The David Chase Free Enterprise Institute and

The Department of Business Administration at ECSU

Operational Research Euro Working Group Complex Societal Problems - USA


invite you to attend a presentation on Tuesday October 14th 2003

at 4 pm in Webb Hall 206 by a visiting scholar from the Netherlands:


Handling Complex Problems in Society:

the COMPRAM approach


Dr. Dorien DeTombe

Chair Operational Research Euro Working Group Complex Societal Problems

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Europe

Tel: +31 20 6927526




The COMPRAM (developed by DeTombe) is the next step after Soft Systems Methodology (Checkland) en System Dynamics (MIT). It combines aspects of different approaches into a structured interactive approach for policy making in collaboration with experts and actors in order to find possible transitions of the situation that can be mutually accepted and implemented into real life.


DeTombe developed a special method COMPRAM to handle real life problems. In short the approach is that, initiated by the problem owner, a facilitator invites experts to model the problem, based on the results actors are invited to give there view on the problem and make a model of the problem and then try to find, together with the actors and experts, a mutual accepted intervention that can be implemented. In making a model of the situation many different kind of tools are used, like interviews, system dynamic modeling, Cope (Eden). In these group processes knowledge, power and emotion play an important role. The process takes, depending on the problem, 6 to 12 months. The lecture will explain some of the benefits and some of the difficulties.


The COMPRAM method can be applied to environmental situations as the flood problem of rivers, being a very urgent problem, for instance, in middle Europe, water problems, urban planning, economic problems like unemployment problems, poverty in (South) Africa and health care problems like HIV/AIDS. And to problems as large cities, the unwanted effects of governmental interventions (policy), agricultural industry as, for instance, the Dutch pig manure problem, the mad-cow and foot and mouth disease problems in Europe.


The COMPRAM method is applied in many areas, therefore the lecture may be interesting for scientists in the field of Operational Research, management sciences, urban planning, environmental sciences, economy, political sciences, and for decision  makers and policy makers.


The visit by Dr DeTombe to ECSU and CCSU is partly supported by the David Chase Institute. It is hosted by Dr D Petkov (ECSU) and Dr Olga Petkova (CCSU), Co-Chairpersons of the USA Branch of the EURO OR Working Group on Complex Societal Problems. It is an interdisciplinary group aiming to apply Operations Research and Systems Thinking to large and complex issues as outlined in the talk by Dr DeTombe. If you are interested in the activities of the group please send an email to .




Biostatement Dr. Dorien DeTombe, Ph.D.


Dr. Dorien DeTombe, Ph.D. is scientist in the field of Methodology for Complex Societal Policy Problems. She established the field of Methodology for Complex Societal Policy Problems. She received her doctorate on the subject of Methodology for Complex Societal Problems and developed the COMPRAM method (COMplex PRoblem hAndling Method). She studied Social Science and Computer Science. She published many books and articles, and organizes yearly conferences on the topic of Complex Societal Problems. She gave lectures all over the world. She is a member of several scientific boards. She is a regular referee for conferences and journals in her field of research. She is a recognized researcher in her field of research both national and international. She worked for many years at Utrecht University and at Delft University of Technology.

She is chair of the Euro Working Group on Complex Societal Problems of Operational Research Society. She is chair of the International Society on Complex Societal Problems, the West-Euro Research Group on Complex Societal Problems and of the Dutch Methodology Research Group (NOSMO) on Complex Societal Problems. She is secretary of the Dutch Simulation group (NOSMO).

Dr. Dorien DeTombe is Founder and President of Greenhill & Waterfront, International Scientific Research & Development Institute on Complex Societal Problems, see for more info




Dr D. Petkov

Associate Professor MIS, Dept of Business Administration,

Eastern Connecticut State University, 83 Windham Street

Willimantic,CT 06226,USA

tel 1 860 465 0264;   fax 1 860 465 4469