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Emergent conditions and multiple criteria analysis in infrastructure prioritization for developing countries

Authors

  • Christopher W. Karvetski,

    1. Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
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  • James H. Lambert,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
    • Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems; Department of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400747; 112C Olsson Hall, 151 Engineers Way, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
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  • Igor Linkov

    1. US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, 696 Virginia Rd, Concord, MA 01742, USA
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Abstract

With coordinated military and civil operations in developing countries, the integration of local stakeholder values with the goals of security and nation building is crucial. Such integration encourages innovative and effective courses of action and prioritization of resources. Although tools of multi-criteria decision analysis are well suited for resource prioritization, designing practical stakeholder value judgment elicitation in developing countries is a challenge because of cultural, organizational, and other barriers. Specifically, the weight of individual decision criteria can increase or decrease when diverse scenarios of emergent conditions are introduced or advocated by various stakeholders. This article develops methodology to identify the most important emergent conditions for infrastructure planning among a set of scenarios involving military and civil stakeholders. Across the infrastructure development alternatives, we identify scenarios that represent opportunities and those that represent threats. We adapt the framework of the swing weighting method for recalibration of a baseline value function with a variety of assumptions of scenarios, where each scenario is composed of one or more emergent conditions. The approach reduces the typical demand on stakeholders for elicitation of preference weights, as the entire value function is not entirely reconstructed per scenario. The approach and methodology were tested in a strategy workshop with more than 50 international participants and presented to ministry officials in a developing country. The testing integrated political, economic, environmental, and technology emergent conditions for prioritizing among infrastructure projects. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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