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AIMMS-based decision support tool addresses Europe’s refugee crisis

AIMMS, Nyenrode University and PwC announced the creation of a decision-support application for municipalities and other government offices that are responding to the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. The application leverages PwC’s Business Simulator, a modeling solution built with AIMMS software, to analyze the impact of municipality decision scenarios on actual socio-economic policies. With this tool, government officials can access meaningful insights based on scientific sources, available data and expert opinions in order to make decisions that are no longer based on gut feelings. They can now test, evaluate the impact and tune their decisions to better address the refugee crisis in Europe.

Europe is facing a large inflow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Authorities at the municipal, national and regional level are struggling to deal with this inflow. There is a strong need to understand the impact of government decisions on immigration and socio-economic policies. With the Simulator, government institutions can evaluate different scenarios using financial and non-financial indicators. So far, the tool has been used to assess decisions regarding refugees with asylum seeker permits but it has many other uses. It also is being leveraged by a chemical company that aims to reduce its carbon footprint and has been used to tackle questions about malaria control, waste management and healthcare.

The model behind the simulator was created by Jacques de Swart (partner at PwC and professor at Nyenrode Business University), Annemieke Roobeek (professor at the same university) and Myrthe van der Plas (PwC specialist in the field of data analysis). It takes into account the so-called triple bottom line, going beyond profit to incorporate people and planet.

Several Dutch municipalities participated in interactive sessions to validate the model and test their policy decisions regarding refugees. The final version of the model was presented during a round table session in March. The project, which has been in a pilot phase since December 2015, is being conducted by PwC Advisory and the company’s Corporate Responsibility office. The team is currently approaching the international PwC network to extend the application of the modeling tool.

PwC is a longtime AIMMS partner. Both companies are committed to using innovative technologies to solve pressing global issues. Said AIMMS Chief Revenue Officer Patrick van Gent: “We are thrilled to work with PwC on this initiative. Our mission at AIMMS is to bring the benefits of prescriptive analytics and optimization to society, and it’s great to see a powerful application solving serious challenges our community is facing today.”

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