Resource allocation when planning for simultaneous disasters

Xuan Vinh Doan, Duncan Shaw

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This paper uses stochastic optimisation techniques to allocate scarce national resource across eight cities to best respond to three simultaneous disasters happening across these locations. Our first model analyses the risk of not being able to achieve performance targets given resource constraints while our second model analyses the resources needed to meet target performance levels. A third hybrid model (constructed from the first two models) analyses the implications of different financial budgets. Additional sensitivity analysis is performed by looking into different settings of location importance, number of simultaneous disasters, and resource requirements. We reflect on the use of such modelling techniques for these problems and discuss the influence of political aspects of resource allocation which such models cannot address. We also reflect on the need for advanced modelling to recognise the abilities of the users and the availability of realistic assumptions if they are to influence the practices of disaster managers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-709
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Early online date13 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019


  • OR in disaster relief
  • Resource allocation
  • Simultaneous disasters
  • Stochastic optimisation

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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