Operational research and sustainable development: Tackling the social dimension

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By Leroy White, Gregory John Lee


Sustainable development is increasingly being seen as a major challenge in global terms. Operational Research (OR) has yet to be fully utilised in this area. To date, where it has been mostly used, it tends to deal with the relationships between environmental management and product supply chain and rarely focuses on the social dimension. This article seeks to discuss the potential of OR in the wider arena of sustainable development. It first explores the issue of widening OR responses to an inter-generational ethic. A case study is then described using a more holistic approach to explore sustainable development in the context of a city. The paper finishes with a discussion of the implications of this approach in relation to sustainable development more generally.

Link to material: http://ifors.org/developing_countries/downloads/sept2_2011/White_2009_European-Journal-of-Operational-Research.pdf