Innovative approaches in humanitarian operations

Walter J. Gutjahr, Nilay Noyan, Nico Vandaele, Luk N. Van Wassenhove
2020 OR spectrum  
Natural or man-made disasters, humanitarian crises, epidemics and other emergency situations confront governmental institutions and humanitarian organizations with enormous challenges. Fast decisions under uncertainty have to be made, often under scarce resources, while well-being and lives of humans are at stake. The current Covid-19 pandemic makes it clear to everybody in the world that the "normal" functioning of our societies can always be threatened by disruptive events. Forceful and
more » ... igent joint efforts are required to avert the most serious consequences of disasters of different types. Humanitarian operations can be supported by traditional techniques of engineering, information technology and logistics management, but these approaches frequently turn out to be insufficient in disaster environments. The field of Operations Research can contribute to overcome some of the limitations of current humanitarian aid. The present Special Issue contains eight articles that investigate the application of novel approaches, be it on the side of modeling, computational solution procedures, technologies or analytics, to the area of disaster management and humanitarian operations. Briskorn et al. (2020) study a multi-period problem of scheduling the debris removal tasks for blocked roads and planning the relief distribution operations in case of a disaster while taking into consideration the strict deadlines for fulfilling
doi:10.1007/s00291-020-00598-6 pmid:32836595 pmcid:PMC7382970 fatcat:3mheu7vhlnc7nbvufba2y36wdm