Operations research and development

  • PduT Fourie Division of Applied Mathematics, Stellenbosch University


The paper begins with a discussion of the concepts "operations research" and "development." An overview is next given of the RDP (Reconstruction and Development Programme), which still embodies the vision of development in South Africa associated with the political transition in 1994. The efforts of ORSSA (the Operations Research Society of South Africa) to help with the implementation of the RDP are described. The international OR (Operations Research) community has been involved in various ways with the promotion of development, especially through IFORS (the International Federation of Operational Research Societies), and these are reviewed. Sustainable development, which deals specifically with a long-term view of development, is mentioned briefly. Lastly some suggestions are made as to how ORSSA and its members could help to promote development in South Africa. In the Appendix a summary is given of a paper by Gerhard Geldenhuys in which he analyzes the needs identified by the RDP as well as relevant OR methods.


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