Mathematical programming for humanitarian operations
Marie-Ève Rancourt wins an award
May 25, 2017
Professor Marie-Ève Rancourt, with the Department of Logistics and Operations Management, took second place in the scientific papers competition of the College of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management of the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), on May 4 in Seattle. She won for her paper on using mathematical models to develop a community health network in underserved parts of Liberia, Africa.
The paper was written with the help of Professors Marilene Cherkesly, of the Université du Québec à Montréal, and Karen Smilowitz, of Northwestern University. This comes as excellent recognition for the HEC Montréal researcher and her team, as they were up against scientists from all over the world in the field of crisis management and humanitarian operations.
The paper was based on a research project with the Liberian NGO Last Mile Health. The applied research was used to develop tools to help Last Mile Health design and plan its network for training and supervising community health workers, a crucial issue for ensuring access to care for people in remote regions of this tiny West African country. Different mathematical models were analyzed to solve the problem, and then the most promising model was used to come up with solutions. For instance, the study made it possible to determine optimal transportation routes for trainers to reach health workers in different communities.