Reports of successful implementation of humanitarian optimization models in the field are scarce. Incorporating real conditions and the perspective of decision-makers in the analysis is crucial to enhance the practical value and managerial implications. Although it is known that implementation can be hindered by the lack of practitioner input in the structure of the model, its priorities, and the practicality of solution times, the way these aspects have been introduced in humanitarian optimization models has not been investigated. This study looks at the way research has involved practitioners in different aspects of the design of optimization models to promote implementation. It investigates the aspects affecting the implementation of the models and opportunities to guide future optimization contributions. The article introduces a systematic literature review of 105 articles to answer the research questions. The results are contrasted with a multi-criteria decision analysis using responses from Mexican practitioners. The study found that only 10% of the articles involved practitioners for modelling decisions, which was confirmed by a major gap between the objectives used in the literature and the priorities of Mexican practitioners. In terms of swift decision-making, fewer than 22% of the articles surveyed introduced new solution methods to deliver results in a sensible time. The study also identified very limited inclusion of environmental concerns in the objective functions even though these are a priority in the global agenda. These findings are discussed to propose research directions and suggest best practices for future contributions to promote the implementation of humanitarian logistics models.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2023 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/], which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funding: This work was supported by an Institutional Links grant, ID 527666998, under the Newton UK-Mexico partnership. The grant is funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and delivered by the British Council.
- Humanitarian logistics
- Crisis decision-making
- Multi-criteria decision-making