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Mauro Falasca, Christopher W. Zobel, & Gary M. Fetter. (2009). An optimization model for humanitarian relief volunteer management. In S. J. J. Landgren (Ed.), ISCRAM 2009 – 6th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management: Boundary Spanning Initiatives and New Perspectives. Gothenburg: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: One of the challenges of humanitarian organizations is that there exist limited decision technologies that fit their needs. It has also been pointed out that those organizations experience coordination difficulties with volunteers willing to help. The purpose of this paper is to help address those challenges through the development of a decision model to assist in the management of volunteers. While employee workforce management models have been the topic of extensive research over the past decades, no work has focused on the problem of managing humanitarian relief volunteers. In this paper, we discuss a series of principles from the field of volunteer management and develop a multi criteria optimization model to assist in the assignment of volunteers to tasks. We present an illustrative example and analyze a solution methodology where the decision maker exercises his/her preferences by trading-off conflicting objectives. Conclusions, limitations, and directions for future research are also discussed.