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Partner Selection in Disaster Relief: Partnership Formation in the Presence of Incompatible Agencies


From terrorist attacks to tsunamis, natural and man-made disasters have had an increasingly pronounced impact on the world over the last century. While it is important to mitigate the effects of a disaster before it happens, it is also important to prepare an effective and flexible structure to help people, organizations, and governments develop to respond. Marked progress in the literature and in practice has helped humanitarian organizations become more interoperable, and also improved predictive capability for natural and man-made disasters. However, new problems and failures are brought to light with each new bombing, flood, hurricane, earthquake, or tsunami. This paper takes a previously understudied approach to post-disaster partnership selection using game theory. We analyze the dynamics of a sequential partnership selection game where there is a cost for working with an incompatible partner. Using a non-cooperative game structure, we identify some important dynamics that can be leveraged by agencies involved in disaster relief to help improve decision making and increase the impact of resource investments. For example, passing as much of the cost as possible to an incompatible partner, while also attempting to maintain the relationship, proved to be a poor approach to partnership. In this paper we look at how game theory could be used to help agencies make better decisions about whom to work with during the disaster response and recovery phases of a disaster.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Coles, John B., Jing Zhang, and Jun Zhuang. 2017. "Partner Selection in Disaster Relief: Partnership Formation in the Presence of Incompatible Agencies." International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (September). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212420917302807

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