Natalie Privett

Natalie Privett
Assistant Professor of Management and Policy

NYU | Wagner Faculty 295 Lafayette Street New York NY 10012 USA

Natalie Privett is an Assistant Professor of Management and Policy at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. Her research and focus as an educator, is  operations and supply chain management in the context of international public service. Operations Management, as Privett’s discipline is called, is an interdisciplinary field encompassing engineering, business, applied mathematics, economics, and statistics. It focuses on improved decision making and efficient processes for complex problems and systems.

As an educator, Privett’s goal is to both equip and inspire students to use analytical and quantitative tools for transformation and change.  She believes that quantitative and decision-based courses provide critical tools for the managers, policymakers and researchers of tomorrow.

Privett’s research lies at the intersection of operations management, nonprofit studies, and global public health and focuses on applying the theories and tools of operations management in philanthropy and civil society.  While NGOs and other global civil society actors, are intervening in developing geographies for operational outcomes including lower market prices and increased availability of goods, the question remains, Who, how, where, when and what operational intervention should be executed achieve these goals. Privett’s multidisciplinary research aims to explore the notion of strategic operational interventions to improve health delivery and markets in developing countries.

Prior to joining Wagner, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the MIT-Zaragoza Logistics Program in Zaragoza, Spain.  She received her PhD and Masters degrees from Stanford University’s department of Management Science & Engineering, specialized in operations management.  Prior to graduate school, Privett earned her undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University and subsequently worked as an industrial engineer.

Semester Course
Spring 2015 PADM-GP.2173.001 Operations Management for Public, Nonprofit and Health Contexts

Operations management specifically involves the analysis, design, operation, and improvement of the systems and processes that deliver goods or services and ultimately outputs and outcomes. It is required to achieve the organization’s mission, provide value to the organization’s many stakeholders, and effectively translate policy into action. As such, operations management plays an important part of being an effective manager and policy implementer. In this course, we will develop a lens to perceive processes and systems in a variety of contexts along with an analytical toolbox to examine and understand these. Students will learn how to build basic operations models in Excel to make effective, evidence-based managerial, design, and policy decisions as well as gain defined analytical skills that lend themselves to roles in operations, management, hospital management, policy implementation, human services, consulting, and much more.


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Fall 2014 PADM-GP.2174.001 The Intersection of Operations and Policy

Policy and operations are inextricably linked. This course aims to expose students to policy formation in a highly political environment, operations management of systems shaped by state and local policy, and their intersection, while building a toolbox of specific skills that support analysis and decision making in a wide variety of contexts. A unifying Multimedia Interactive Case Study (MICS) focused on the NYC family homeless shelter system will be the backdrop of this course. This course is an intensive engagement that incorporates perspectives from academic theory, City, State and Federal government, service providers, advocacy organizations, and public interest law.

 


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Fall 2013 PADM-GP.2170.001 Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations

All public and not-for-profit organizations must assemble and report information on their performance. The need for performance measures goes beyond legal and regulatory requirements. To provide services effectively and efficiently, managers need information to make decisions. This course focuses on what performance measures are needed, how they should be created and what forms of communication are most effective.


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Fall 2013 PADM-GP.2170.002 Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations

All public and not-for-profit organizations must assemble and report information on their performance. The need for performance measures goes beyond legal and regulatory requirements. To provide services effectively and efficiently, managers need information to make decisions. This course focuses on what performance measures are needed, how they should be created and what forms of communication are most effective.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2013 PADM-GP.2173.001 Operations Management for Public, Nonprofit and Health Contexts

Operations management specifically involves the analysis, design, operation, and improvement of the systems and processes that deliver goods or services and ultimately outputs and outcomes. It is required to achieve the organization’s mission, provide value to the organization’s many stakeholders, and effectively translate policy into action. As such, operations management plays an important part of being an effective manager and policy implementer. In this course, we will develop a lens to perceive processes and systems in a variety of contexts along with an analytical toolbox to examine and understand these. Students will learn how to build basic operations models in Excel to make effective, evidence-based managerial, design, and policy decisions as well as gain defined analytical skills that lend themselves to roles in operations, management, hospital management, policy implementation, human services, consulting, and much more.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2013 PADM-GP.2173.001 Operations Management for Public, Nonprofit and Health Contexts

Operations management specifically involves the analysis, design, operation, and improvement of the systems and processes that deliver goods or services and ultimately outputs and outcomes. It is required to achieve the organization’s mission, provide value to the organization’s many stakeholders, and effectively translate policy into action. As such, operations management plays an important part of being an effective manager and policy implementer. In this course, we will develop a lens to perceive processes and systems in a variety of contexts along with an analytical toolbox to examine and understand these. Students will learn how to build basic operations models in Excel to make effective, evidence-based managerial, design, and policy decisions as well as gain defined analytical skills that lend themselves to roles in operations, management, hospital management, policy implementation, human services, consulting, and much more.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2012 PADM-GP.2170.002 Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations

All public and not-for-profit organizations must assemble and report information on their performance. The need for performance measures goes beyond legal and regulatory requirements. To provide services effectively and efficiently, managers need information to make decisions. This course focuses on what performance measures are needed, how they should be created and what forms of communication are most effective.


Download Syllabus
Date Publication/Paper
2015

Privett, N. 2015. Information Visibility in Humanitarian Operations: Current State-of-the-Art In N. Atlay, M. Haselkorn, and C. Zobel (Eds.), Advances in Managing Humanitarian Operations. New York: Springer.
Abstract

Purpose – Humanitarian operations can be greatly improved through increased supply chain visibility, that is, availability of information throughout the supply chain. This is broadly true for all types of humanitarian operations, whether disaster relief, global health efforts, or capacity building, or community development., and it is especially true for operations in developing or compromised country contexts.  This chapter establishes basic supply chain visibility needs in humanitarian contexts and explores current state-of-the-art technologies and applications employed to gain and improve visibility in humanitarian operations.  Conclusions are drawn regarding gaps in current visibility mechanisms as well as promising areas for further research and development.

                                                                       

Approach – Information regarding visibility needs, technologies, and projects was collected through 22 semi-structured interviews and a review of current literature from a variety of sources.  The state-of-the-art of visibility technology and applications are described by reviewing technologies, applications, and pilot projects in the humanitarian sector.  Conclusions are drawn comparing these technologies and addressing their weaknesses as well as remaining gaps in currently available solutions.

 

Findings – There is consensus among humanitarian researchers and practitioners that increased visibility has the potential to greatly improve humanitarian operations.  Firstly, though, any visibility mechanism must first be robust to potential humanitarian contextual challenges, including weak infrastructure (e.g., roads, electricity, internet and mobile networks), remoteness of operations, lack of human resources, and environmental conditions.  Identified visibility needs for humanitarian operations include tracking of location, tracking of inventory levels, temperature monitoring, tracing product information, information sharing, and decision making support.

This chapter demonstrates that current state-of-the-art technologies and applications aimed at increasing visibility in humanitarian operations are varied in approach and complexity; while  each tackle different needs, no one solution satisfies all. Reviewed technologies and applications are organized into the following categories: nontechnology-based applications, mature technologies, mobile phone applications and technologies, satellite-based technologies, temperature sensor and monitor technologies, and software technologies.  Indeed, each mechanism investigated (state-of-the-art technologies and applications) does improve visibility to some degree, but more complete visibility must be achieved through disconnected, patchwork solutions.  Thus, multifaceted and disjoined efforts must be employed to achieve even low levels of visibility today.

Over all of these technologies and applications, a set of key weaknesses has been identified.  While great advances and success has been achieved, unfeasible infrastructure dependency continues to be a weakness of existing technologies and applications. Such dependency includes reliance on electricity, computers, internet connectivity, cellular networks, and existing systems (e.g., RFID reader network). It is observed in this research, that as a solution moves away from being infrastructure dependent, it becomes more dependent on human resources.  As such, many of these solutions are labor intensive, dependent on reporting, and require extensive training.  However, human resources constraints and dependency themselves are serious issues facing humanitarian operations.  Furthermore, data collection is clearly limited and existing methods continue to be plagued by inaccuracy, deficient error checking provisions, and lack of back-up. Some data is still not real-time and delayed notification does not enable prevention. Affordability is another key weakness in the form of the devices, systems, and/or usage. 

Most importantly, for information visibility to be beneficial, (1) the information must be actionable and (2) the gained information and operational reaction systems must be synchronized for action, i.e., operations must be prepared and capable to respond to the information.  Thus, the greatest limitations are the lack of systems, procedures, and training that enable meaningful and appropriate reaction to the information provided. 

Contribution – This research assembles and evaluates current needs and efforts in humanitarian operations and supply chain visibility. Overall, this chapter informs current research and practice of ideal, necessary and realistically obtainable information in today’s humanitarian operations.  The benefits of this work extend broadly to operations and supply chain researchers and practitioners, including those engaged in humanitarian relief, global health supply chains, capacity building, and ongoing development campaigns.  Furthermore, the identification of gaps in current state-of-the-art technologies and applications directs future efforts of developers and users.

Privett, N. 2015. Supplying Health to the World The Medicine Maker, 0315, Article #302.
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Abstract

New and improved drugs are released every year to tackle global health needs – and many pharma companies have initiatives to supply those drugs to the developing world. Unfortunately, efforts are wasted without proper supply chain management. Here, we prioritize the top ten challenges.

2014

Privett, N. and D. Gonsalves 2014. The Top Ten Global Health Supply Chain Issues: Perspectives from the Field Operations Research for Health Care. 3(4) 226-230.
Abstract

In the battle for global health, supply chains are often found wanting. Yet most of what is known about in-country pharmaceutical supply chains resides in the experiences of individual stakeholders, with limited amounts of this knowledge captured in technical reports and papers. This short communication taps into the collective experience and wisdom of global health supply chain professionals through interviews and surveys to identify and prioritize the top 10 global health pharmaceutical supply chain challenges: (1) lack of coordination, (2) inventory management, (3) absent demand information, (4) human resource dependency, (5) order management, (6) shortage avoidance, (7) expiration, (8) warehouse management, (9) temperature control, and (10) shipment visibility. As such, this work contributes to the foundational knowledge of global health pharmaceutical supply chains. These challenges must be addressed by researchers, policy makers, and practitioners alike if global pharmaceutical supply chains are to be developed and improved in emerging regions of the world.

Privett, N. 2014. Improving Visibility in Humanitarian Supply Chains The Humanitarian Space: Articles (The Humanitarian Practice Network).
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Abstract

Humanitarian supply chains must function in the most challenging environments and, consequently, supply chain visibility – information and data, for instance regarding products in transit and availability and stock levels at storage and distribution points – can often be poor. Increasing supply chain visibility has the potential to greatly improve humanitarian operations by providing data to inform more effective and accurate decisions, enabling evidence-based interventions and management, exposing issues for effective remedy and increasing accountability. This article identifies a core set of visibility needs for humanitarian supply chains, discusses technology and pilot projects aimed at providing increased visibility and compares and analyses current approaches.

2011

N. Privett and F. Erhun 2011. Efficient Funding: Auditing in the Nonprofit Sector Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. 13(4) 471-488.
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Abstract

Nonprofit organizations are a critical part of society as well as a growing sector of the economy. For funders there is an increasing and pressing need to ensure that society reaps the most social benefit for their money while also developing the nonprofit sector as a whole. By routinely scrutinizing nonprofit reports in an effort to deduce whether a nonprofit organization is efficient, funders may believe that they are, in fact, giving responsibly. However, we find that these nonprofit reports are unreliable, supporting a myriad of empirical research and revealing that report-based funding methods do not facilitate efficient allocation of funds. In response, we develop audit contracts that put funders in a position to enact change. Auditing, perhaps obviously, supports funders; however, we find that it also benefits the population of nonprofits. Moreover, auditing results in improved efficiency for the nonprofit sector overall. Indeed, our conclusions indicate that nonprofits may want to work with funders to increase the use of auditing, consequently increasing efficiency for the sector overall and impacting society as a whole.

Privett, Natalie 2011. Operations Management in Community-Based Nonprofit Organizations In M. Johnson (Ed.), Community-Based Operations Research Volume 167, 2012, pp. 67-95 . Springer New York
Abstract

Addressing the needs of underrepresented, underserved, and vulnerable populations at a local level is the central goal of many charitable nonprofit organizations, and is thus naturally intertwined with community-based operations research. Through promoting and creating positive change, such nonprofits play an integral role in their communities and affect individual lives. However, the research literature addressing nonprofit operations is limited. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce to the operations research/operations management audience the modeling and policy issues of nonpro t organizations, using the fundamental metaphor of the supply chain. As the supply-side (inputs), production, and demand-side (consumers, beneficiaries, etc.) are uncoupled, we review relevant operations research and nonprofit studies (social science) literature and identify potential future research in each area. The primary contribution is cross-disciplinary understanding to support innovative theory-building, modeling and solution development for nonprofit organizations and community-based operations research.

2008

Dalal, P., T.Q. Hu, M.J. Tao, S.K.P. Sum, S. Lee, N. Privett, J.T.C. Shun and S.X. Wei, 2008. RFID Solutions for the High­‐Tech Industry Stanford University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and SAP Research
Abstract