We are familiar with humanitarian aid work primarily through appeals for donations and through political action in the media. But there is much more to it than funding (inputs) or the political framework. Less well known is the fact that logistics can take up to 80% of the budget in a humanitarian response. Today, to get the most impact out of limited resources, science is increasingly engaged in making relief work more efficient and effective. With examples from ongoing research projects, we show how industry-derived methods can make an important contribution in the non-profit context, getting life-saving supplies such as medicines or food to their destination faster. By reducing operational costs, humanitarian organizations can use their donations to reach more people in need.

This event was part of Berlin Science Week 2021 and organised by ETH Zürich.