Integrated Decision Support System for Infrastructure Privatization under Uncertainty using Conflict Resolution
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Infrastructure privatization decisions have an enormous financial and social impact on all stakeholders, including the public sector, the private sector, and the general public. Appropriate privatization decisions, however, are difficult to make due to the conflicting nature of the objectives of the various stakeholders. This research introduces a multi-criteria decision-making framework for evaluating and comparing a wide range of privatization schemes for infrastructure facilities. The framework is designed to resolve conflicts that arise because of the varying points of view of the stakeholders, and accordingly, determine the most appropriate decision that satisfies all stakeholders’ preferences. The developed framework is expected to help in re-engineering the traditional conflict resolution process, particularly for construction conflict resolution and infrastructure privatization decisions. The framework provides decision support at the management level through three successive decision support processes related to 1. Screening of feasible solutions using the Elimination Method of multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA); 2. Analyzing the actions and counteractions of decision makers using conflict resolution and decision stability concepts to determine the most stable resolution; and 3. Considering the uncertainty in decision maker’s preferences using Info-gap Theory to evaluate the robustness of varying uncertainty levels of the decisions. Based on the research, a procedure and a decision support system (DSS) have been developed and tested on real-life case studies of a wastewater treatment plant and a construction conflict. The results of the two case studies show that the proposed DSS can be used to support decisions effectively with respect to both construction conflicts and infrastructure privatization. The developed system is simple to apply and can therefore save time and avoid the costs associated with unsatisfactory decisions. This research is expected to contribute significantly to the understanding and selecting of proper Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) programs for infrastructure assets.