Possibilities for Application of Operational Research to Problems of Development
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The article summarizes the findings of the Symposium on the Possibilities of Operations Research in Developing Countries, held in Paris, France, June 26-28, 1963. Operational research may be characterized by, first, treating complicated problems with a large number of variables; second, using various modern mathematical and logistic methods; and third, being directed toward a goal of action. Its success has been proved already especially solving a number of problems in manufacturing industries, transportation and energy, fields for which usually precise and abundant data are available which make it worthwhile applying sophisticated methods. Some of the problems may be characterized by first, great complexity, requiring the cooperation between very different types of experts; second, for their solution they require the cooperation of governments as well as citizens of developing countries which gives particular importance to the necessity of communication between planners and the groups mentioned; third, for the solution of development planning problems only a restricted number of qualified experts is available; and fourth, the situation in the countries concerned is characterized by lack of capital.