Master of Advanced Studies
in Humanitarian Logistics and Management



Our research is tailored to real and current issues that are raised through our network of students and alumni, most of whom are active humanitarian professionals in developing countries. Our doctoral students are actively engaged in research from the start and are involved in teaching, where they ensure that effective tools are applied by humanitarian professionals. We teach our students how to use these models and other operations and management tools to solve problems effectively and have an immediate and positive impact.

At the Humanitarian Operations Research Centre, our vibrant team of scholars and researchers work collaboratively to connect data to decisions in the context of the humanitarian sector. We create mathematical models to help individuals and organizations make smart decisions—and to improve society as a whole.

Mission Statement
Our mission is to develop applied research that can improve the projects in humanitarian organizations in several different areas of management. 

  • Behavior in Humanitarian Logistics
  • Simulation Models of Logistics Strategies
  • Optimization of Logistics Distribution
  • Improved Supply Chain Design
  • Supply Chain Mapping and Performance

Our specialty is System Dynamics, a computer-aided approach to policy analysis and design. It applies to dynamic problems arising in complex social, managerial, economic, or ecological systems — literally any dynamic systems characterized by interdependence, mutual interaction, information feedback, and circular causality.

Research Team

Paulo Gonçalves
MASHLM Director

In addition to designing and implementing the MASHLM and MASHOM programs, Paulo is an Associate Professor of Management at USI and a research affiliate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He obtained his PhD in Management Science and System Dynamics from MIT Sloan School of Management and his MSc degree in Technology and Policy from MIT. His research combines experiments, simulation, optimization, econometrics, and non-linear dynamics to understand how managers make strategic, tactical and operational decisions in humanitarian settings. Currently, he has been developing supply chain experiments to understand and improve managerial decisions in humanitarian operations. 


MAS Humanitarian Operations Research

Raquel Buzogany

Raquel Buzogany is a Ph.D. student at the Humanitarian Operations Research Center in the Faculty of Economics at USI. She is an industrial engineer with a bachelor’s degree from Universidade de Brasília (Brazil) and a master’s degree in logistics from Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil). Her research interest unfolds around humanitarian operations, including logistical and behavioral aspects, and system dynamics. She is the principal researcher in a project funded by the SNF that will systematically study competition and cooperation problems in the humanitarian sector using a Common Pool Resources approach.


MAS Humanitarian Operations Research

Alireza Akhavan

Alireza Akhavan is a PhD student in management at the Humanitarian Operations Research Center in the faculty of economics at the USI. His research focuses on using mathematical models, simulations, and optimizations to better understand organizational as well as social dynamics. He is now working on a water scarcity problem in Iran and its impact on other sectors such as agriculture and industry as social entities. The topic is mostly referred to as common pool resources or the tragedy of the commons. Alireza’s primary focus is on organizational learning as a tool for sustainable growth. 


Humanitarian Operations Management Consultant

Carol Switzer
Management Consultant

Carol bridges the educational and research components of the Humanitarian Ops Team, refining and developing educational programs, and defining a comprehensive strategy across programs, initiatives, and research. She guides program participants in the thesis process and manages research and publications for the team. Her background includes systems planning, sales and marketing, market research, and project management across a wide range of business sectors including academia, entertainment, healthcare, and social development. She holds an MBA from UCLA University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor's at the University of San Diego in Mathematics.