Department of Community Medicine
Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences , Bilaspur (C.G.).
4. Objectives of Operational Research.
5. Scope of Operational Research.
6. Methods of Operational Research.
7. Operational Research process.
8. Operational Research in Public Health.
9. Societies and Journals of Operational Research.
Operational Research has been existed as a
science since 1930‘s.
But as a formal discipline
Operational Research originated
by the efforts of military planner
during WorldWar II .
The analytical study of military
problems was undertaken to
provide scientific basis for
decisions to improve military
In the decade after WorldWar-II the
techniques began to be applied more
widely in problems of
business, industries and societies.
Since the time Operational Research
has expanded into a field widely used
in industries ranging from petro-
chemical to airlines, finances, logistics
Now it has become an area of active
academic and industrial research.
The techniques of Operational Research have
been applied and proven in many industries
under different names.
For instance :-
- ‘Lean’ in manufacturing.
- ‘Supply Chain’ in logistics and
- ‘Yield Management’ in airlines.
Origin of Operational Research
in Medicine and Public Heath
Operational Research has been
studied in Health Care settings
In England , Norman Bailey published
“Operational Research in Medicine” in the
June issue in Operational Research Quarterly.
(Bailey June 1952).
In the same year “Journal of the Operations
Research Society” was launched in America.
Many Operational Research papers on health care
subjects have been published in Operational
Research and Health CareJournals.
American Journal of Public Health.(1952)
Operational Research in Medicine.
(1952 by Norman Bailey , England).
Journals of Operational Research Society.
British Medical Journal.
Heath Care Management Science.
Despite the proliferation of papers in
the academic literature there are still
major issues around getting
Operational Research models widely
accepted as part of mainstream
decision making by health
managers, policy makers and
“Operational Research is the scientific
study of operations for the purpose of
making better decisions.”
Definition by WHO (2003)
“The use of systematic research techniques
for program decision making to achieve a
A working meeting in Geneva on -
“Framework for Operation and Implementation Research in Health and
Diseases Control Program”
All participant were agreed on -
“Any research producing practically
usable knowledge ( evidence , finding ,
information) which can improve program
implementation (effectiveness , efficiency ,
quality , access , scale-up, sustainability)
regardless the type of research (design,
method, approach) falls within the
boundaries of Operational Research.”
Decision making and improve its quality.
Identify optimum solution.
Integrating the systems.
Improve the objectivity of analysis.
Minimize the cost and maximize the profit.
Improve the productivity.
Success in competition and market
The intent of Operational Research is
to learn about management and
administration of socio-cultural behavior and
economic factors that exist as bottleneck to
effective implementation and
to develop more effective approaches to the
Scope of Operational Research
1. National plans and budget.
2. Health care services and National Health Programs.
3. Government development and public sector unit.
4. Industrial establishment and private sector unit.
5. National defense services.
6. Research and development in engineering.
7. Public works department.
8. Business management.
9. Agriculture and irrigation projects.
10. Education and training.
11. Transport and communication.
Despite the number of technical labels like-
- multi-criteria decision analysis,
- linear and non linear programming,
- discrete-event simulation,
- queuing and stochastic process modeling,
- conjoint analysis or
- neural networking.
Most projects of Operational Research apply
one of three broad groups of methods :-
It gives ability to conduct sensitive
study to -
(a). search for improvements and
(b). test the improvement ideas
that are being made.
Here goal is to enable the decision
makers to identify and locate the
very best choice, where innumerable
feasible choices are available and
comparing them is difficult.
The goal is to aid the decision-maker in
detecting actual patterns and inter-
connections in the data set and
Use of this analysis for making solutions.
This method is very useful in Public Health.
1. Identification of program problem.
2. Identification of possible reasons and
3. Testing of potential solution.
4. Results utilization.
5. Results dissemination.
1.Identification of the program problem
Most critical step in the process.
Unless problem is clearly defined it is
impossible to develop good solutions.
2.Identification of possible
reasons and solutions
Once the problem has been identified , it is
the job of the program implementer and
researcher to determine the reasons for the
problem and generate possible solutions.
3.Testing of potential solution
A good solution must be measurable, easy to
implement and sustainable.
To determine effectiveness of proposed
solution two designs are used-
(a) quasi-experimental design.
- comparison of situations before and after the
(b) true experiment.
- comparison of outcome between experimental and
It is necessary to decide how its results are
meant to be used.
This determine to some extent that what
information should be collected.
Results dissemination are done in the
form of seminars or by meeting with
“The mission of public health
is to assure the conditions in
which people can be healthy.”
This mission is accomplished
by the application of
Public Health Science in
operations of Public Health
Operational Research ( management
principles and techniques) can be applied in
both of these areas of the Public Health.
1. Public Health Science.
2. Public Heath Services.
Composition of O. R. team in Public
1. A Public Health Administrator.
2. An epidemiologist.
3. A mathematician.
4. A statistical scientist and
5. A social scientist.
Process of O.R. in Public Health
1. Formulation of the problem,
2. Collection of data,
3. Analysis and hypothesis formulation,
4. Deriving solutions from the models,
5. Choosing the optimal solution and
6. Test the results and
7. Recommending implementation.
Uses in Public Health
1. Identify and solve the problems of program
in timely manner.
2. Helps policy maker and program manager to
make evidence based program decisions.
3. Improve program quality and performance
by using scientifically valid methods.
Public Health Operations
1. Disease screening and surveillance.(e.g. HIV,
2. Outbreak investigations.( e.g. SARS)
4. Quarantine and isolation.(e.g.T.B.)
5. Behavioral modification program.(e.g. STDs)
6. Inspection and standard enforcement at public
establishment.( e.g. restaurants )
7. Environmental monitoring.(e.g. bacterial level
at public swimming areas)
8. Vector control.(e.g. mosquito, ticks etc.)
SOCIETIES AND JOURNALS
International Federation of Operational Research Society
IFORS is an umbrella organization for
Operational Research societies world-wide .
It represents 50 national societies including
those in US, UK , France , Germany, Canada
, Australia , New Zealand, Philippines , India
, Japan and South-Africa.
Operational Research Society of India
founded in 1957.
the society is affiliated to the IFORS.
Head quarter of ORSI is located in Kolkata
at 39, Mahanirvan Road , Kolkata 700029.
The society publishes a quarterly journal
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
INFORMS started an initiative to market the
Operations Research profession better.
website : ”The Science of Better”.
This initiative has been adopted by Operational
Research Society in UK.
website : “Learn about OR” .
INFORMS publishes twelve Scholarly journals
about Operational Research.
1. Decision Analysis.
2. Information System Research.
3. INFORMS journal on computing.
4. Interfaces: An International Journal of the Institute for
Operations Research and the Management Sciences.
5. Management Science: A Journal of the Institute for
Center for Operations Research and Training
CORT established in 1991 is one of the
leading research and training organization in
Its headquarter is inVarodara ,Gujarat.
Broadly it covers area of health , demography
and social and development issues.
CORT is responsible for running State
Training and Resource Center (STRC) in the
state of Gujarat.
CORT is actively involved in building research
capacity of NGOs by organizing training
Operational Research needs to be integrated
as an essential part of monitoring and
evaluation efforts in Public Heath.
Thus concept of M’OR’E could become a new
paradigm for enhancing the practice of
integrated monitoring and evaluation
dimensions as one common component into
program management system.