Descision Support System for Refugee Camps

The ITT – Institute for Technology in the Tropics at the University for Applied Sciences, Cologne has developed a decision support system for planning a refugee camp. The factors of water supply, wastewater and waste disposal, energy supply and regional planning are addressed, which includes the logistics, infrastructure, arrangement and shelter construction of the camp.

Abu Dahia refugee camp

The first part of the project consisted of extensive research, in order to give an overview about all common technological options for each sector. Each option and its advantages and weaknesses is explained, and in which situation, which option should be chosen is discussed. Calculation models have been developed which explain how to calculate the quantities of supply needed for the refugees affected, and how much the supplies will cost.

The calculation model for the choice of technology works by evaluating the performance of different technologies in different sectors by comparable numbers. For example, different technologies for water supply can be compared in the sectors of lifetime, construction costs, energy consumption, etc. The evaluation numbers range from “0” for “not recommended” to “5” for “very good”.

The sectors of comparison are ranked in importance from “0” for “not important” to “5” for “very important”. The numbers for performance evaluation and importance of the sector are multiplied with one another, so each technology option gets a row of numbers reflecting the performance in each sector in reference to the importance of that sector. The numbers of each technology option are added, so that each technology has one final number. The highest of the numbers advises which technology option to choose, reflecting high performance in important sectors.

Finally, this decision support system is applied in a case study of a refugee camp in Chad.

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