Thematic Section - Resilient and innovative operations management

Toward the development of a Preparedness and Response Protocol for epidemics and pandemics

Fabíola Negreiros de Oliveira; Daniel Eckhardt; Adriana Leiras; Paulo Gonçalves; Irineu de Brito Junior; Hugo Tsugunobu Yoshida Yoshizaki; Frederico Ferreira Pedroso

Downloads: 0
Views: 272


Paper aims: The paper aims to analyze preparedness and response for epidemics and pandemics, taking as reference the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide a foundation for developing a preparedness and response protocol to guide Civil Defenses fighting against health threats. For this purpose, we present the results of interviews carried out with Brazilian Civil Defenses, evaluating the role and the type of responsibility (in charge or supportive) of 12 entities in four key areas: (i) awareness and training; (ii) surveillance; (iii) information and communication; (iv) logistics and supplies.

Originality: The role of Civil Defenses in health threats still needs to be explored in academia. We often see Civil Defenses working to reduce risks and damages suffered by the population in case of disasters such as floods, landslides, and fires. In this paper, we go deeper into Civil Defense’s role and show that its efforts can be headed to face biological disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In this sense, the paper is original as it brings an innovative outlook on the role of Civil Defense, providing inputs for developing a preparedness and response protocol for epidemics and pandemics.

Research method: We analyze 12 Brazilian Civil Defenses from different States in Brazil. The results were gathered through 9 interviews via video call and three responses from a questionnaire that guided the interviews. We evaluated data from Civil Defenses individually, and then using content analysis, we categorized the data to structure the results and raise essential insights.

Main findings: Most of the actions taken by the Civil Defenses during the pandemic response included logistics-related activities such as storage, transportation, distribution of required supplies, and mobilization of supply operations.

Implications for theory and practice: The findings emphasize the capacity of Civil Defenses to act in a vast scope of disasters, including biological disasters. Also, this study helps practitioners to develop guidelines and protocols to support Civil Defense in preparedness and response activities to epidemics and pandemics.


COVID-19, Civil Defense, Pandemics, Preparedness, Response


Alexander, D. (2003). Towards the development of standards in emergency management training and education. Disaster Prevention and Management, 12(2), 113-123.

Aliyu, A. (2015). Management of disasters and complex emergencies in Africa: the challenges and constraints. Annals of African Medicine, 14(3), 123-131. PMid:26021392.

Allain-Dupré, D., Chatry, I., Michalun, V., & Moisio, A. (2020). The territorial impact of COVID-19: managing the crisis across levels of government. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Altay, N., & Green III, W. G. (2006). OR/MS research in disaster operations management. European Journal of Operational Research, 175(1), 475-493.

Attaran, M. (2020). 3D printing role in filling the crit-ical gap in the medical supply chain during COVID-19 pandemic. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 10(5), 988-1001.

Banco Mundial. (2021). Protocolo de Preparação e Resposta para surtos, epidemias e pandemias. Retrieved in 2023, May 10, from

Brito Junior, I., Cunha, M. H. C., Tozi, L. A., Franzese, L. A., Frazão, M. L. S., & Bressane, A. (2021). Managing funerary systems in the pandemic: lessons learned and an application of a scenario simulation in São Paulo City, Brazil. Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 11(3), 481-492.

Chamola, V., Hassija, V., Gupta, V., & Guizani, M. (2020). A comprehensive review of the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of IoT, drones, AI, blockchain, and 5G in managing its impact. IEEE Access: Practical Innovations, Open Solutions, 8, 90225-90265.

Christopher, M., & Peck, H. (2004). Building the resilient supply chain. International Journal of Logistics Management, 15(2), 1-14.

Cunha, L. R. A., Antunes, B. B., Rodrigues, V. P., Ceryno, P. S., & Leiras, A. (2022). Measuring the impact of donations at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Annals of Operations Research. In press.

Dubey, R., & Gunasekaran, A. (2016). The sustainable humanitarian supply chain design: agility, adaptability and alignment. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 19(1), 62-82.

Etinay, N., Egbu, C., & Murray, V. (2018). Building urban resilience for disaster risk management and disaster risk reduction. Procedia Engineering, 212, 575-582.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2019). National response framework (4th ed.). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Response Agency.

Fontainha, T. C., Leiras, A., Bandeira, R. A. M., & Scavarda, L. F. (2017). Public-private-people relationship stakeholder model for disaster and humanitarian operations. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 22, 371-386.

Giannakis, M., & Papadopoulos, T. (2016). Supply chain sustainability: a risk management approach. International Journal of Production Economics, 171, 455-470.

Gonzalez-Feliu, J., Chong, M., Vargas-Florez, J., Brito Junior, I., Osorio-Ramirez, C., Piatyszek, E., & Altamirano, R. Q. (2020). The maturity of humanitarian logistics against recurrent crises. Social Sciences, 9(6), 90.

Guyana. Department of Public Information. (2020). UNHCR pre-manufactured housing units to boost COVID-19 quarantine and isolation capacity across the administrative regions in full operations. Retrieved in 2011, December 1, from

Holguín-Veras, J., Jaller, M., Van Wassenhove, L. N., Pérez, N., & Wachtendorf, T. (2012). On the unique features of post-disaster humanitarian logistics. Journal of Operations Management, 30(7-8), 494-506.

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística - IBGE. (2010). Censo 2010: Estimativas da população. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE. Retrieved in 2011, December 1, from

Jahre, M., & Jahre, M. (2019). Logistics preparedness and response: a case of strategic change. In S. Villa, G. Urrea, J. A. Castañeda & E. R. Larsen (Eds.), Decision-making in humanitarian operations: strategy, behavior and dynamics (pp. 3-29). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jones, K. E., Patel, N. G., Levy, M. A., Storeygard, A., Balk, D., Gittleman, J. L., & Daszak, P. (2008). Global trends in emerging infectious diseases. Nature, 451(7181), 990-993. PMid:18288193.

Kovács, G., & Sigala, I. F. (2021). Lessons learned from humanitarian logistics to manage supply chain disruptions. The Journal of Supply Chain Management, 57(1), 41-49.

Lamenza, A. A. D. S., Fontainha, T. C., & Leiras, A. (2019). Purchasing strategies for relief items in humanitarian operations. Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 9(2), 151-171.

Last, J. M. (1989). Diccionario de epidemiología. Barcelona: Salvat.

Leiras, A., Brito Junior, I., Peres, E. Q., Bertazzo, T. R., & Yoshizaki, H. T. Y. (2014). Literature review of humanitarian logistics research: trends and challenges. Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 4(1), 95-130.

Lima, Y. O. R., & Costa, E. A. (2015). Regulamento sanitário internacional: emergências em saúde pública, medidas restritivas de liberdade e liberdades individuais. Vigilância Sanitária em Debate: Sociedade, Ciência & Tecnologia, 3(1), 10-18.

Llanes, I. R., Oliveira, F. N., & Leiras, A. (2019). Análise das operações humanitárias durante a resposta à epidemia de ebola na África. In Associação Brasileira de Engenharia de Produção (Org.), XXXIX Encontro Nacional de Engenharia de Produção (pp. 1-13). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Associação Brasileira de Engenharia de Produção.

Marbouh, D., Abbasi, T., Maasmi, F., Omar, I. A., Debe, M. S., Salah, K., Jayaraman, R., & Ellahham, S. (2020). Blockchain for COVID-19:Review, opportunities and a trusted tracking sys-tem. Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, 45(12), 9895-9911. PMid:33072472.

Morens, D. M., Folkers, G. K., & Fauci, A. S. (2009). What is a pandemic? The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 200(7), 1018-1021. PMid:19712039.

Oliveira, F. N., Leiras, A., & Ceryno, P. (2019). Environmental risk management in supply chains: a taxonomy, a framework and future research avenues. Journal of Cleaner Production, 232, 1257-1271.

Pascapurnama, D. N., Murakami, A., Chagan-Yasutan, H., Hattori, T., Sasaki, H., & Egawa, S. (2018). Integrated health education in disaster risk reduction: lesson learned from disease outbreak following natural disasters in Indonesia. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 29, 94-102.

Peng, C., Yuan, M., Gu, C., Peng, Z., & Ming, T. (2017). A review of the theory and practice of regional resilience. Sustainable Cities and Society, 29, 86-96.

Peter, L. L., Schroeder, L., Oliveira, F. N. D., & Leiras, A. (2023). Logistics of Covid-19 vaccines: main challenges in theory and practice. Production, 33, e20220036.

Resende, H. F. P., Cardoso, P. A., Fontainha, T. C., & Leiras, A. (2022). Maturity model for evaluating disaster and humanitarian operations. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. In press.

Rodrigues, K. F., Carpes, M. M., & Raffagnato, C. G. (2020). Disaster preparedness and response in Brazil in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Revista de Administração Pública, 54(4), 614-634.

Saunes, I. S., Vrangbæk, K., Byrkjeflot, H., Jervelund, S. S., Birk, H. O., Tynkkynen, L. K., Keskimäki, I., Sigurgeirsdóttir, S., Janlöv, N., Ramsberg, J., Hernández-Quevedo, C., Merkur, S., Sagan, A., & Karanikolos, M. (2022). Nordic responses to Covid-19: governance and policy measures in the early phases of the pandemic. Health Policy, 126(5), 418-426. PMid:34629202.

Singh, S., Kumar, R., Panchal, R., & Tiwari, M. K. (2021). Impact of COVID-19 on logistics systems and disruptions in food supply chain. International Journal of Production Research, 59(7), 1993-2008.

Southall, H. G., DeYoung, S. E., & Harris, C. A. (2017). Lack of cultural competency in international aid responses: the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Frontiers in Public Health, 5, 5. PMid:28197401.

Tarin, D. (2020). O desastre provocado pela COVID-19: a crise na gestão pública e o papel da Defesa Civil na prevenção e resposta. In N. Valencio & C. M. Oliveira (Eds.), COVID-19: crises entremeadas no contexto de pandemia (antecedentes, cenários e recomendações) (pp. 57-71). São Carlos: UFSCar/CPOI.

Taupiac, C. (2001). Humanitarian and development procurement: a vast and growing market. International Trade Forum, 4, 7-10.

Thomé, A. M. T., Scavarda, L. F., & Scavarda, A. J. (2016). Conducting systematic literature review in operations management. Production Planning and Control, 27(5), 408-420.

Tierney, K. (2012). Disaster governance: social, political, and economic dimensions. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 37(1), 341-363.

UN Environment Programme - UNEP. International Livestock Research Institute. (2020). Preventing the next pandemic: zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme/International Livestock Research Institute.

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund - UNICEF. (2021). COVID-19 response: mobilizing supply operations to fight the pandemic. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved in 2021, September 2, from <

Van Wassenhove, L. N. (2006). Humanitarian aid logistics: supply chain management in high gear. The Journal of the Operational Research Society, 57(5), 475-489.

Wisner, B., Adams, J., & Adams, J. (2002). Environmental health in emergencies and disasters: a practical guide. Geneva: World Health Organization.

World Economic Forum. (2021). The global risks report (15th ed). Cologny: World Economic Forum.

World Health Organization. (2006). Working together for health: the World Health Report 2006. Geneva: World Health Organization.

World Health Organization. (2020a). Zoonoses. Geneva: World Health Organization.

World Health Organization. (2020b). A world in disorder: Global Preparedness Monitoring Board annual report 2020. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Yin, R. K. (2018). Case study research and applications: design and methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Zhang, H., & Shaw, R. (2020). Identifying research trends and gaps in the context of COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(10), 3370. PMid:32408679.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

649ac733a95395694e51aea2 production Articles
Links & Downloads


Share this page
Page Sections