The fifth International Conference on Operational Research for Development (ICORD-V) was organised at Jamshedpur, India from 19th to 21st December, 2005, with Arabinda Tripathy as overall chair. The conference was preceded by a two-day workshop on Problem Structuring Methods for Development run by Jonathan Rosenhead (London School of Economics) and Colin Thunhurst (University College Cork).
The conference was attended by 61 delegates (although about 90 registrations were originally received). Apart from India, other delegates came from Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Egypt, France, Iran, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa and U.K. There were 46 delegates from India, 3 from U.K., 2 each from Brazil and Nepal, and one from the remaining countries. Nearly 15 foreign delegates, who had registered by paying the registration fee, could not make it to the conference due to various reasons such as non-availability of confirmed travel reservation, late receipt of visa, non-availability of funds for travel, health, etc. These delegates were from Bangladesh, Columbia, Cameroon, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Romania.
Apart from IFORS, major sponsors of the ICORD meeting were TATA STEEL Limited and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. TATA STEEL acted as host to the conference at the steel city of Jamshedpur, providing excellent conference and accommodation facilities, as well as transportation and other support. Further financial support was also received from EURO, the OR Society (U.K.) the Planning Commission of India, the All India Council for Technical Education, and the National Informatics Centre of Government of India.
With this financial support, the registration fee of the conference was kept very low to facilitate participation of delegates from developing countries. In addition, complete hospitality was provided to all the delegates. In spite of low registration fee, over 50% of the foreign delegates were provided full or partial waiver of the registration fee. Nearly, 20% of the Indian delegates were provided partial waiver of registration fee
Two sessions were scheduled to discuss the issues arising from the Ahmedabad Declaration. The document was made available to all the delegates and the progress so far was discussed. There was general satisfaction on achievements over last 13 years. It was also felt that a similar document should be prepared to guide future direction on OR for Development. Accordingly, a committee headed by Colin Thunhurst, assisted by Jonathan Rosenhead, Theo Stewart and Arabinda Tripathy was entrusted to come up with a document on a Jamshedpur Agenda on OR for Development based on the discussion at these two sessions. The Document is expected shortly in its final form.
The IFORS conference manual suggests that ICORD meetings should take place approximately every 3 years. There were more than 4 years between ICORD IV and ICORD V, and it was decided that we should aim for ICORD VI in 2007. There was a strong feeling that the next ICORD should take place in Latin America, and proposals have in fact been received from both Brazil and Mexico.