptions. What other such surprises have you encountered?

  • Good catch, indeed it was meant for 3.7 and 3.8.

  • Good point about the movement of people. There is also other open data that can help with that, e.g. from traffic management systems. Any other that comes to mind?

  • You are raising an important point, both the data one has and how one can work with it changes over time. What would you do as a next step with even more data?

  • Good you highlighted that. An important aspect to consider is which transfer mechanism would work for beneficiaries. Sometimes one can e.g. distribute sim cards for mobile cash, but you only get so far if you have the telecoms in place. If not, good old debit cards and merchants who can take them in the area may be a backup. There is lots more info to be had...

  • How interesting! Curious: how do you get the right raw materials for such sophisticated prints?

  • On this note, there is also a debate in the UK whether it has become too heavily reliant on its armed forces during the COVID-19 response:

  • For more resources on this topic, check out the virtual issue of the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management on "Logistics & SCM in the context of relief for refugees and internally displaced persons" at - all...

  • Your observation is spot on. Airdrops are reserved for a matter of last resort, exactly for that reason. And as you said, one can also have people parachuting down to organise the distribution on the ground. That approach has even been used in bringing in people to hurricanes before they hit as to speed up needs assessment and also transport infrastructure...

  • Very good point about the overlaps. As much as we distinguish between phases, types of disasters and organisational mandates, there is much to be said about focusing on how they feed into one another.

  • Thanks for bringing up the service provision to one another already. That is such a growing area in humanitarian logistics!

  • Good points, Maria. Rarely would LSPs also "distribute" aka hand out items to beneficiaries without humanitarians present to at least oversee that process, but they can take care of all sorts of logistical functions until then.

  • Interesting that you've started with the (commercial) logistics service providers and what they do in this field. Great addition to the discussion.

  • Welcome to the course! This is a special run to met popular demand; who wouldn't want to know more about humanitarian logistics right now?

    The course will take you through the principles of humanitarian operations, but you get the most out of it the more you discuss with one another. Now we know the COVID-19 response is on everybody's minds but it's not...

  • There is another course on the SDGs as well if you are interested to learn more:

  • Water is a tricky one. It's heavy! If there is water in the region, you are better off avoiding to transport it and rather work with water purification systems. That way you can also avoid a lot of waste.

  • I'm intrigued by your answer of sourcing medicine locally. Can you give some examples for which items that would work vs for which you would need international/global sourcing?

  • We also have an online course on the SDGs, check it out at

  • Mikko, we have an entire masters and PhD programme, if you are interested :) - but in the meantime, I'd also like to draw your attention to the various courses that different humanitarian organisations have for their own staff & roster, but also to train co-deployment.

  • Thanks for posting the guidelines!

  • In addition, there are also other important barriers to consider, e.g. intellectual property rights, and of course quality <-> patient safety, among others.

  • Do you happen to have the link to the EPC pamphlet you mentioned, and could you post it here?

  • @SandyWatts Sadly, not all articles are open access, but you will find some in authors' own university repositories, depending on the publishing house's embargos and other requirements. Those that I've written and are either open access or the embargo is over can be accessed through

  • Some lean scholars disagree themselves on how lean management has been perceived from the "zero waste" / "zero inventory" perspective only. Here is a some food for thought from lean management as a process improvement technique in health care: Holden (2011) at

  • Good question, as they could be both. There is no common classification in this sense, but there are specific co-ordination mechanisms, and different types and foci of organisations. Also within organisations it differs to a great extent how logistics is seen, and where in the organisation it is situated.