Covid19 Network Technology based Responsive Action (CONTRA)

The project aims at developing a decision support system for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Pandemic responders lack a decision support system (DSS) that realizes the characteristics of the vaccine supply chain problem:
(a) the DSS must allow
balancing different stakeholder objectives related to effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and sustainability;
(b) the DSS should satisfy different objectives throughout a planning horizon; (c) the DSS should account for uncertainties
in demand and supply;
(d) the DSS must address the critical concerns of different stakeholders; and (e) the DSS should consider the dynamic social
and technical components of the situation.

Decision support system for an effective, efficient, fair, and sustainable in-country vaccine supply chain


The CONTRA project aims to develop a DSS for designing an effective, efficient, fair, and sustainable in-country vaccine supply chain while considering uncertainties along with social and technical components. The DSS will be developed based on mathematical modeling and stochastic optimization (for supply uncertainty) as well as machine learning tools (for demand uncertainty) for designing a robust vaccine supply chain. The main focus of the research is on supporting responders in low-income countries to pandemics, such as COVID-19, and their needs to make informed decisions when designing in-country networks for vaccine supply chains.

The project will conduct rapid analyses that will provide actionable advice regarding vaccine distribution and delivery to responders in Norway, including crisis managers, and logisticians responding to the COVID-19 epidemic, in response to the on-going COVID-19 outbreak. To accomplish this, the CONTRA project will use the experience of research on developing decision support systems for vaccine supply chains in low-income countries, although the limitations and generalizability of the approach will be considered. The target group of the project is responders and decision-making stakeholders in low-, middle-, and high-income countries required to make decisions for managing vaccine supply chains in response to epidemics and pandemics, and their information needs.


Project team

  • Hossein Baharmand, UIA - Project manager Hossein Bahamand
  • Naima Saed, UIA
  • Morten Goodwin, UIA
  • Cathrine Decouttere, KU Leuven
  • Nico Vandaele, KU Leuven
  • Burcu Balcik, Ozyegin University
  • Ross Phillips, Transportøkonomisk institutt
  • Jan Ove Kjøndal, Agens AS
Covid19 Network Technology based Responsive Action (CONTRA)

Project Info

Project Manager: Hossein Baharmand
Project Period: June 2020-December 2021
Funding: Norwegian Research Council, Covid-19 call
Partners: KU Leuven, Transportøkonomisk institutt; Agens; Özyeğin Üniversitesi.