Public Sector OR

INTERFACES Special Issue on Humanitarian Applications: Doing Good With Good OR

Guest Editors: Ozlem Ergun, Pinar Keskinocak, Julie Swann
Georgia Institute of Technology
Submission deadline: May 15, 2009

Humanitarian applications include research that is primarily directed towards promoting human welfare. For example, humanity’s top 10 problems over the next 50 years have been outlined as the following: energy, water, food, environment, poverty, terrorism, disease, education, democracy, and population. Research directed towards problems in these areas (especially globally or in resource-poor environments) has a great potential for improving social welfare. Likewise, research focused on planning and responding to disasters can have an immediate impact on reducing loss of life, easing suffering, and advancing human dignity, all of which are goals of humanitarian applications.

This special issue focuses on humanitarian applications of Operations Research (OR) and Management Science (MS) models and methods in practice, or “Doing Good with Good OR.” Examples of research topics include planning and response to large-scale disease outbreaks, such as pandemic influenza, improved logistics for reaching earthquake victims, implementation of new energy-market structures to enable greater distribution, solutions for fair and sustainable water allocation, more accurate prediction of hurricane paths and devastation, prevention of terrorist attacks through algorithmic identification of perpetrators, and reduction of poverty through new market mechanisms. Appropriate papers include descriptions of practice and implementation of OR/MS in industry, government, non-governmental organizations, and education.

Successful submissions will document the improved social welfare from their research in this area, with implementation and measurable impact being weighted strongly. A verification letter from the relevant organization that attests to the actual use or impact of the model and the resulting benefits must be submitted with the paper. In some of the research areas above, impact is measured in terms of /prevention/, such as prevention of loss of life or prevention of disasters in some cases; thus, impact might need to be assessed in non-traditional ways. However, documentation of impact and implementation is still required, even for the social problems being considered.

To help prepare your paper, please review the /Interfaces /Instructions to
Authors; click on “Submission Guidelines” at
Papers must be submitted online using Manuscript Central at
All papers will be refereed.

Questions should be addressed to: to reach all
editors simultaneously, or

Ozlem Ergun

Pinar Keskinocak

Julie Swann

 Co-directors, Center for Humanitarian Logistics,

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