A Web-based spatio-temporal decision support tool for humanitarian support distribution
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There are a number of NGOs providing humanitarian support to people suffering with HIV/AIDS in Gulu District. However, frequently, the NGOs end up with uneven distribution of support/aid resources (duplication of services in some areas) due to lack of appropriate decision support system to help in coordination of support/aid provision. At individual level, HIV/AIDS infected/affected persons register in several organizations that provide support. They end up getting support from various sources. Much as this is to their advantage however, conversely this is a waste of resources to the NGOs and donor agencies. Most of the support provided by the different NGOs are similar or sometimes the same. It is very difficult for donors to know that a given activity is being covered by an NGO in a particular geographical location, there is no easy way for donors to verify that the activity they are funding is being accomplish by another NGO in a given geographic location. The aim of the study was to develop spatio-temporal decision support tool for effective improvement of distribution of humanitarian support/aid resources reaching target groups of people at the right time where ever they may be dispersed in a given region (e.g Gulu and neighbouring districts). The methodology followed were; literature review, properties of displaced and dispersed communities, properties of the stakeholders involved in aid/support distribution, web-based spatio-temporal decision support tool for dispersed communities (Unified Modelling Language -UML was used to define important attributes of the software which was implemented using ArcIMS), and validation of prototyping decision support tool methods. The study found out that HIV/AIDS patients were widely distributed in many parishes in Gulu District and humanitarian support was not reaching all the parishes. It has been noted that spatiotemporal activities of the NGOs are without real analysis of what sister NGOs have to offer and therefore resulting to duplication of support/aid provision in many parishes. It also showed that it was possible to have a web based system that can help in supporting decision making for NGOs and formulation of policies regarding aid provision in a spatio-temporal sense. It was recomended that spatio-temporal expansion of service areas should be done on consultation of sister NGOs, NGO Forum and District Local Government so that duplication of services are avoided and that parishes should be assigned to specific NGO(s) for a specific service they offer. It was also recomended that donor agencies allocate HIV/AIDS funds according to intensity of infection of a parish.