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Question:

Discuss about the Effects of Service Quality on Program Performance and Delivery at UNICEF in Malawi.

This study will examine the effect on service quality on program performance and delivery at UNICEF in Malawi.  This report will propose a systematic approach of measuring, monitoring, tracking and improving the efficiency of service quality in programs at UNICEF.  UNICEF delivers valuable aids and medicines to children in grief stricken areas so improvement in supply chain is essential for catering to all the needs of the children on time.

Malawi has been going through nutrition and food crisis for a long time but the present scenario is the worst in the past decade where the majority of the population is trying to survive on less than 1$ per day (Unicef.org 2016).  In Malawi, 4 million children have been affected due to the El Nino and the devastating flood right after it affected the whole country. Therefore, the traditional food producing zones have been highly affected by these natural calamities, which stated that more than 30% of the population would be going through a state of food crisis (Unicef.org 2016).  UNICEF has been quick to respond to the humanitarian needs of the population that is at risk. These include prevention of malnutrition and outbreak of diseases such as cholera.  Therefore, it is essential for UNICEF to develop an efficient supply and logistics system so that timely delivery of aids can reach the affected the population (Unicef.org 2018). UNICEF handles projects of huge magnitude which affected by obstacles at regular intervals. Therefore, providing affected areas with better service quality can save more lives, which will require improved measuring, tracking and monitoring capabilities.

The research has aimed to examine the present logistics and supply chain management in UNICEF so that an improved system can be proposed which will be able to measure, monitor and track the packages in more effective way.

Objectives

  • To identify the impact of service quality on the UNICEF programs in Malawi
  • To examine the current logistics and supply management system in UNICEF
  • To identify the drawbacks in the supply chain management process
  • To recommend improvements on the current supply chain and management system

H10:  Service quality has no impact on the programs in UNICEF

H11: Service quality has impact on the programs in UNICEF

H20: Supply Chain and logistics does not have impact on Service quality at UNICEF

H21: Supply Chain and logistics does have impact on Service quality at UNICEF

  • What is the impact of service quality on the UNICEF programs in Malawi?
  • What is the current logistics and supply management system in UNICEF?
  • What are the drawbacks in the supply chain and logistics management process?

As stated by Wisner, Tan and Leong (2014), service quality is has a great impact on the success of the programs developed by any organization.  Supply chain and logistic is a crucial part of the organization, which will have a greater significance in the organizational context.  According to Siham et al. (2015), effective supply chain management is essential for providing high of service in an industry. The advancement of technology has changed the use of logistics and supply chain.  In case of business organizations, increasing their operation efficiency increases their profit margin. Therefore, continuous monitoring of the supply chain procedures facilitates in measuring and tracking of the products shipped. The credibility of the organization depends on the timely delivery of the products and the quality of the product received. It may happen during the transportation phase, the products have been damaged; this could lead to bad reputation and decrement service quality. However, in case of large-scale nonprofit organizations the importance of improving their logistics is high as human lives are at stake in this scenario. Therefore, one late delivery or improper delivery of supplies could lead to the death of thousand civilians suffering from natural and man- made calamities.

Importance of Supply Chain and Logistics at UNICEF

As stated by Oelze (2016), it easier for business organization to improve their supply chain management, as they do not have to deal with uncertainties and emergencies at frequent intervals.  The nonprofit organizations may work on projects on long duration of time but they will never be able to predict that there will be a natural disaster in a particular country at a given point of time. Therefore, developing the best possible supply chain is necessary so that they will be able to reach these grief stricken areas as soon as possible.  The delay in reaching these areas will increase the number of casualty and improving the supply chain processes and tool is absolute necessary.


However, other support activities will be necessary for improving the overall operations of ay organization. These activities are finance, administration, HR, ICT and Quality Assurance. As stated by Heizer (2016), effective administration and human resource management is essential for gaining competitive advantage. This will include the job analysis, employee relationship and administrative services. The database of the employees and other activities are managed by the human resource operations.  Information communication and technology provides the manager with effective about all the operational activities. This enables the managers to take effective decisions and be aware of the different activities processes. According to Konieczka and Namiesnik (2016), quality assurance is crucial for maintaining the quality of the products offered by the organization. Quality assurance is a preventive measure, which is used for avoiding product and service defects during delivery of products. This requires development of effective quality system, which will monitor the quality of the products and services offered. Therefore, quality assurance will focus on the process output so that quality of the product can be measured and controlled. As opined by Mahadevan (2015), strong finance ensures that organization has access to all its resources. In order to maintain this large infrastructure for supporting the operations support from the finance department. This include developing budget for the activities both primary and support activities within the organization.

Methodology is the systematic way of collecting raw data and converting it into meaningful data.  There are two types of research, one is fundamental and other is applied research (Best and Kahn 2016). This study is applied research where it deals with a specific problem related to a particular organization. The management of UNICEF to make improvements in the supply chain and logistics can use the findings of this study.

Support Activities for Overall Operations of UNICEF

Research philosophy identifies the different methods used in conducting the study. The four philosophies in research are interpretivism, positivism, pragmatism and realism (Flick 2015). In this present study, pragmatism is the philosophy selected for the research. Pragmatism accepts all the frameworks and postulates if they are supported by relevant evidence. According to pragmatism, there are multiple realities and there are different ways of interpreting a particular issue. Pragmatism will assist in conducting mixed method analysis.

There are three types of research approaches and they are inductive, abductive and deductive. The approach used in this study is deductive approach as this is a conclusive study where the purpose and conclusion of the study has already been decided.  The deductive approach will facilitate in testing the hypotheses formulated which means the existing theories developed in the literature review will be validated using this approach.

As this is a mixed method analysis, sequential explanatory is the research design, which means that initially quantitative analysis of data will be conducted, and then qualitative analysis will be conducted for supporting the results in quantitative analysis (Creswell and Poth 2017).


The data collecting method consist of both primary and secondary analysis of data where primary data will be used for conducting the quantitative and qualitative analysis. Secondary data will be collected from journals, articles and web articles to develop the literature review (Sekaran and Bougie 2016). In primary data analysis, both close ended and open-ended questionnaires will be used for collecting the data.

Data analysis will consist of quantitative and qualitative analysis of collected data. The quantitative analysis will consist of analysis of data using statistical tools such as Ms excel where the frequency of respondents will be represented through graphs and charts. Regression analysis will be conducted for identifying the degree and nature of relationship between both the variables (Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault 2015).  The quantitative questions will be asked to the lower level employees in UNICEF. The qualitative analysis will analyze the patterns within the answers to provide a different dimension to the study. The qualitative analysis will consist of questions asked to the mid level managers dealing with activities within UNICEF.

Sampling is the method of selecting population sample for the total population. The two sampling methods are probabilistic sampling and non-probabilistic sampling (Bryman and Bell 2015). In this study, probabilistic sampling method will be used in quantitative analysis where randomization is the basis for selecting sample size.  A survey will be conducted for 300 employees and then 100 samples will be selected using simple random sampling for representing the overall population. In qualitative analysis, non-probabilistic sampling will be used as the sample size is small. The mid level managers of the organizations will be asked open ended question where the numbers of respondents are 5.

Research Design and Methodology


Reliability is the method of identifying the accuracy and precision of the methods used in the research. In this study, pilot test will be conducted where sample questions will be sent out to respondents for their feedback. On the other, the test rated reliability will be used identifying the accuracy of the methods (Einstein 2014). On the other hand, validity will be tested using construct validity where the different methods and instrument used will be examined.

Research ethics aims to protect the rights of the participants in the study. In this study, maintaining the anonymity of the respondent will be a top priority so that their privacy can be maintained. The respondents will be made aware of the purpose and objectivity of the research so that they aware of the premises. Moreover, it will be made sure that none of the respondents have been forced to take part in the survey.

Main activities/ stages

Week1

Week2

Week3

Week4

Week5

Week 6

Topic Selection

ü   

Data collection from secondary sources

ü   

ü   

Framing layout of the research

ü   

Literature review

ü   

ü   

ü   

Formation of the research Plan

ü   

ü   

Selection of the Appropriate Research Techniques

ü   

ü   

Primary data collection

ü   

ü   

Analysis & Interpretation of Data Collection

ü   

ü   

Conclusion of the Study

ü   

Formation of Rough Draft

ü   

Submission of Final Work

ü   

Conclusion

Therefore, it will be inferred that effective supply chain management is essential for improving the quality of service in these programs. The above methods proposed if executed appropriately are expected to provide results having high degree of validity and reliability.

References

Best, J.W. and Kahn, J.V., 2016. Research in education. Pearson Education India.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Creswell, J.W. and Poth, C.N., 2017. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications.

Einstein, A., 2014. Reliability and Validity. Rethinking Value-Added Models in Education: Critical Perspectives on Tests and Assessment-Based Accountability, p.131.

Flick, U., 2015. Introducing research methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project. Sage.

Heizer, J., 2016. Operations Management, 11/e. Pearson Education India.

Konieczka, P. and Namiesnik, J., 2016. Quality assurance and quality control in the analytical chemical laboratory: a practical approach. CRC Press.

Mahadevan, B., 2015. Operations management: Theory and practice. Pearson Education India.

Oelze, N., Hoejmose, S.U., Habisch, A. and Millington, A., 2016. Sustainable development in supply chain management: The role of organizational learning for policy implementation. Business Strategy and the Environment, 25(4), pp.241-260.

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R., 2016. Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Siham, L., Jean-Claude, B., Laurent, G., Yves, D. and Zied, J., 2015, May. Designing supply chain performance measurement and management systems: A systemic perspective. In Advanced Logistics and Transport (ICALT), 2015 4th International Conference on (pp. 211-216). IEEE.

Taylor, S.J., Bogdan, R. and DeVault, M., 2015. Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

Unicef.org 2018. What we do. [online] Unicef.org. Available at: https://www.unicef.org/what-we-do [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].

Unicef.org. 2016. UNICEF – Humanitarian Action for Children - Malawi. [online] Available at: https://www.unicef.org/appeals/malawi.html [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].

Wisner, J.D., Tan, K.C. and Leong, G.K., 2014. Principles of supply chain management: A balanced approach. Cengage Learning.

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