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Multi-criteria decision-making methods: application in humanitarian operations

Aniruddh Nain (Indian Institute of Management Rohtak, Rohtak, India)
Deepika Jain (Indian Institute of Management Rohtak, Rohtak, India)
Ashish Trivedi (Jindal Global Business School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 13 June 2023




This paper aims to examine and compare extant literature on the application of multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) techniques in humanitarian operations (HOs) and humanitarian supply chains (HSCs). It identifies the status of existing research in the field and suggests a roadmap for academicians to undertake further research in HOs and HSCs using MCDM techniques.


The paper systematically reviews the research on MCDM applications in HO and HSC domains from 2011 to 2022, as the field gained traction post-2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami phenomena. In the first step, an exhaustive search for journal articles is conducted using 48 keyword searches. To ensure quality, only those articles published in journals featuring in the first quartile of the Scimago Journal Ranking were selected. A total of 103 peer-reviewed articles were selected for the review and then segregated into different categories for analysis.


The paper highlights insufficient high-quality research in HOs that utilizes MCDM methods. It proposes a roadmap for scholars to enhance the research outcomes by advocating adopting mixed methods. The analysis of various studies revealed a notable absence of contextual reference. A contextual mind map specific to HOs has been developed to assist future research endeavors. This resource can guide researchers in determining the appropriate contextual framework for their studies.

Practical implications

This paper will help practitioners understand the research carried out in the field. The aspiring researchers will identify the gap in the extant research and work on future research directions.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first literature review on applying MCDM in HOs and HSCs. It summarises the current status and proposes future research directions.



Nain, A., Jain, D. and Trivedi, A. (2023), "Multi-criteria decision-making methods: application in humanitarian operations", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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