Management of humanitarian relief operations using satellite big data analytics: the case of Kerala floods

Narayan Prasad Nagendra, Gopalakrishnan Narayanamurthy, Roger Moser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Disasters lead to breakdown of established Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. ICT breakdown obstructs the channel to gather real-time last mile information directly from the disaster-stricken communities and thereby hampers the agility of humanitarian supply chains. This creates a complex, chaotic, uncertain, and restrictive environment for humanitarian relief operations, which struggles for credible information to prioritize and deliver effective relief services. In this paper, we discuss how satellite big data analytics built over real-time weather information, geospatial data and deployed over a cloud-computing platform aided in achieving improved coordination and collaboration between rescue teams for humanitarian relief efforts in the case of 2018 Kerala floods. The analytics platform made available to the stakeholders involved in the rescue operations led to timely logistical planning and execution of rescue missions. The developed platform improved the accuracy of information between the distressed community and the stakeholders involved and thereby increased the agility of humanitarian logistics and relief supply chains. This research proves the utility of fusing data sources that are normally sitting as islands of information using big data analytics to prioritize humanitarian relief operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-910
Number of pages26
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
Early online date3 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Agility
  • Disaster management
  • Humanitarian relief operations
  • Information and communications technologies
  • Satellite big data analytics


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