PRESS ROOM   BACKGROUNDER  
 
PARTNERS FOR EFFECTIVE RELIEF
Fritz Institute is a nonprofit dedicated to improving global disaster relief by creating innovative approaches to ensure help arrives when and where it's needed most. We mobilize private sector expertise and academic research to strengthen the standards and operations that support effective preparedness and front-line response.

Fritz Institute was founded in 2001 by Mr. Lynn Fritz, a social entrepreneur and philanthropist, who recognized that effective front-line humanitarian operations must be supported by strong back room capabilities: effective operational processes, efficient uses of technology, objective performance metrics, and institutionalized learning across the humanitarian sector. Mr. Fritz is the former chairman and CEO of Fritz Companies, a Fortune 1000 global logistics corporation.

THE HUMANITARIAN NEED
The number of annual natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide has tripled since 1970. In 2002, 602 million people were affected by disasters. These events disrupt lives, destroy infrastructures, put the health and welfare of entire communities at risk, and cost the world billions of dollars. Humanitarian relief organizations are the primary vehicle for disaster relief in the aftermath of a catastrophic event.

Fritz Institute has identified several issues that limit the ability of humanitarian relief organizations to tackle the challenges of disaster relief:

  • Their mandates tie funds to direct relief � not investments in much needed technology and infrastructure
  • There is little research about the optimal structure or operations practices
  • Few staff have access to formal education for professional careers in humanitarian aid
  • The private sector plays a limited role, and primarily only during the emergency phase of disasters
  • Logistics is the heart of humanitarian aid with 80% of all humanitarian workers interacting with the supply chain during a relief effort

In summary, the operations of many humanitarian relief organizations around the world are inadequate and poorly resourced.

FRITZ INSTITUTE PROGRAMS
Logistics and Supply Chain
The Logistics and Supply Chain Program at Fritz Institute brings urgently needed recognition and resources to humanitarian logistics, a function vital to effective relief. The program supports the development of a professional community for humanitarian logisticians and the mobilization of corporate and academic sector supply chain expertise for disaster relief operations. Fritz Institute's annual Humanitarian Logistics Conference has evolved into an informal professional association where logisticians exchange ideas with their counterparts in the private and academic sectors.

Each Fall, Fritz Institute hosts Crossroads, a group of senior supply chain executives and academics to discuss ways to augment the field of humanitarian logistics. The goal of Crossroads is to develop practical tools and approaches to support logisticians in humanitarian relief.

Humanitarian Technology Solutions
Fritz Institute works in partnership with the private sector to identify and develop technology solutions that serve the unique requirements of humanitarian operations. Fritz Institute's first technology solution - Humanitarian Logistics Software (HLS) - is the first web-based supply chain software solution created in collaboration with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exclusively for the dynamism of disaster relief operations using best commercial practices. HLS facilitates the delivery of precise relief services, enabling real-time matching of the needs of the affected population with the supplies that need to be mobilized, procured, tracked and delivered.

In September 2004, Fritz Institute was named a Tech Laureate by The Technology Museum of Innovation (San Jose, CA), a prestigious award given annually in recognition of social entrepreneurs who successfully leverage technology to benefit mankind.

Fritz Institute is developing Helios, a web-based "ASP" version of HLS in response to urgent requests from leading NGOs for immediate deployment of a "next-generation" platform to help coordinate and track the myriad of supplies and donations entering tsunami-affected countries. Helios will provide complete visibility across the humanitarian supply chain from mobilization to warehousing, and enable simultaneous use of the software by multiple NGOs that provide recovery and long-term reconstruction services in the worst affected areas. Many of these organizations currently employ manual, time-consuming processes and lack the infrastructure to support a full-scale software implementation. Helios will address these issues, allowing even the smallest organization to ramp-up quickly without the burden of investment in additional technology and support.

Bay Area Preparedness Initiative
Fritz Institute's Bay Area Preparedness Initiative (BAPI) brings together local government, corporate, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area in a joint effort to identify gaps in disaster preparedness and develop ways to measure and improve preparedness and response capacity in the region. It is our hope that the BAPI will serve as a national model for how the nonprofit and faith-based sector can more effectively partner with uniformed first responders and the city and state infrastructures in serving local citizens in disaster situations.

Capacity Networks
Fritz Institute works in partnership with the corporate sector to build the capacity of local humanitarian relief organizations in developing countries to provide relief to vulnerable people in their own communities. To date, Fritz Institute has created NEPARC (New Partnership for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), a network of 15 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in Africa whose members have committed to achieve models of excellence in good governance, service delivery and advocacy in a sustainable manner. NEPARC addresses the unique needs of African aid and is seen as an opportunity to strengthen the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' presence and contributions on this continent. Fritz Institute developed an audit process to enable NEPARC members to be assessed and certified for achieving world-class standards in management capability, transparency and accountability, which has already been conducted by 12 NEPARC member organizations.

Humanitarian Impact
Fritz Institute is building a global network of donors, academics and humanitarian agencies to look at the complexities of measuring humanitarian impact. Measuring impact will facilitate the ability of humanitarian organizations to objectively assess and effectively communicate the impact of their work to donors, governments and the public.

PARTNERS INCLUDE

Bearing Point
Dell Corporation
Erasmus University
EuronAid
General Motors
Georgetown University
Hewlett Packard
INSEAD University, Fontainebleu, France
Intel Corporation
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
International Rescue Committee
KPMG
Microsoft Corporation
Oxford University
Philips Semiconductors
Reuters Foundation, AlertNet
Stanford University
United Nations Joint Logistics Centre
University of California, Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy
University of Washington
USAID
World Vision USA and International

LEADERSHIP
Lynn C. Fritz, Director General
Anisya S. Thomas, Ph.D., Managing Director
Mitsuko "Mich" Mizushima, Chief Logistics Officer
Steve Leventhal, Director, External Relations
John Ford, Chief Financial Officer Vimala Ramalingam, M.D., Director, India
 
 
 
 
In Malawi, 4.2 million persons are facing starvation in 2005-2006 due to prolonged drought.
Fritz Institute's special expertise is in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and it provides the leading edge in logistics for that chain of need. And this is indeed a vital role, because when disaster strikes, help that arrives too late is actually no help at all, and even a few hours can spell the difference between starvation and nourishment, destruction and survival.
- Madeleine K. Albright
Former US Secretary of State
 
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