Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Timothy W. Breitbach, PhD.


Throughout the 21st century, the Department of Defense has carried the burden in combatting extremist ideologies around the globe, spending an estimated $4.79 trillion fighting wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan. A recognition of the unsustainable nature of fighting such long-term, costly wars has led U.S. national security policy to shift in recent years towards combatting extremism through economic development and building capacity in less stable communities around the globe. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the government agency responsible for achieving this objective, yet USAID acknowledges that many of the supply chains the agency finances are suboptimal and ineffective. This research explores the impact that capital allocation, operational decisions, and geopolitical/economic events have on supply chain performance in the developing world to better inform businesses and developmental organizations of the practices that support sustainable economic development. Through a case study analysis of a Kenyan distribution firm using historical financial and sales data, the study revealed that working capital investment in the distribution echelon of developmental supply chains drives efficient capital flow that is driven by retail market demand. Additionally, human capital investment to develop supply chain expertise presents opportunities for foreign investment to address the deficient and suboptimal supply chain practices seen in many small and medium-sized enterprises. The research concludes by developing a model for measuring scalability based on revenue and cost structures, providing a methodology for supply chain firms to identify break-even points under varying growth projections.

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