Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: Fieldwork

14 Personal Digital Assistants for Fieldwork Training in College Campus

Authors: Takaharu Miyoshi, Tadahiko Higuchi

Abstract:

Education supported by mobile computers has been widely done for some time. Teachers have attempted to use mobile computers and to find concrete subjects for student-s fieldwork training in college education. The purpose of this research is to develop software for Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) to conduct fieldwork in our campus, and to report a fieldwork class using PDAs in the curriculum of the Department of Regional Environment Studies.

Keywords: Development of software for PDA, fieldwork training, computer supported education, experiential learning.

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13 Enhancing Critical Reflective Practice in Fieldwork Education: An Exploratory Study of the Role of Social Work Agencies in the Welfare Context of Hong Kong

Authors: Yee-May Chan

Abstract:

In recent decades, it is observed that social work agencies have participated actively, and thus, have gradually been more influential in social work education in Hong Kong. The neo-liberal welfare ideologies and changing funding mode have transformed the landscape in social work practice and have also had a major influence on the fieldwork environment in Hong Kong. The aim of this research is to explore the educational role of social work agencies and examine in particular whether they are able to enhance or hinder critical reflective learning in fieldwork. In-depth interviews with 15 frontline social workers and managers in different social work agencies were conducted to collect their views and experience in helping social work students in fieldwork. The overall findings revealed that under the current social welfare context most social workers consider that the most important role of social work agencies in fieldwork is to help students prepare to fit-in the practice requirements and work within agencies’ boundary. The fit-for-purpose and down-to-earth view of fieldwork practice is seen as prevalent among most social workers. This narrow perception of agency’s role seems to be more favourable to competence-based approaches. In contrast, though critical reflection has been seen as important in addressing the changing needs of service users, the role of enhancing critical reflective learning has not been clearly expected or understood by most agency workers. The notion of critical reflection, if considered, has been narrowly perceived in fieldwork learning. The findings suggest that the importance of critical reflection is found to be subordinate to that of practice competence. The lack of critical reflection in the field is somehow embedded in the competence-based social work practice. In general, social work students’ critical reflection has not been adequately supported or enhanced in fieldwork agencies, nor critical reflective practice has been encouraged in fieldwork process. To address this situation, the role of social work agencies in fieldwork should be re-examined. To maximise critical reflective learning in the field, critical reflection as an avowed objective in fieldwork learning should be clearly stated. Concrete suggestions are made to help fieldwork agencies become more prepared to critical reflective learning. It is expected that the research can help social work communities to reflect upon the current realities of fieldwork context and to identify ways to strengthen agencies’ capacities to enhance critical reflective learning and practice of social work students.

Keywords: Competence-based social work, fieldwork, neo-liberal welfare, critical reflective learning.

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12 Bioclimatic Principles and Urban Open Spaces: The Case of Xanthi

Authors: Maria Giannopoulou

Abstract:

Open urban public spaces comprise an important element for the development of social, cultural and economic activities of the population in the modern cities. These spaces are also considered regulators of the region-s climate conditions, providing better thermal, visual and auditory conditions which can be optimized by the application of appropriate strategies of bioclimatic design. The paper focuses on the analysis and evaluation of the recent unification of the open spaces in the centre of Xanthi, a medium – size city in northern Greece, from a bioclimatic perspective, as well as in the creation of suitable methodology. It is based both on qualitative observation of the interventions by fieldwork research and assessment and on quantitative analysis and modeling of the research area.

Keywords: Bioclimatic principles, Quantitative analysis, Sustainability, TownScope III, Urban open spaces

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11 Transportation and Physical Development around Kumasi, Ghana

Authors: Justice K. Owusu-Ansah, Kevin O'Connor

Abstract:

This research explores the links between physical development and transportation infrastructure around Kumasi, Ghana. It utilizes census data as well as fieldwork and interviews carried out during July and December 2005. The results suggest that there is a weak association between transportation investments and physical development, and that recent housing has generally occurred in poorly accessible locations. Road investments have generally followed physical expansion rather than the reverse. Hence policies designed to manage the fast growth now occurring around Ghanaian cities should not focus exclusively on improving transportation infrastructure but also strengthening the underlying the traditional land management structures and the official land administrative institutions that operate within those structures.

Keywords: Housing, Kumasi, population, physical development, transportation, villages.

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10 ICCFMS - Enhancing a Competitive Advantage for Thailand’s IT Entrepreneurs

Authors: T. Niracharapa, W. Angkana

Abstract:

Since information and communication technology (ICT) plays a critical role in enhancing national competitiveness, it is a driving force for social and economic growth and prosperity. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will integrate this into ASEAN countries as a new mechanism and a measure that will improve economic performance as a global economy. Government policies may support or impede such harmonization. This study was to investigate, analyze the status of Thai IT entrepreneurs and define key strategies to enhance their competitive advantage. Data were collected based on in-depth interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, seminars and fieldwork on information technology excluding communication. SWOT was used as a tool to analyze the study. The results of this study can be used to enable the government to guide policy, measures and strategies for creating a competitive advantage for Thailand’s IT entrepreneurs in the global market.

Keywords: AEC, ASEAN, competitive advantage, IT entrepreneurs.

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9 Heavy Metals Estimation in Coastal Areas Using Remote Sensing, Field Sampling and Classical and Robust Statistic

Authors: Elena Castillo-López, Raúl Pereda, Julio Manuel de Luis, Rubén Pérez, Felipe Piña

Abstract:

Sediments are an important source of accumulation of toxic contaminants within the aquatic environment. Bioassays are a powerful tool for the study of sediments in relation to their toxicity, but they can be expensive. This article presents a methodology to estimate the main physical property of intertidal sediments in coastal zones: heavy metals concentration. This study, which was developed in the Bay of Santander (Spain), applies classical and robust statistic to CASI-2 hyperspectral images to estimate heavy metals presence and ecotoxicity (TOC). Simultaneous fieldwork (radiometric and chemical sampling) allowed an appropriate atmospheric correction to CASI-2 images.

Keywords: Remote sensing, intertidal sediment, airborne sensors, heavy metals, ecotoxicity, robust statistic, estimation.

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8 The Advantages of Integration for Social Systems – Evidence from the Automobile Industry

Authors: Waldemiro Francisco Sorte Junior

Abstract:

The Japanese integrative approach to social systems can be observed in supply chain management as well as in the relationship between public and private sectors. Both the Lean Production System and the Developmental State Model are characterized by efforts towards the achievement of mutual goals, resulting in initiatives for capacity building which emphasize the system level. In Brazil, although organizations undertake efforts to build capabilities at the individual and organizational levels, the system level is being neglected. Fieldwork data confirmed the findings of other studies in terms of the lack of integration in supply chain management in the Brazilian automobile industry. Moreover, due to the absence of an active role of the Brazilian state in its relationship with the private sector, automakers are not fully exploiting the opportunities in the domestic and regional markets. For promoting a higher level of economic growth as well as to increase the degree of spill-over of technologies and techniques, a more integrative approach is needed.

Keywords: Integration, Lean Production System, DevelopmentalState Model, Brazilian automobile industry.

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7 Myths of Thangal Origin from an Anthropological Perspective

Authors: Monoranjan Maibam, Arundhati Maibam, Bojen Akoijam

Abstract:

Myths may be understood as a special kind of literature though not found in written form. Through myths, anthropologists make attempts to describe a world which members of a literate society can barely imagine. Mythical stories about origin of numerous ethnic and tribal communities have helped in tracing their route of migration and the long journey undertaken before arriving at their present places of settlement. This study intends to highlight the myths associated with the origin of the Thangal tribe of Manipur from an anthropological perspective and interpret the stories in the context of evolution, migration and relationship with other neighbouring groups. Fieldwork was conducted using an interview guide to collect primary data and published literatures were consulted for secondary data. The result show two popular versions of origin myths are found among the Thangal- first is origin from a cave at Makhel located in the Maram area and second is the belief that the Thangal, the Tangkhul and the Meitei are brothers who emerged out of a cave long ago. In conclusion, the origin myths of the Thangal may be confirmed and established through archaeological findings in the form of artefacts. Mention of erection of memorial stones in the second version is a good clue to start an archaeological survey of the sites which are believed to have been once occupied by the people.

Keywords: Anthropology, migration, myth, Thangal.

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6 Ultra-Poor Revisited: A Case of Southern Thailand

Authors: Sirirat Taneerananon

Abstract:

This paper presents the results of a study of the ultra-poor in the south of Thailand, revisited after 10 years since the original study in 2000. The original study was conducted in four provinces. The first two namely Phatthalung and Nakorn were chosen to represent the Thai Buddhists and the others, Satun and Pattani were chosen to represent the Thai Muslims. For this study, only the results from the three provinces except Pattani are reported as it was difficult and dangerous to conduct fieldwork in Pattani due to the continued unrest in the area since 2005.

The objectives of the study are to find out the changes of the poverty situation after 10 years and to see the impacts of the poverty reduction projects implemented by the government on the poor. The research methodology used both quantitative and qualitative methods. The same villages in the four provinces studied in 1999 were again chosen. In each village, five ultra-poor people and heads of the villages were interviewed. The results show that the poverty situation of the ultra-poor groups has not changed much since they lacked the basic key factor to get themselves out of poverty: The ownership of land. Their chronic poverty situation has been passed on from the last generation. In the province of Phatthalung, the ultra-poor have improved in terms of economic situation because of the big increase in the price of rubber. However, the same could not be said for other provinces. Even though the government’s projects have not reduced the poverty directly, the projects have significantly contributed to the improvement of the quality of life of the poor and the people in the areas. 

Keywords: Poverty, Southern Thailand, Ultra-poor.

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5 Investigating Crime Hotspot Places and their Implication to Urban Environmental Design: A Geographic Visualization and Data Mining Approach

Authors: Donna R. Tabangin, Jacqueline C. Flores, Nelson F. Emperador

Abstract:

Information is power. Geographical information is an emerging science that is advancing the development of knowledge to further help in the understanding of the relationship of “place" with other disciplines such as crime. The researchers used crime data for the years 2004 to 2007 from the Baguio City Police Office to determine the incidence and actual locations of crime hotspots. Combined qualitative and quantitative research methodology was employed through extensive fieldwork and observation, geographic visualization with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and data mining. The paper discusses emerging geographic visualization and data mining tools and methodologies that can be used to generate baseline data for environmental initiatives such as urban renewal and rejuvenation. The study was able to demonstrate that crime hotspots can be computed and were seen to be occurring to some select places in the Central Business District (CBD) of Baguio City. It was observed that some characteristics of the hotspot places- physical design and milieu may play an important role in creating opportunities for crime. A list of these environmental attributes was generated. This derived information may be used to guide the design or redesign of the urban environment of the City to be able to reduce crime and at the same time improve it physically.

Keywords: Crime mapping, data mining, environmental design, geographic visualization, GIS.

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4 Competency-Based Social Work Practice and Challenges in Child Case Management: Studies in the Districts Social Welfare Services, Malaysia

Authors: S. Brahim, M. S. Mohamad, E. Zakaria, N. [email protected]

Abstract:

This study aimed to explore the practical experience of child welfare caseworkers and professionalism in child case management in Malaysia. This paper discussed the specific social work practice competency and the challenges faced by child caseworkers in the fieldwork. This research was qualitative with grounded theory approach. Four sessions of focused group discussion (FGD) were conducted involving a total of 27 caseworkers (child protector and probation officers) in the Klang Valley. The study found that the four basic principles of knowledge in child case management namely: 1. knowledge in child case management; 2. professional values of caseworkers towards children; 3. skills in managing cases; and 4. culturally competent practice in child case management. In addition, major challenges faced by the child case manager are the capacity and commitment of the family in children’s rehabilitation program, the credibility of caseworkers are being challenged, and the challenges of support system from intra and interagency. This study is important for policy makers to take into account the capacity and the needs of the child’s caseworker in accordance with the national social work competency framework. It is expected that case management services for children will improve systematically in line with national standards.

Keywords: Social work practice, child case management, competency-based knowledge, and professionalism.

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3 Social Work Practice to Labour Welfare: A Proposed Model of Field Work Practicum and Role of Social Worker in India

Authors: Naeem Ahmed

Abstract:

Social work is a professional activity based on the approach of “helping people to help themselves” (Stroup). Social work education and practice both are based on humanitarian philosophy in which social workers try to increase the happiness of the society and to reduce the problems of society. Labour welfare is a specialised field of social work which especially focuses on welfare of organised and unorganised labour. In India labour is facing numerous problems in both organised and unorganised sectors because of ignorance, illiteracy, high rate of unemployment etc. In most of the Indian social work institutions we have this specialization with different names like Human Resource Management or Industrial Relation and Personnel Management or Industrial Relations and Labour Welfare or Industrial Social Work etc. Field work practice is integrated part of social work education curriculum in all specialised field. In India we have different field work practice models being followed in different institutions. The main objective of this paper is to prepare a universal field work practicum model in the field of labour welfare. This paper is exploratory in nature, researcher used personal experience and secondary data (model of field work practice in different institutions like Aligarh Muslim University, Pondicherry University, Central University of Karnataka, University of Lucknow, MJP Rohilkhand University Bareilly etc.) Researcher found that there is an immediate need to upgrade the curriculum or field work practice in this particular field, as more than 40 percent of total population engaged in either unorganised or organised sector (NSSO 2011-12) and they are not aware about their rights. In this way a social worker can play an important role in existing labour welfare facilities by making them aware.

Keywords: Fieldwork, labour welfare, organised labour, social work practice, unorganised labour.

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2 Surface Elevation Dynamics Assessment Using Digital Elevation Models, Light Detection and Ranging, GPS and Geospatial Information Science Analysis: Ecosystem Modelling Approach

Authors: Ali K. M. Al-Nasrawi, Uday A. Al-Hamdany, Sarah M. Hamylton, Brian G. Jones, Yasir M. Alyazichi

Abstract:

Surface elevation dynamics have always responded to disturbance regimes. Creating Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to detect surface dynamics has led to the development of several methods, devices and data clouds. DEMs can provide accurate and quick results with cost efficiency, in comparison to the inherited geomatics survey techniques. Nowadays, remote sensing datasets have become a primary source to create DEMs, including LiDAR point clouds with GIS analytic tools. However, these data need to be tested for error detection and correction. This paper evaluates various DEMs from different data sources over time for Apple Orchard Island, a coastal site in southeastern Australia, in order to detect surface dynamics. Subsequently, 30 chosen locations were examined in the field to test the error of the DEMs surface detection using high resolution global positioning systems (GPSs). Results show significant surface elevation changes on Apple Orchard Island. Accretion occurred on most of the island while surface elevation loss due to erosion is limited to the northern and southern parts. Concurrently, the projected differential correction and validation method aimed to identify errors in the dataset. The resultant DEMs demonstrated a small error ratio (≤ 3%) from the gathered datasets when compared with the fieldwork survey using RTK-GPS. As modern modelling approaches need to become more effective and accurate, applying several tools to create different DEMs on a multi-temporal scale would allow easy predictions in time-cost-frames with more comprehensive coverage and greater accuracy. With a DEM technique for the eco-geomorphic context, such insights about the ecosystem dynamic detection, at such a coastal intertidal system, would be valuable to assess the accuracy of the predicted eco-geomorphic risk for the conservation management sustainability. Demonstrating this framework to evaluate the historical and current anthropogenic and environmental stressors on coastal surface elevation dynamism could be profitably applied worldwide.

Keywords: DEMs, eco-geomorphic-dynamic processes, geospatial information science. Remote sensing, surface elevation changes.

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1 Collaboration versus Cooperation: Grassroots Activism in Divided Cities and Communication Networks

Authors: R. Barbour

Abstract:

Peace-building organisations act as a network of information for communities. Through fieldwork, it was highlighted that grassroots organisations and activists may cooperate with each other in their actions of peace-building; however, they would not collaborate. Within two divided societies; Nicosia in Cyprus and Jerusalem in Israel, there is a distinction made by organisations and activists with regards to activities being more ‘co-operative’ than ‘collaborative’. This theme became apparent when having informal conversations and semi-structured interviews with various members of the activist communities. This idea needs further exploration as these distinctions could impact upon the efficiency of peacebuilding activities within divided societies. Civil societies within divided landscapes, both physically and socially, play an important role in conflict resolution. How organisations and activists interact with each other has the possibility to be very influential with regards to peacebuilding activities. Working together sets a positive example for divided communities. Cooperation may be considered a primary level of interaction between CSOs. Therefore, at the beginning of a working relationship, organisations cooperate over basic agendas, parallel power structures and focus, which led to the same objective. Over time, in some instances, due to varying factors such as funding, more trust and understanding within the relationship, it could be seen that processes progressed to more collaborative ways. It is evident to see that NGOs and activist groups are highly independent and focus on their own agendas before coming together over shared issues. At this time, there appears to be more collaboration in Nicosia among CSOs and activists than Jerusalem. The aims and objectives of agendas also influence how organisations work together. In recent years, Nicosia, and Cyprus in general, have perhaps changed their focus from peace-building initiatives to more environmental issues which have become new-age reconciliation topics. Civil society does not automatically indicate like-minded organisations however solidarity within social groups can create ties that bring people and resources together. In unequal societies, such as those in Nicosia and Jerusalem, it is these ties that cut across groups and are essential for social cohesion. Societies are a collection of social groups; individuals who have come together over common beliefs. These groups in turn shape the identities and determine the values and structures within societies. At many different levels and stages, social groups work together through cooperation and collaboration. These structures in turn have the capabilities to open up networks to less powerful or excluded groups, with the aim to produce social cohesion which may contribute social stability and economic welfare over any extended period.

Keywords: Collaboration, cooperation, grassroots activism, networks of communication.

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