Research Article

A multi-criteria stochastic programming approach for pre-positioning disaster relief supplies in Brazil

Irineu de Brito Junior; Adriana Leiras; Hugo Tsugunobu Yoshida Yoshizaki

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Abstract: Paper aims: Considering that disaster preparedness is essential for a prompt and effective response, this paper presents a study to locate disaster relief supplies.

Originality: This paper marks the first time a multi-criteria stochastic methodology addresses humanitarian location problems.

Research method: We propose a multi methodology approach that employs an optimization model and a multi-criteria decision analysis. Based on logistics costs and penalties assigned for unmet demand, a stochastic model minimizes the total operational cost of opening distribution centers for pre-positioning disaster relief supplies. As decisions in humanitarian operations have multiple criteria and small differences in costs may not be significant by considering other criteria, we perform an analysis of the stochastic model solutions through Multi-criteria Decision Analysis.

Main findings: The findings show that the stochastics model leads to good results in uncertainty accommodation and that the consideration of qualitative and quantitative criteria improves decisions in humanitarian operations, especially when the supplies available are not enough to meet all the demand requirements.

Implications for theory and practice: The methodology was used by Civil Defense to locate warehouses for prepositioning relief supplies in Sao Paulo State, Brazil.


Humanitarian logistics, Facility location, Stochastic optimization, MCDA. Multimethodology


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