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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Analytics in Disaster Management (CMSE11399)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits15 ECTS Credits7.5
SummaryNatural disasters are a real threat not only to human life but also to global economy and business. They can be even worse in poorer and more vulnerable communities. Their negative impacts might be mitigated by performing effective logistics decisions in disaster's preparation and response phases. For this purpose, it is crucial to understand the complexity of disaster events and the main managerial challenges involved in relief operations towards to propose and implement useful disaster management policies. This course thus aims to present the core of the disaster management and the main decision problems involved in the logistics activities of disaster relief settings. The students will learn how analytical thinking may be used to reduce overall vulnerability in disaster situations via data analysis and specific mathematical programming models/algorithms that address, among others, allocation of resources, prioritisation, last mile distribution, and evacuation in a complex environment. The course will also encourage the students to apply their business analytics thinking in disaster relief planning, thus helping them to be future leaders engaged with a sustainable disaster agenda.
Course description This course is about how to take effective decisions in disaster settings using state-of-art analytics, such as mathematical programming models, algorithms, and scenario analysis. The course starts presenting what disasters are, their types, categorisation,
and the overview of how they are spread all over the world, as well as their consequences to humans life and global economy. After that, the student will face the main logistics/supply chain activities involved in disaster operations management and how the use of proper analytics tools might improve those activities. A wide range of topics relevant to effective disaster management will be covered in three themed blocks: preliminaries on disasters and their global context, humanitarian logistics in disaster relief planning, and long-term humanitarian supply chain and vulnerability reduction.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Available to Business School students only
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Define the main concepts involved in disaster management and its main managerial challenges.
  2. Understand and apply critically mathematical programming techniques to model and solve typical logistics decision problems in disaster management.
  3. Identify, collect and analyse critical databases on past disasters and demonstrate an ability to use them with parsimony in disaster relief planning.
  4. Report results/solutions in light of the possible courses of action for a given disaster relief problem or situation, formulate managerial guidelines and make useful recommendations.
  5. Communicate such solutions effectively and efficiently to a critical audience of non-specialists.
Reading List
1. Apte, A., 2009, Humanitarian logistics: a new field of research and action, Foundations and Trends in Technology, Information and Operations Management Vol. 3, pp. 1-100.
2. Carter, W. Nick, 2008, Disaster management: a disaster manager's handbook, Mandaluyong City, Phil.: Asian Development Bank.
3. Quarantelli, E. L, 1998, What Is a Disaster? Perspectives on the Question. London: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will help to develop the following skills in consonance with the Business School Skills Matrix: (i) Verbal communication and presentation and written communication through students' presentations, discussions and essays; (ii) Ethics and social responsibility. When students face the socioeconomic consequences of disasters, they will naturally realise that it is necessary to approach disaster relief planning problems in a socially fair and responsible manner towards to mitigate people's suffering as much as possible. (iii) Analytical thinking and (iv) Numeracy and big data are the main core skills provided by the course since students must apply mathematical programming tools to formulate and solve the disaster management problems. For this purpose, they will need to code/implement the theoretical models computationally. Moreover, nowadays there are several databases on past disasters analyses containing diverse types of data with different characteristics. The student will need to understand and manipulate data to use as input into the optimisation models. (v) Effective team working will be crucial to address complex case studies that must be solved by the students' groups. (vi) Knowledge integration and application will be assessed when students use the previous background in business analytics and perhaps their personal experience to approach the problems.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiser Course secretaryMr Peter Newcombe
Tel: (0131 6)51 3013
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