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Owen Wahome

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Robert Ng’ang’a

Kenya School of Government

Maurice Sakwa

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology


There is considerable evidence that the number of worldwide natural and man-made disasters is increasing, resulting in loss of life, property and acute shortage of supplies. The increasing complexity and magnitude of global emergency relief operations create a critical need for superior humanitarian supply chain management processes. The irregular demand patterns and unusual constraints inherent in large-scale emergencies present unique challenges to physical supply systems. Humanitarian operations are quite complex and therefore very difficult to understand and to manage. Historically, employee’s competence in humanitarian relief operations has been known to affect delivery of humanitarian aid and goods in a positive way to those who need them most. Highly competent employee are able to work in the most effective and efficient manner and therefore able to minimize the loss of life and maximize the efficiency of the rescue operations. The purpose of this study was to investigate role of training in managing flow of inventory in humanitarian relief supply chain in Kenya. Specifically, the study was out to establish the competency development strategies used in the KRCS, the relevance of training content to work and the general effects of training to employee work performance. The study adopted a descriptive research design. This design helped to ascertain and describe the characteristics of the variables of interest. The target populations for the study were employees of Kenya Red Cross Society, Tana River Branch. The branch had a total of 35 employees and was selected for the many scenarios both natural and man-made in the recent past that have called KRCS interventions. The study adopted a census and questionnaires were used to collect data from the respondents. The data collected was analyzed using Excel package and the results presented using tables and charts. The findings of the study revealed that KRCS has competency development strategies and plans in place which facilitated regular training programs. However, the relevance of training content to work was wanting. Following these findings the study recommends that Human Resource Development should ensure that content of training programs should be related to work since those that are unrelated to an employee’s field or are random in nature can make employees lose faith in the value of training, and they may not take future job‐related programs seriously. The study also established a relatively high labour turnover and therefore recommends intensification of training since appropriate training contributes positively to employee retention because it makes employees feel recognized for their strengths, and it creates possibilities to develop their qualities. At the same time provisions made for training and development activities lie at the heart of their ability to attract and retain the best employees for their organisation. Human Resource Management should also establish career progression paths so that employees can undertake appropriate training actions based on the career aspirations, age and related work needs.

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