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Title: Decision support system (DSS) model to facilitate strategic planning of the housing industry in the developing world
Author: Dawood, Imad
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 5935
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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Houghton (2010) believes that housing is a profoundly important issue like food and water and without housing humans' life becomes unsustainable. Housing is a basic need for communities and part of everyday life. Too often, progressive politicians have launched house-building programmes in the name of delivering social justice. Affordable housing problems are increasing rapidly with almost 2 billion people, or 32% of the world's urban population, living in slums, the majority of which are in the developing world (UN-Habitat 2003 and UN-IRIN 2008). The main reasons that have forced people to live under extreme conditions in slums are the lack of governments' commitment, resources and ineffective strategic planning techniques/tools (Tibaijuka, 2009; Hull, 1998; Yao, 2010). Setting strategies and policies for the housing industry can be a very delicate, confusing and unpredictable process for decision makers and government officials. Scholars, researchers and prominent international figures such as Tibaijuka (2009), Porter (1998), Davis (2000) etc. argue that the housing industry in developing countries is suffering from insufficient and ineffective strategic planning. Moreover, Tibaijuka (2009) states that given what is now know of the housing, building and planning sectors, collectively known as the real estate sector, it is evident that it has failed to meet its goals in macroeconomic planning and policy formulation, particularly in developing countries. In addition, the present unsatisfactory state of housing in developing countries is the result of wilful neglect by government economic planners and political decision-makers and the lack of clear understanding, strategies and policies of the nature and functioning of the sector itself (ibid). In other words, the insufficient and ineffective strategic planning of the housing industry, among other reasons has forced billions of people worldwide to live in slums and shanty towns. This research focuses on addressing the housing problems in developing countries from the strategic planning point of view and the techniques/tools available that can be used and implemented to drive forward and improve the performance of the housing industry. Effective techniques/tools (Interpretive Structural Model "ISM" and Decision Support System "DSS" Model) are realised through this research and will be used, adopted and implemented based on the major housing industry factors that have been identified. A total of 94 factors and sub-factors were identified through profound investigation of literature. The number of housing industry factors was reduced to 14 major factors using Entity Relations Model (ERM) based on logical and contextual relations established through literature in order to reduce the work load and therefore to remain within the time and cost limits and constrains of this research. The 14 major factors (tangible and non-tangible) of the housing industry were then prioritised using the ISM in order to indicate to decision makers what is the most important factor(s) to start with the process of improving the performance of the housing industry and makes it meets its targets. The tangible/measurable factors were then used to develop the DSS Model/engines based on MS Excel/Spreadsheet to provide estimates on the housing finances and costs of the housing industry to assist decision makers setting realistic and sound strategies and policies. Finally, the DSS Model was tested/validated by running scenarios and simulations using data from the case study of the Iraq housing industry provided by the Iraqi Institute for Economic Reform (HER) in order to confirm the DSS Model integrity and correctness. The HER is an official body directly linked to the Office of Prime Minister. The evaluation process however was conducted by seeking Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)/stakeholders' opinions to evaluate the DSS Model quality, functionality, integrity, acceptance, effectiveness, reliability, usability, etc. via observations and interviews. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)/stakeholders were recruited from developing countries (Malaysia and Sri Lanka), developed countries (UK), financers (World-Bank) and Non-Governmental Organisations "NGOs" (UN) which involved a total of six Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)/stakeholders. The result of the evaluation process was overall very positive with the DSS Model being widely accepted by all stakeholders as a novel approach and tool which is perceived can make a great impact on the housing industry strategic planning in both developing and also developed countries. Finally, according to the evaluation process of this research, all Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)/stakeholders confirmed the ORIGINALITY and GENERALIZABILITY of the DSS Model.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available