School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | MSc program in Information and Service Management | 2015
Thesis number: 14185
Managing NGO - private sector partnerships in disaster relief operations
Author: Marjanen, Jenny-Maria
Title: Managing NGO - private sector partnerships in disaster relief operations
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: MSc program in Information and Service Management
Index terms: logistiikka; logistics; operaatiotutkimus; operational research; non profit; non-profit organizations; kolmas sektori; informal economy; kumppanuus; partnership
Pages: 70
Key terms: humanitarian logistics; disaster relief; partnerships; collaborations; resource management; NGO; katastrofiapu; kumppanuudet
The amount and scale of disasters and conflicts has been growing during 21st century. Simultaneously, humanitarian organizations are struggling to gain enough resources for preparing for disasters and delivering aid. Many studies emphasize that the challenges of supply chain coordination, strategizing and information management could be tackled by establishing alliances between private and non-governmental organizations. The partnerships could bring efficiency, resources and knowledge to disaster response. Simultaneously private organizations could emphasize their corporate responsibility by offering skills and resources to humanitarian aid.

The aim of the study was to find out how these two sectors are working together in Finland. Which resources NGOs are searching from private sector and what they do offer for private companies in return? How the partnerships are established? And how the partnerships are managed, developed and maintained? This thesis presents a framework of NGO "resource balance sheet" as a tool for analysing the resource management process of an NGO. Framework is constructed from the theories of managing organizational boundaries, NGO - private partnerships and special features of disaster aid recognized in the earlier research about the topic. The framework describes the process of acquiring and managing the resources and the liabilities related to them.

The research method of the thesis was a case study. Before the actual case, an overall picture of private partner purveyance was made through the website analysis of the partnerships of the humanitarian agencies operating in Finland. Then, the case study was based on two theme interviews to gain deep inside knowledge of operations in one organization. In addition secondary material like website data, strategy papers and guidelines where used. Findings were then analyzed against the theoretical frame of reference.

Research results show that the main emphasise of the obtaining resources is focused on monetary donations, for which NGOs offer mainly communication material in return. Management of the normal donator relations is rather passive and initiative for the deeper collaboration usually comes from the side of a private organization. Organizations seem to somewhat fail to recognize their resource gaps that could be fulfilled as "pro bono" donations and omit the opportunities to collaborate beyond the charity approach. The way of managing the few long-term partnerships in a case organization follows strategic approach and defined guidelines, however it seems that long term partners are found as a result of coincidences. Lack of meeting grounds for the two sectors, limited resources for the partnership acquisition, understanding the both side needs and capability to develop philanthropic relationship into deeper and innovative partnerships appear as a main obstacles in NGO - private partnership management.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.