Separating the Haves from the Have-nots

Jim Freeman, Hao Chen Pang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Trends away from social service support have left many communities increasingly reliant on local charities for practical and financial assistance. As a consequence, organisations such as the Buxton & District Lions Club (BDLC), have seen a marked hike in requests for help even though, in the case of BDLC, its funding capability has hardly changed in recent years. Compounding the problem for the Club, neighbourhood demands are, by their very nature, so diverse that deciding on which to respond to and which not, has always proven exceedingly difficult - not to mention extremely time-consuming. As part of an investigation into how BDLC's screening process could be made faster and more 'scientifically-based' - as well as transparent - the Club recently tested out the AHP methodology on a sample of past applications. Though we were well aware that the technique - even allowing for its theoretical shortcomings (Barzilai & Golany, 1994), (Belton & Gear, 1984) - was not without its critics, some very plausible results were generated. In fact, predictions from the analysis were found to significantly agree with the funding decisions actually taken. Building on this promising start, the Club is now involved in further research which it is hoped will provide it with a fully operational procedure for dealing with future applications. The article provides a progress report, including a summary of key results, on the project work to date. But beforehand, brief details on the BDLC operation are given by way of a descriptive backdrop.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-20
JournalOR Insight
Volume13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000

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