Community Operational Research (COR) is based on meaningful engagement with communities to bring about transformational research and practice along with community empowerment and social change. We work directly with communities to identify, formulate, model and solve problems in which decisions and choices are the core focus. Our training and practice cross disciplinary, application and methodological boundaries: we are planners, engineers, management scholars, policy analysts and many others. The purpose of this website is to introduce you to a special issue of European Journal of Operational Research titled "Community Operational Research: Innovations, Internationalization and Agenda-Setting Applications" which has appeared in August 2018. The 31 papers in this special issue address issues in rural development, theory and methodology, working with youth, urban planning and many other areas. They represent applications of decision modeling that are more familiar to persons with traditional training in operations research and the management sciences, as well as those that reflect progressive notions of how qualitative analysis and a systems view can support positive community change.
Sometimes the perspective of authors in this special issue is on what decisions to make to achieve particular outcomes: How can we design design an energy generation strategy for a small town that balances environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and local energy autonomy? What are new ways to ensure access to nutritious and affordable food in lower-income, primarily immigrant communities that combines behavior changes by residents with new services by stores and government agencies? How can we develop a peace education program in an area rife with political and other violence in which young people learn of alternatives to violence to solve conflicts?
Other times the authors in this special issue seek to examine events that have already occurred to learn how a community-engaged decision modeling perspective can explain what we have observed: If co-production of health care through community engagement and shared responsibility for health care fail in one place after succeeding in another place, could a better understanding of doctors' professional identities combined with putting key stakeholders at the center of system redesign result in improved outcomes in the future? In the wake of a destructive tsunami and subsequent rebuilding, how can an arts-based methodology help us understand how a community in crisis draws on social networks, cultural practices and collective interventions to build from within?
The goal of this website is to provide convenient information on the articles and the authors so that visitors can make connections between diverse topics, methodologies, analytic methods and application domains and become an active participant in the COR community of practice. We do so by enabling visitors to learn about the subjects, topic themes, keywords, authors and key resources related to community operational research as it is currently theorized and practiced. The website has the following sections:
We hope that this special issue inspires new practitioners to take up the banner of Community OR and make their own contributions, right across the world. If you personally are inspired, do not hesitate to get involved with the community concerns that matter to you most. Importantly, please write up your experiences for publication, and not just for scholarly outlets such as this one. Let us make sure the dialogue on Community OR continues to thrive!
The Editorial Team