A Goal Programming Example in Public Health Resource Allocation
A model developed to aid a state-level resource allocation process in the United States Department of Agriculture Special Supplement Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is presented. The model is formulated as a linear integer goal program, utilizing service levels for six categories of WIC participants as goals. The model employs a methodical, consistent approach to the allocation process, yet allows ample flexibility for consideration of state-specific issues. By allowing the user to adjust the relative importance of each goal, the model can incorporate subjective attitudes of state-level WIC administrators. This is extremely important as these attitudes are the result of the administrators' familiarity with the WIC program in their states, and the significance of input of this nature should not be neglected. An application of the model to the Indiana WIC program is presented. Sensitivity of the model to changes in the objective function weights and in the target values for the goals is explored. Although orginally developed to allocate budget increases, the model may be used in allocating budget cuts as well; this form of the model is also presented. The model can be extended hierarchically to incorporate resource allocation at the federal level. This modeling approach should be useful in all public sector programs characterized by multiple objective and hierarchical decisionmaking.
Volume (Year): 30 (1984)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
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