Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 50

Search results for: Paolo Denti

50 Islamic Finance: What is the Outlook for Italy?

Authors: Paolo Pietro Biancone

Abstract:

The spread of Islamic financial instruments is an opportunity to offer integration for the immigrant population and to attract, through the specific products, the richness of sovereign funds from the "Arab" countries. However, it is important to consider the possibility of comparing a traditional finance model, which in recent times has given rise to many doubts, with an "alternative" finance model, where the ethical aspect arising from religious principles is very important.

Keywords: banks, Europe, Islamic finance, Italy

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49 Pharmacokinetics of First-Line Tuberculosis Drugs in South African Patients from Kwazulu-Natal: Effects of Pharmacogenetic Variation on Rifampicin and Isoniazid Concentrations

Authors: Anushka Naidoo, Veron Ramsuran, Maxwell Chirehwa, Paolo Denti, Kogieleum Naidoo, Helen McIlleron, Nonhlanhla Yende-Zuma, Ravesh Singh, Sinaye Ngcapu, Nesri Padayatachi

Abstract:

Background: Despite efforts to introduce new drugs and shorter drug regimens for drug-susceptible tuberculosis (TB), the standard first-line treatment has not changed in over 50 years. Rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide are critical components of the current standard treatment regimens. Some studies suggest that microbiologic failure and acquired drug resistance are primarily driven by low drug concentrations that result from pharmacokinetic (PK) variability independent of adherence to treatment. Wide between-patient pharmacokinetic variability for rifampin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide has been reported in prior studies. There may be several reasons for this variability. However, genetic variability in genes coding for drug metabolizing and transporter enzymes have been shown to be a contributing factor for variable tuberculosis drug exposures. Objective: We describe the pharmacokinetics of first-line TB drugs rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide and assess the effect of genetic variability in relevant selected drug metabolizing and transporter enzymes on pharmacokinetic parameters of isoniazid and rifampicin. Methods: We conducted the randomized-controlled Improving retreatment success TB trial in Durban, South Africa. The drug regimen included rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide. Drug concentrations were measured in plasma, and concentration-time data were analysed using nonlinear-mixed-effects models to quantify the effects of relevant covariates and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP’s) of drug metabolizing and transporter genes on rifampicin, isoniazid and pyrazinamide exposure. A total of 25 SNP’s: four NAT2 (used to determine acetylator status), four SLCO1B1, three Pregnane X receptor (NR1), six ABCB1 and eight UGT1A, were selected for analysis in this study. Genotypes were determined for each of the SNP’s using a TaqMan® Genotyping OpenArray™. Results: Among fifty-eight patients studied; 41 (70.7%) were male, 97% black African, 42 (72.4%) HIV co-infected and 40 (95%) on efavirenz-based ART. Median weight, fat-free mass (FFM), and age at baseline were 56.9 kg (interquartile range, IQR: 51.1-65.2), 46.8 kg (IQR: 42.5-50.3) and 37 years (IQR: 31-42), respectively. The pharmacokinetics of rifampicin and pyrazinamide was best described using one-compartment models with first-order absorption and elimination, while for isoniazid two-compartment disposition was used. The median (interquartile range: IQR) AUC (h·mg/L) and Cmax (mg/L) for rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide were; 25.62 (23.01-28.53) and 4.85 (4.36-5.40), 10.62 (9.20-12.25) and 2.79 (2.61-2.97), 345.74 (312.03-383.10) and 28.06 (25.01-31.52), respectively. Eighteen percent of patients were classified as rapid acetylators, and 34% and 43% as slow and intermediate acetylators, respectively. Rapid and intermediate acetylator status based on NAT 2 genotype resulted in 2.3 and 1.6 times higher isoniazid clearance than slow acetylators. We found no effects of the SLCO1B1 genotypes on rifampicin pharmacokinetics. Conclusion: Plasma concentrations of rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide were low overall in our patients. Isoniazid clearance was high overall and as expected higher in rapid and intermediate acetylators resulting in lower drug exposures. In contrast to reports from previous South African or Ugandan studies, we did not find any effects of the SLCO1B1 or other genotypes tested on rifampicin PK. However, our findings are in keeping with more recent studies from Malawi and India emphasizing the need for geographically diverse and adequately powered studies. The clinical relevance of the low tuberculosis drug concentrations warrants further investigation.

Keywords: rifampicin, isoniazid pharmacokinetics, genetics, NAT2, SLCO1B1, tuberculosis

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48 A Comparative Study of Motion Events Encoding in English and Italian

Authors: Alfonsina Buoniconto

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to investigate the degree of cross-linguistic and intra-linguistic variation in the encoding of motion events (MEs) in English and Italian, these being typologically different languages both showing signs of disobedience to their respective types. As a matter of fact, the traditional typological classification of MEs encoding distributes languages into two macro-types, based on the preferred locus for the expression of Path, the main ME component (other components being Figure, Ground and Manner) characterized by conceptual and structural prominence. According to this model, Satellite-framed (SF) languages typically express Path information in verb-dependent items called satellites (e.g. preverbs and verb particles) with main verbs encoding Manner of motion; whereas Verb-framed languages (VF) tend to include Path information within the verbal locus, leaving Manner to adjuncts. Although this dichotomy is valid altogether, languages do not always behave according to their typical classification patterns. English, for example, is usually ascribed to the SF type due to the rich inventory of postverbal particles and phrasal verbs used to express spatial relations (i.e. the cat climbed down the tree); nevertheless, it is not uncommon to find constructions such as the fog descended slowly, which is typical of the VF type. Conversely, Italian is usually described as being VF (cf. Paolo uscì di corsa ‘Paolo went out running’), yet SF constructions like corse via in lacrime ‘She ran away in tears’ are also frequent. This paper will try to demonstrate that such a typological overlapping is due to the fact that the semantic units making up MEs are distributed within several loci of the sentence –not only verbs and satellites– thus determining a number of different constructions stemming from convergent factors. Indeed, the linguistic expression of motion events depends not only on the typological nature of languages in a traditional sense, but also on a series morphological, lexical, and syntactic resources, as well as on inferential, discursive, usage-related, and cultural factors that make semantic information more or less accessible, frequent, and easy to process. Hence, rather than describe English and Italian in dichotomic terms, this study focuses on the investigation of cross-linguistic and intra-linguistic variation in the use of all the strategies made available by each linguistic system to express motion. Evidence for these assumptions is provided by parallel corpora analysis. The sample texts are taken from two contemporary Italian novels and their respective English translations. The 400 motion occurrences selected (200 in English and 200 in Italian) were scanned according to the MODEG (an acronym for Motion Decoding Grid) methodology, which grants data comparability through the indexation and retrieval of combined morphosyntactic and semantic information at different levels of detail.

Keywords: construction typology, motion event encoding, parallel corpora, satellite-framed vs. verb-framed type

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47 Global Analysis in a Growth Economic Model with Perfect-Substitution Technologies

Authors: Paolo Russu

Abstract:

The purpose of the present paper is to highlight some features of an economic growth model with environmental negative externalities, giving rise to a three-dimensional dynamic system. In particular, we show that the economy, which is based on a Perfect-Substitution Technologies function of production, has no neither indeterminacy nor poverty trap. This implies that equilibrium select by economy depends on the history (initial values of state variable) of the economy rather than on expectations of economies agents. Moreover, by contrast, we prove that the basin of attraction of locally equilibrium points may be very large, as they can extend up to the boundary of the system phase space. The infinite-horizon optimal control problem has the purpose of maximizing the representative agent’s instantaneous utility function depending on leisure and consumption.

Keywords: Hopf bifurcation, open-access natural resources, optimal control, perfect-substitution technologies, Poincarè compactification

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46 Seizure Effects of FP Bearings on the Seismic Reliability of Base-Isolated Systems

Authors: Paolo Castaldo, Bruno Palazzo, Laura Lodato

Abstract:

This study deals with the seizure effects of friction pendulum (FP) bearings on the seismic reliability of a 3D base-isolated nonlinear structural system, designed according to Italian seismic code (NTC08). The isolated system consists in a 3D reinforced concrete superstructure, a r.c. substructure and the FP devices, described by employing a velocity dependent model. The seismic input uncertainty is considered as a random variable relevant to the problem, by employing a set of natural seismic records selected in compliance with L’Aquila (Italy) seismic hazard as provided from NTC08. Several non-linear dynamic analyses considering the three components of each ground motion have been performed with the aim to evaluate the seismic reliability of the superstructure, substructure, and isolation level, also taking into account the seizure event of the isolation devices. Finally, a design solution aimed at increasing the seismic robustness of the base-isolated systems with FPS is analyzed.

Keywords: FP devices, seismic reliability, seismic robustness, seizure

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45 Measurement of Thermal Protrusion Profile in Magnetic Recording Heads via Wyko Interferometry

Authors: Joseph Christopher R. Ragasa, Paolo Gabriel P. Casas, Nemesio S. Mangila, Maria Emma C. Villamin, Myra G. Bungag

Abstract:

A procedure in measuring the thermal protrusion profiles of magnetic recording heads was developed using a Wyko HD-8100 optical interference-based instrument. The protrusions in the heads were made by the application of a constant power through the thermal flying height controller pads. It was found that the thermally-induced bubble is confined to form in the same head locations, primarily in the reader and writer regions, regardless of the direction of approach of temperature. An application of power to the thermal flying height control pads ranging from 0 to 50 milliWatts showed that the protrusions demonstrate a linear dependence with the supplied power. The efficiencies calculated using this method were compared to that obtained through Guzik and found to be 19.57% greater due to the static testing environment used in the testing.

Keywords: thermal protrusion profile, magnetic recording heads, wyko interferometry, thermal flying height control

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44 The Impact of Economic Freedom on Entrepreneurship Motivation: A Gendered Perspective on OECD Countries

Authors: Sepideh Khavarinezhad, Paolo Pietro Biancone

Abstract:

This paper sheds light on how gender entrepreneurship is influenced by economic freedom in OECD countries. Our study empirically explores the interaction of financial institutions and its effect of both motivations on total entrepreneurial activities (TEA) of women and men in these countries and to discuss the differences between women and men in this field, which is always a hot topic in entrepreneurship. Employing a dynamic method, we conducted panel data analysis in the time frame from 2012-2015. In this regard, we evaluate the relationship between the Index of Economic Freedoms and its three years, and both indicators of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) on supportive financial institutions. We investigate that economic liberalization tends to persuade men and women entrepreneurs to start their businesses or to reduce motivation entrepreneurship. In particular, our paper demonstrates that motivation entrepreneurship seems to benefit from government support and fade barriers in legal structure in business, while we expect to confirm that free trade and economic freedom stimulate the entrepreneur’s motivation and their participation to start own business.

Keywords: economic freedom, gender entrepreneurship, financial institutions, OECD countries

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43 Trash Dash: An Educational Android Game Application for Proper Waste Segregation

Authors: Marylene S. Eder, Dorothy M. Jao, Paolo Marc Nicolas S. Laspiñas, Pukilan A. Malim, Sarah Jean D. Raterta

Abstract:

Trash Dash is an android game application developed to serve as an alternative tool to practice proper waste segregation for children ages 3 years old and above. The researchers designed the application using Unity 3D and developed the text file that served as the database of the game application. An observation of a pre-school teacher shows that children know how to throw their garbage but they do not know yet how to segregate wastes. After launching the mobile application to K-2 pupils 4 – 5 years of age, the researchers have noticed that children within this age are active and motivated to learn the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable. Based on the result of usability test conducted, it was concluded that the game is easy to use and children will most likely use this application frequently. Furthermore, the children may need assistance from their parents and teachers when playing the game. An actual testing of the application has been conducted to different devices as well as functionality test by Thwack Application and it can be concluded that the mobile application can be launched and installed on a device with a minimum API requirement of Gingerbread (2.3.1).

Keywords: waste segregation, android application, biodegradable, non-biodegradable

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42 Beyond Learning Classrooms: An Undergraduate Experience at Instituto Politecnico Nacional Mexico

Authors: Jorge Sandoval Lezama, Arturo Ivan Sandoval Rodriguez, Jose Arturo Correa Arredondo

Abstract:

This work aims to share innovative educational experiences at IPN Mexico, that involve collaborative learning at institutional and global level through course competition and global collaboration projects. Students from universities in China, USA, South Korea, Canada and Mexico collaborate to design electric vehicles to solve global urban mobility problems. The participation of IPN students in the 2015-2016 global competition (São Paolo, Brazil and Cincinnati, USA) Reconfigurable Shared-Use Mobility Systems allowed to apply pedagogical strategies of groups of collaboration and of learning based on projects where they shared activities, commitments and goals, demonstrating that students were motivated to develop / self-generate their knowledge with greater meaning and understanding. One of the most evident achievements is that the students are self-managed, so the most advanced students train the students who join the project with CAD, CAE, CAM tools. Likewise, the motivation achieved is evident since in 2014 there were 12 students involved in the project, and there are currently more than 70 students.

Keywords: collaboration projects, global competency, course competition, active learning

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41 The Effect of Glass Thickness on Stress in Vacuum Glazing

Authors: Farid Arya, Trevor Hyde, Andrea Trevisi, Paolo Basso, Danilo Bardaro

Abstract:

Heat transfer through multiple pane windows can be reduced by creating a vacuum pressure less than 0.1 Pa between the glass panes, with low emittance coatings on one or more of the internal surfaces. Fabrication of vacuum glazing (VG) requires the formation of a hermetic seal around the periphery of the glass panes together with an array of support pillars between the panes to prevent them from touching under atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure and temperature differentials induce stress which can affect the integrity of the glazing. Several parameters define the stresses in VG including the glass thickness, pillar specifications, glazing dimensions and edge seal configuration. Inherent stresses in VG can result in fractures in the glass panes and failure of the edge seal. In this study, stress in VG with different glass thicknesses is theoretically studied using Finite Element Modelling (FEM). Based on the finding in this study, suggestions are made to address problems resulting from the use of thinner glass panes in the fabrication of VG. This can lead to the development of high performance, light and thin VG.

Keywords: vacuum glazing, stress, vacuum insulation, support pillars

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40 U11 Functionalised Luminescent Gold Nanoclusters for Pancreatic Tumor Cells Labelling

Authors: Regina M. Chiechio, Rémi Leguevél, Helene Solhi, Marie Madeleine Gueguen, Stephanie Dutertre, Xavier, Jean-Pierre Bazureau, Olivier Mignen, Pascale Even-Hernandez, Paolo Musumeci, Maria Jose Lo Faro, Valerie Marchi

Abstract:

Thanks to their ultra-small size, high electron density, and low toxicity, gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) have unique photoelectrochemical and luminescence properties that make them very interesting for diagnosis bio-imaging and theranostics. These applications require control of their delivery and interaction with cells; for this reason, the surface chemistry of Au NCs is essential to determine their interaction with the targeted biological objects. Here we demonstrate their ability as markers of pancreatic tumor cells. By functionalizing the surface of the NCs with a recognition peptite (U11), the nanostructures are able to preferentially bind to pancreatic cancer cells via a receptor (uPAR) overexpressed by these cells. Furthermore, the NCs can mark even the nucleus without the need of fixing the cells. These nanostructures can therefore be used as a non-toxic, multivalent luminescent platform, capable of selectively recognizing tumor cells for bioimaging, drug delivery, and radiosensitization.

Keywords: gold nanoclusters, luminescence, biomarkers, pancreatic cancer, biomedical applications, bioimaging, fluorescent probes, drug delivery

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39 A 3D Model of the Sustainable Management of the Natural Environment in National Parks

Authors: Paolo Russu

Abstract:

This paper investigates the economic and ecological dynamics that emerge in Protected Areas (PAs) as a result of interactions between visitors to the area and the animals that live there. We suppose that the PAs contain two species whose interactions are determined by the Lotka-Volterra equations system. Visitors' decisions to visit PAs are influenced by the entrance cost required to enter the park as well as the chance of witnessing the species that live there. Visitors have contradictory effects on the species and thus on the sustainability of the protected areas: on the one hand, an increase in the number of tourists damages the natural habitat of the areas and thus the species living there; on the other hand, it increases the total amount of entrance fees that the managing body of the PAs can use to perform defensive expenditures that protect the species from extinction. For a given set of parameter values, the existence of saddle-node bifurcation, Hopf bifurcation, homoclinic orbits, and a Bogdanov–Takens bifurcation of codimension two has been investigated. The system displays periodic doubling and chaotic solutions, as demonstrated by numerical examples. Pontryagin's Maximum Principle was utilized to develop an optimal admission charge policy that maximized both social gain and ecosystem conservation.

Keywords: environmental preferences, singularities point, dynamical system, chaos

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38 Design Guidelines for an Enhanced Interaction Experience in the Domain of Smartphone-Based Applications for Sport and Fitness

Authors: Paolo Pilloni, Fabrizio Mulas, Salvatore Carta

Abstract:

Nowadays, several research studies point up that an active lifestyle is essential for physical and mental health benefits. Mobile phones have greatly influenced people’s habits and attitudes also in the way they exercise. Our research work is mainly focused on investigating how to exploit mobile technologies to favour people’s exertion experience. To this end, we developed an exertion framework users can exploit through a real world mobile application, called BLINDED, designed to act as a virtual personal trainer to support runners during their trainings. In this work, inspired by both previous findings in the field of interaction design for people with visual impairments, feedback gathered from real users of our framework, and positive results obtained from two experimentations, we present some new interaction facilities we designed to enhance the interaction experience during a training. The positive obtained results helped us to derive some interaction design recommendations we believe will be a valid support for designers of future mobile systems conceived to be used in circumstances where there are limited possibilities of interaction.

Keywords: human computer interaction, interaction design guidelines, persuasive mobile technologies for sport and health

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37 Types of Innovation Management Office and Their Roles and Responsibilities in Supporting the Innovation Management Process from Organisational Strategic Foresight to Managing Innovation Project Portfolios

Authors: Bakr Zade, Paolo Cervera

Abstract:

With the aim of maximising return on innovation investments, organisations create central units to support successful implementation of innovation management initiatives. The support units–referred to in this research as innovation management offices (IMOs)–range from small teams of innovation management champions to fully resourced centres of excellence for innovation management. However, roles and responsibilities of IMOs vary in different organisations. This research investigates the different types of IMO in organisations, based on their different roles and responsibilities in supporting innovation management processes. The research uses grounded theory methodology to uncover an IMO taxonomy from emergent concepts during innovation management maturity assessment exercises in twelve organisations from the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. The taxonomy distinguishes five types of IMO, based on their roles and responsibilities in supporting innovation management processes, from organisational strategic foresight to managing innovation management project portfolios. The IMO taxonomy addresses a gap in research into innovation management support in organisations and offers a practical framework that diverse organisations can appreciate and use in designing IMOs that are aligned with their innovation management visions and strategies.

Keywords: future foresight, future shaping, innovation management, innovation management office, portfolio management

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36 Identification and Control the Yaw Motion Dynamics of Open Frame Underwater Vehicle

Authors: Mirza Mohibulla Baig, Imil Hamda Imran, Tri Bagus Susilo, Sami El Ferik

Abstract:

The paper deals with system identification and control a nonlinear model of semi-autonomous underwater vehicle (UUV). The input-output data is first generated using the experimental values of the model parameters and then this data is used to compute the estimated parameter values. In this study, we use the semi-autonomous UUV LAURS model, which is developed by the Sensors and Actuators Laboratory in University of Sao Paolo. We applied three methods to identify the parameters: integral method, which is a classical least square method, recursive least square, and weighted recursive least square. In this paper, we also apply three different inputs (step input, sine wave input and random input) to each identification method. After the identification stage, we investigate the control performance of yaw motion of nonlinear semi-autonomous Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) using feedback linearization-based controller. In addition, we compare the performance of the control with an integral and a non-integral part along with state feedback. Finally, disturbance rejection and resilience of the controller is tested. The results demonstrate the ability of the system to recover from such fault.

Keywords: system identification, underwater vehicle, integral method, recursive least square, weighted recursive least square, feedback linearization, integral error

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35 Weighted-Distance Sliding Windows and Cooccurrence Graphs for Supporting Entity-Relationship Discovery in Unstructured Text

Authors: Paolo Fantozzi, Luigi Laura, Umberto Nanni

Abstract:

The problem of Entity relation discovery in structured data, a well covered topic in literature, consists in searching within unstructured sources (typically, text) in order to find connections among entities. These can be a whole dictionary, or a specific collection of named items. In many cases machine learning and/or text mining techniques are used for this goal. These approaches might be unfeasible in computationally challenging problems, such as processing massive data streams. A faster approach consists in collecting the cooccurrences of any two words (entities) in order to create a graph of relations - a cooccurrence graph. Indeed each cooccurrence highlights some grade of semantic correlation between the words because it is more common to have related words close each other than having them in the opposite sides of the text. Some authors have used sliding windows for such problem: they count all the occurrences within a sliding windows running over the whole text. In this paper we generalise such technique, coming up to a Weighted-Distance Sliding Window, where each occurrence of two named items within the window is accounted with a weight depending on the distance between items: a closer distance implies a stronger evidence of a relationship. We develop an experiment in order to support this intuition, by applying this technique to a data set consisting in the text of the Bible, split into verses.

Keywords: cooccurrence graph, entity relation graph, unstructured text, weighted distance

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34 Constraining the Potential Nickel Laterite Area Using Geographic Information System-Based Multi-Criteria Rating in Surigao Del Sur

Authors: Reiner-Ace P. Mateo, Vince Paolo F. Obille

Abstract:

The traditional method of classifying the potential mineral resources requires a significant amount of time and money. In this paper, an alternative way to classify potential mineral resources with GIS application in Surigao del Sur. The three (3) analog map data inputs integrated to GIS are geologic map, topographic map, and land cover/vegetation map. The indicators used in the classification of potential nickel laterite integrated from the analog map data inputs are a geologic indicator, which is the presence of ultramafic rock from the geologic map; slope indicator and the presence of plateau edges from the topographic map; areas of forest land, grassland, and shrublands from the land cover/vegetation map. The potential mineral of the area was classified from low up to very high potential. The produced mineral potential classification map of Surigao del Sur has an estimated 4.63% low nickel laterite potential, 42.15% medium nickel laterite potential, 43.34% high nickel laterite potential, and 9.88% very high nickel laterite from its ultramafic terrains. For the validation of the produced map, it was compared with known occurrences of nickel laterite in the area using a nickel mining tenement map from the area with the application of remote sensing. Three (3) prominent nickel mining companies were delineated in the study area. The generated potential classification map of nickel-laterite in Surigao Del Sur may be of aid to the mining companies which are currently in the exploration phase in the study area. Also, the currently operating nickel mines in the study area can help to validate the reliability of the mineral classification map produced.

Keywords: mineral potential classification, nickel laterites, GIS, remote sensing, Surigao del Sur

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33 Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms

Authors: Francesco Ruscio, Paolo Paoletti, Jens Thomas, Paul Myers, Sebastiano Fichera

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This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.

Keywords: automation, hydroponics, internet of things, monitoring system, urban farming

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32 A Cross-Sectional Study on the Correlation between Body Mass Index and Self-Esteem among Children Ages 9-12 Years Old in a Public Elementary School in Makati, Philippines

Authors: Jerickson Abbie Flores, Jana Fragante, Jan Paolo Dipasupil, Jan Jorge Francisco

Abstract:

Malnutrition is one of the rapidly growing health problems affecting the world at present. Children affected are not only at risk for significant health problems, but are also faced with psychological and social consequences, including low self-esteem. School-age children are specifically vulnerable to develop poor self-esteem especially when their peers find them physically unattractive. Thus, malnutrition, whether obesity or undernourishment, contributes a significant role to a developing child’s health and behavior. This research aims to determine if there is a significant difference on the level of self-esteem among Filipino children ages 9-12 years old with abnormal body mass index (BMI) and those children with desirable BMI. Using a cross-sectional study design, the correlation between body mass index (BMI) and self-esteem was observed among children ages 9-12 years old. Participants took the Hare self esteem questionnaire, which is specifically designed to measure self-esteem in school age children. The lowest possible score is 15 and the highest possible score is 45. A total of 1140 students with ages 9-12 years old from Cembo Elementary School (public school) participated in the study. Among the participants, 239 out of the 1140 have desirable body mass index, 878 are underweight, and 23 are overweight. Using the test questionnaire, the computed mean scores were 36.599, 36.045 and 36.583 for normal, underweight and overweight categories respectively. Using Pearson’s Correlation Test and Spearman’s Correlation Coefficient Test, the study showed positive correlation (p value of 0.047 and 0.004 respectively) between BMI and Self-esteem scores which indicates that the higher the BMI, the higher the self-esteem of the participants.

Keywords: body mass index, malnutrition, school-age children, self-esteem

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31 Cost-Benefit Analysis for the Optimization of Noise Abatement Treatments at the Workplace

Authors: Paolo Lenzuni

Abstract:

Cost-effectiveness of noise abatement treatments at the workplace has not yet received adequate consideration. Furthermore, most of the published work is focused on productivity, despite the poor correlation of this quantity with noise levels. There is currently no tool to estimate the social benefit associated to a specific noise abatement treatment, and no comparison among different options is accordingly possible. In this paper, we present an algorithm which has been developed to predict the cost-effectiveness of any planned noise control treatment in a workplace. This algorithm is based the estimates of hearing threshold shifts included in ISO 1999, and on compensations that workers are entitled to once their work-related hearing impairments have been certified. The benefits of a noise abatement treatment are estimated by means of the lower compensation costs which are paid to the impaired workers. Although such benefits have no real meaning in strictly monetary terms, they allow a reliable comparison between different treatments, since actual social costs can be assumed to be proportional to compensation costs. The existing European legislation on occupational exposure to noise it mandates that the noise exposure level be reduced below the upper action limit (85 dBA). There is accordingly little or no motivation for employers to sustain the extra costs required to lower the noise exposure below the lower action limit (80 dBA). In order to make this goal more appealing for employers, the algorithm proposed in this work also includes an ad-hoc element that promotes actions which bring the noise exposure down below 80 dBA. The algorithm has a twofold potential: 1) it can be used as a quality index to promote cost-effective practices; 2) it can be added to the existing criteria used by workers’ compensation authorities to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of technical actions, and support dedicated employers.

Keywords: cost-effectiveness, noise, occupational exposure, treatment

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30 Theoretical Analysis and Design Consideration of Screened Heat Pipes for Low-Medium Concentration Solar Receivers

Authors: Davoud Jafari, Paolo Di Marco, Alessandro Franco, Sauro Filippeschi

Abstract:

This paper summarizes the results of an investigation into the heat pipe heat transfer for solar collector applications. The study aims to show the feasibility of a concentrating solar collector, which is coupled with a heat pipe. Particular emphasis is placed on the capillary and boiling limits in capillary porous structures, with different mesh numbers and wick thicknesses. A mathematical model of a cylindrical heat pipe is applied to study its behaviour when it is exposed to higher heat input at the evaporator. The steady state analytical model includes two-dimensional heat conduction in the HP’s wall, the liquid flow in the wick and vapor hydrodynamics. A sensitivity analysis was conducted by considering different design criteria and working conditions. Different wicks (mesh 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, and, 300), different porosities (0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, and 0.9) with different wick thicknesses (0.25, 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 mm) are analyzed with water as a working fluid. Results show that it is possible to improve heat transfer capability (HTC) of a HP by selecting the appropriate wick thickness, the effective pore radius, and lengths for a given HP configuration, and there exist optimal design criteria (optimal thick, evaporator adiabatic and condenser sections). It is shown that the boiling and wicking limits are connected and occurs in dependence on each other. As different parts of the HP external surface collect different fractions of the total incoming insolation, the analysis of non-uniform heat flux distribution indicates that peak heat flux is not affecting parameter. The parametric investigations are aimed to determine working limits and thermal performance of HP for medium temperature SC application.

Keywords: screened heat pipes, analytical model, boiling and capillary limits, concentrating collector

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29 Turin, from Factory City to Talents Power Player: The Role of Private Philanthropy Agents of Innovation in the Revolution of Human Capital Market in the Contemporary Socio-Urban Scenario

Authors: Renato Roda

Abstract:

With the emergence of the so-called 'Knowledge Society', the implementation of policies to attract, grow and retain talents, in an academic context as well, has become critical –both in the perspective of didactics and research and as far as administration and institutional management are concerned. At the same time, the contemporary philanthropic entities/organizations, which are evolving from traditional types of social support towards new styles of aid, envisaged to go beyond mere monetary donations, face the challenge of brand-new forms of complexity in supporting such specific dynamics of the global human capital market. In this sense, it becomes unavoidable for the philanthropic foundation, while carrying out their daily charitable tasks, to resort to innovative ways to facilitate the acquisition and the promotion of talents by academic and research institutions. In order to deepen such a specific perspective, this paper features the case of Turin, former 'factory city' of Italy’s North West, headquarters -and main reference territory- of Italy’s largest and richest private formerly bank-based philanthropic foundation, the Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo. While it was assessed and classified as 'medium' in the city Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) of 2020, Turin has nevertheless acquired over the past months status of impact laboratory for a whole series of innovation strategies in the competition for the acquisition of excellence human capital. Leading actors of this new city vision are the foundations with their specifically adjusted financial engagement and a consistent role of stimulus towards innovation for research and education institutions.

Keywords: human capital, post-Fordism, private foundation, war on talents

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28 Carbon, Nitrogen Doped TiO2 Macro/Mesoporous Monoliths with High Visible Light Absorption for Photocatalytic Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Paolo Boscaro, Vasile Hulea, François Fajula, Francis Luck, Anne Galarneau

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TiO2 based monoliths with hierarchical macropores and mesopores have been synthesized following a novel one pot sol-gel synthesis method. Taking advantage of spinodal separation that occurs between titanium isopropoxide and an acidic solution in presence of polyethylene oxide polymer, monoliths with homogeneous interconnected macropres of 3 μm in diameter and mesopores of ca. 6 nm (surface area 150 m2/g) are obtained. Furthermore, these monoliths present some carbon and nitrogen (as shown by XPS and elemental analysis), which considerably reduce titanium oxide energy gap and enable light to be absorbed up to 700 nm wavelength. XRD shows that anatase is the dominant phase with a small amount of brookite. Enhanced light absorption and high porosity of the monoliths are responsible for a remarkable photocatalytic activity. Wastewater treatment has been performed in closed reactor under sunlight using orange G dye as target molecule. Glass reactors guarantee that most of UV radiations (to almost 300 nm) of solar spectrum are excluded. TiO2 nanoparticles P25 (usually used in photocatalysis under UV) and un-doped TiO2 monoliths with similar porosity were used as comparison. C,N-doped TiO2 monolith allowed a complete colorant degradation in less than 1 hour, whereas 10 h are necessary for 40% colorant degradation with P25 and un-doped monolith. Experiment performed in the dark shows that only 3% of molecules have been adsorbed in the C,N-doped TiO2 monolith within 1 hour. The much higher efficiency of C,N-doped TiO2 monolith in comparison to P25 and un-doped monolith, proves that doping TiO2 is an essential issue and that nitrogen and carbon are effective dopants. Monoliths offer multiples advantages in respect to nanometric powders: sample can be easily removed from batch (no needs to filter or to centrifuge). Moreover flow reactions can be set up with cylindrical or flat monoliths by simple sheathing or by locking them with O-rings.

Keywords: C-N doped, sunlight photocatalytic activity, TiO2 monolith, visible absorbance

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27 Tobacco Taxation and the Heterogeneity of Smokers' Responses to Price Increases

Authors: Simone Tedeschi, Francesco Crespi, Paolo Liberati, Massimo Paradiso, Antonio Sciala

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This paper aims at contributing to the understanding of smokers’ responses to cigarette prices increases with a focus on heterogeneity, both across individuals and price levels. To do this, a stated preference quasi-experimental design grounded in a random utility framework is proposed to evaluate the effect on smokers’ utility of the price level and variation, along with social conditioning and health impact perception. The analysis is based on individual-level data drawn from a unique survey gathering very detailed information on Italian smokers’ habits. In particular, qualitative information on the individual reactions triggered by changes in prices of different magnitude and composition are exploited. The main findings stemming from the analysis are the following; the average price elasticity of cigarette consumption is comparable with previous estimates for advanced economies (-.32). However, the decomposition of this result across five latent-classes of smokers, reveals extreme heterogeneity in terms of price responsiveness, implying a potential price elasticity that ranges between 0.05 to almost 1. Such heterogeneity is in part explained by observable characteristics such as age, income, gender, education as well as (current and lagged) smoking intensity. Moreover, price responsiveness is far from being independent from the size of the prospected price increase. Finally, by comparing even and uneven price variations, it is shown that uniform across-brand price increases are able to limit the scope of product substitutions and downgrade. Estimated price-response heterogeneity has significant implications for tax policy. Among them, first, it provides evidence and a rationale for why the aggregate price elasticity is likely to follow a strictly increasing pattern as a function of the experienced price variation. This information is crucial for forecasting the effect of a given tax-driven price change on tax revenue. Second, it provides some guidance on how to design excise tax reforms to balance public health and revenue goals.

Keywords: smoking behaviour, preference heterogeneity, price responsiveness, cigarette taxation, random utility models

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26 Comparison between the Roller-Foam and Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching on Flexibility of Hamstrings Muscles

Authors: Paolo Ragazzi, Olivier Peillon, Paul Fauris, Mathias Simon, Raul Navarro, Juan Carlos Martin, Oriol Casasayas, Laura Pacheco, Albert Perez-Bellmunt

Abstract:

Introduction: The use of stretching techniques in the sports world is frequent and widely used for its many effects. One of the main benefits is the gain in flexibility, range of motion and facilitation of the sporting performance. Recently the use of Roller-Foam (RF) has spread in sports practice both at elite and recreational level for its benefits being similar to those observed in stretching. The objective of the following study is to compare the results of the Roller-Foam with the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching (PNF) (one of the stretchings with more evidence) on the hamstring muscles. Study design: The design of the study is a single-blind, randomized controlled trial and the participants are 40 healthy volunteers. Intervention: The subjects are distributed randomly in one of the following groups; stretching (PNF) intervention group: 4 repetitions of PNF stretching (5seconds of contraction, 5 second of relaxation, 20 second stretch), Roller-Foam intervention group: 2 minutes of Roller-Foam was realized on the hamstring muscles. Main outcome measures: hamstring muscles flexibility was assessed at the beginning, during (30’’ of intervention) and the end of the session by using the Modified Sit and Reach test (MSR). Results: The baseline results data given in both groups are comparable to each other. The PNF group obtained an increase in flexibility of 3,1 cm at 30 seconds (first series) and of 5,1 cm at 2 minutes (the last of all series). The RF group obtained a 0,6 cm difference at 30 seconds and 2,4 cm after 2 minutes of application of roller foam. The results were statistically significant when comparing intragroups but not intergroups. Conclusions: Despite the fact that the use of roller foam is spreading in the sports and rehabilitation field, the results of the present study suggest that the gain of flexibility on the hamstrings is greater if PNF type stretches are used instead of RF. These results may be due to the fact that the use of roller foam intervened more in the fascial tissue, while the stretches intervene more in the myotendinous unit. Future studies are needed, increasing the sample number and diversifying the types of stretching.

Keywords: hamstring muscle, stretching, neuromuscular facilitation stretching, roller foam

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25 Enhancing Green Infrastructure as a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy in Addis Ababa: Unlocking Institutional, Socio-Cultural and Cognitive Barriers for Application

Authors: Eyasu Markos Woldesemayat, Paolo Vincenzo Genovese

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In recent years with an increase in the concentration of Green House Gases (GHG), Climate Change (CC) externalities are mounting, regardless of governments, are scrambling to implement mitigation and adaptation measures. With multiple social, economic and environmental benefits, Green Infrastructure (GI) has evolved as a highly valuable policy tool to promote sustainable development and smart growth by meeting multiple objectives towards quality of life. However, despite the wide range of benefits, it's uptake in African cities such as Addis Ababa is very low due to several constraining factors. This study, through content analysis and key informant interviews, examined barriers for the uptake of GI among spatial planners in Addis Ababa. Added to this, the study has revealed that the spatial planners had insufficient knowledge about GI planning principles such as multi-functionality, integration, and connectivity, and multiscale. The practice of implementing these holistic principles in urban spatial planning is phenomenally nonexistent. The findings also revealed 20 barriers categorized under four themes, i.e., institutional, socio-cultural, resource, and cognitive barriers. Similarly, it was identified that institutional barriers (0.756), socio-cultural barriers (0.730), cognitive barriers (0.700) and resource barriers (0.642), respectively, are the foremost impending factors for the promotion of GI in Addis Ababa. It was realized that resource barriers were the least constraining factor for enshrining the GI uptake in the city. Strategies to hasten the adoption of GI in the city mainly focus on improving political will, harmonization sectorial plans, improve spatial planning and implementation practice, prioritization of GI in all planning activities, enforcement of environmental laws, introducing collaborative GI governance, creating strong and stable institutions and raising awareness on the need to conserve environment and CC externalities through education and outreach mechanisms.

Keywords: Addis Ababa, climate change, green infrastructure, spatial planning, spatial planners

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24 Simulation of the FDA Centrifugal Blood Pump Using High Performance Computing

Authors: Mehdi Behbahani, Sebastian Rible, Charles Moulinec, Yvan Fournier, Mike Nicolai, Paolo Crosetto

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Computational Fluid Dynamics blood-flow simulations are increasingly used to develop and validate blood-contacting medical devices. This study shows that numerical simulations can provide additional and accurate estimates of relevant hemodynamic indicators (e.g., recirculation zones or wall shear stresses), which may be difficult and expensive to obtain from in-vivo or in-vitro experiments. The most recent FDA (Food and Drug Administration) benchmark consisted of a simplified centrifugal blood pump model that contains fluid flow features as they are commonly found in these devices with a clear focus on highly turbulent phenomena. The FDA centrifugal blood pump study is composed of six test cases with different volumetric flow rates ranging from 2.5 to 7.0 liters per minute, pump speeds, and Reynolds numbers ranging from 210,000 to 293,000. Within the frame of this study different turbulence models were tested including RANS models, e.g. k-omega, k-epsilon and a Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) and, LES. The partitioners Hilbert, METIS, ParMETIS and SCOTCH were used to create an unstructured mesh of 76 million elements and compared in their efficiency. Computations were performed on the JUQUEEN BG/Q architecture applying the highly parallel flow solver Code SATURNE and typically using 32768 or more processors in parallel. Visualisations were performed by means of PARAVIEW. Different turbulence models including all six flow situations could be successfully analysed and validated against analytical considerations and from comparison to other data-bases. It showed that an RSM represents an appropriate choice with respect to modeling high-Reynolds number flow cases. Especially, the Rij-SSG (Speziale, Sarkar, Gatzki) variant turned out to be a good approach. Visualisation of complex flow features could be obtained and the flow situation inside the pump could be characterized.

Keywords: blood flow, centrifugal blood pump, high performance computing, scalability, turbulence

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23 MIMO Radar-Based System for Structural Health Monitoring and Geophysical Applications

Authors: Davide D’Aria, Paolo Falcone, Luigi Maggi, Aldo Cero, Giovanni Amoroso

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The paper presents a methodology for real-time structural health monitoring and geophysical applications. The key elements of the system are a high performance MIMO RADAR sensor, an optical camera and a dedicated set of software algorithms encompassing interferometry, tomography and photogrammetry. The MIMO Radar sensor proposed in this work, provides an extremely high sensitivity to displacements making the system able to react to tiny deformations (up to tens of microns) with a time scale which spans from milliseconds to hours. The MIMO feature of the system makes the system capable of providing a set of two-dimensional images of the observed scene, each mapped on the azimuth-range directions with noticeably resolution in both the dimensions and with an outstanding repetition rate. The back-scattered energy, which is distributed in the 3D space, is projected on a 2D plane, where each pixel has as coordinates the Line-Of-Sight distance and the cross-range azimuthal angle. At the same time, the high performing processing unit allows to sense the observed scene with remarkable refresh periods (up to milliseconds), thus opening the way for combined static and dynamic structural health monitoring. Thanks to the smart TX/RX antenna array layout, the MIMO data can be processed through a tomographic approach to reconstruct the three-dimensional map of the observed scene. This 3D point cloud is then accurately mapped on a 2D digital optical image through photogrammetric techniques, allowing for easy and straightforward interpretations of the measurements. Once the three-dimensional image is reconstructed, a 'repeat-pass' interferometric approach is exploited to provide the user of the system with high frequency three-dimensional motion/vibration estimation of each point of the reconstructed image. At this stage, the methodology leverages consolidated atmospheric correction algorithms to provide reliable displacement and vibration measurements.

Keywords: interferometry, MIMO RADAR, SAR, tomography

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22 Choosing the Green Energy Option: A Willingness to Pay Study of Metro Manila Residents for Solar Renewable Energy

Authors: Paolo Magnata

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The energy market in the Philippines remains to have one of the highest electricity rates in the region averaging at US$0.16/kWh (PHP6.89/kWh), excluding VAT, as opposed to the overall energy market average of US$0.13/kWh. The movement towards renewable energy, specifically solar energy, will pose as an expensive one with the country’s energy sector providing Feed-in-Tariff rates as high as US$0.17/kWh (PHP8.69/kWh) for solar energy power plants. Increasing the share of renewables at the current state of the energy regulatory background would yield a three-fold increase in residential electricity bills. The issue lies in the uniform charge that consumers bear regardless of where the electricity is sourced resulting in rates that only consider costs and not the consumers. But if they are given the option to choose where their electricity comes from, a number of consumers may potentially choose economically costlier sources of electricity due to higher levels of utility coupled with the willingness to pay of consuming environmentally-friendly sourced electricity. A contingent valuation survey was conducted to determine their willingness-to-pay for solar energy on a sample that was representative of Metro Manila to elicit their willingness-to-pay and a Single Bounded Dichotomous Choice and Double Bounded Dichotomous Choice analysis was used to estimate the amount they were willing to pay. The results showed that Metro Manila residents are willing to pay a premium on top of their current electricity bill amounting to US$5.71 (PHP268.42) – US$9.26 (PHP435.37) per month which is approximately 0.97% - 1.29% of their monthly household income. It was also discovered that besides higher income of households, a higher level of self-perceived knowledge on environmental awareness significantly affected the likelihood of a consumer to pay the premium. Shifting towards renewable energy is an expensive move not only for the government because of high capital investment but also to consumers; however, the Green Energy Option (a policy mechanism which gives consumers the option to decide where their electricity comes from) can potentially balance the shift of the economic burden by transitioning from a uniformly charged electricity rate to equitably charging consumers based on their willingness to pay for renewably sourced energy.

Keywords: contingent valuation, dichotomous choice, Philippines, solar energy

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21 Participatory Action Research for Strengthening Health Systems: A Freirian Critique from a Community Based Study Conducted in the Northern Areas of Pakistan

Authors: Sohail Bawani, Kausar S. Khan, Rozina Karmaliani, Shehnaz Mir

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Action research (AR) is one of the types of health systems research (HSR), and participatory action research (PAR) is known for being effective in health systems strengthening (HSS). The current literature on PAR for HSS cites numerous examples and case studies that led to improve health services; build child health information system; increase knowledge and awareness of people about health problems, and identify pathways for institutional and policy change by engaging people in research. But examples of marginalized communities being agents of change in health governance are not common in health systems research (HSR). This approach to PAR is at the heart of Paolo Freire’s Social Transformation Theory and Critical Consciousness building, which was used to design a community-based PAR study in the Northern/mountainous areas of Pakistan. The purpose of the study was to understand the place and role of marginalized communities in strengthening existing health governance structure (health facility and village health committees and health boards) by taking marginalized communities as partners. Community meetings were carried out to identify who is living at the social, political, cultural and economic margins in 40 different villages. Participatory reflection and analysis (PRA) tools were used during the meeting to facilitate identification. Focus group discussions were conducted with marginalized groups using PRA tools and family ethnographies with marginalized families identified through group discussions. Findings of the study revealed that for the marginalized health systems constitute more than just delivery of health services, but it also embraces social determinants that surround systems and its governance. The paper argues that from Frerian perspective people’s participation should not only be limited to knowledge generation. People must be seen active users of the knowledge that they generate for achieving better health outcomes that they want to achieve in the time to come. PAR provides a pathway to the marginalized in playing a role in health governance. The study dissemination planned shall engage the marginalized in a dialogue with service providers so that together a role for the marginalized can be outlined.

Keywords: participatory action research, health systems, marginalized, health services

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