Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 3330

Search results for: Supply chain management

30 Investigating Student Behavior in Adopting Online Formative Assessment Feedback

Authors: Peter Clutterbuck, Terry Rowlands, Owen Seamons

Abstract:

In this paper we describe one critical research program within a complex, ongoing multi-year project (2010 to 2014 inclusive) with the overall goal to improve the learning outcomes for first year undergraduate commerce/business students within an Information Systems (IS) subject with very large enrolment. The single research program described in this paper is the analysis of student attitudes and decision making in relation to the availability of formative assessment feedback via Web-based real time conferencing and document exchange software (Adobe Connect). The formative assessment feedback between teaching staff and students is in respect of an authentic problem-based, team-completed assignment. The analysis of student attitudes and decision making is investigated via both qualitative (firstly) and quantitative (secondly) application of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) with a two statistically-significant and separate trial samples of the enrolled students. The initial qualitative TPB investigation revealed that perceived self-efficacy, improved time-management, and lecturer-student relationship building were the major factors in shaping an overall favorable student attitude to online feedback, whilst some students expressed valid concerns with perceived control limitations identified within the online feedback protocols. The subsequent quantitative TPB investigation then confirmed that attitude towards usage, subjective norms surrounding usage, and perceived behavioral control of usage were all significant in shaping student intention to use the online feedback protocol, with these three variables explaining 63 percent of the variance in the behavioral intention to use the online feedback protocol. The identification in this research of perceived behavioral control as a significant determinant in student usage of a specific technology component within a virtual learning environment (VLE) suggests that VLEs could now be viewed not as a single, atomic entity, but as a spectrum of technology offerings ranging from the mature and simple (e.g., email, Web downloads) to the cutting-edge and challenging (e.g., Web conferencing and real-time document exchange). That is, that all VLEs should not be considered the same. The results of this research suggest that tertiary students have the technological sophistication to assess a VLE in this more selective manner.

Keywords: Formative assessment feedback, virtual learning environment, theory of planned behavior, perceived behavioral control.

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29 Smart Sustainable Cities: An Integrated Planning Approach towards Sustainable Urban Energy Systems, India

Authors: Adinarayanane Ramamurthy, Monsingh D. Devadas

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Cities denote instantaneously a challenge and an opportunity for climate change policy. Cities are the place where most energy services are needed because urbanization is closely linked to high population densities and concentration of economic activities and production (Urban energy demand). Consequently, it is critical to explain about the role of cities within the world-s energy systems and its correlation with the climate change issue. With more than half of the world-s population already living in urban areas, and that percentage expected to rise to 75 per cent by 2050, it is clear that the path to sustainable development must pass through cities. Cities expanding in size and population pose increased challenges to the environment, of which energy is part as a natural resource, and to the quality of life. Nowadays, most cities have already understood the importance of sustainability, both at their local scale as in terms of their contribution to sustainability at higher geographical scales. It requires the perception of a city as a complex and dynamic ecosystem, an open system, or cluster of systems, where the energy as well as the other natural resources is transformed to satisfy the needs of the different urban activities. In fact, buildings and transportation generally represent most of cities direct energy demand, i.e., between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of the overall consumption. Buildings, both residential and services are usually influenced by the local physical and social conditions. In terms of transport, the energy demand is also strongly linked with the specific characteristics of a city (urban mobility).The concept of a “smart city" builds on statistics as seven key axes of a city-s success in moving towards common platform (brain nerve)of sustainable urban energy systems. With the aforesaid knowledge, the authors have suggested a frame work to role of cities, as energy actors for smart city management. The authors have discusses the potential elements needed for energy in smart cities and also identified potential energy actions and relevant barriers. Furthermore, three levels of city smartness in cities actions to overcome market /institutional failures with a local approach are distinguished. The authors have made an attempt to conceive and implement concepts of city smartness by adopting the city or local government as nerve center through an integrated planning approach. Finally, concluding with recommendations for the organization of the Smart Sustainable Cities for positive changes of urban India.

Keywords: Urbanization, Urban Energy Demand, Sustainable Urban Energy Systems, Integrated Planning Approach, Smart Sustainable City.

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28 Encouraging Collaboration and Innovation: The New Engineering Oriented Educational Reform in Urban Planning, Tianjin University, China

Authors: Tianjie Zhang, Bingqian Cheng, Peng Zeng

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Engineering science and technology progress and innovation have become an important engine to promote social development. The reform exploration of "new engineering" in China has drawn extensive attention around the world, with its connotation as "to cultivate future diversified, innovative and outstanding engineering talents by taking ‘fostering character and civic virtue’ as the guide, responding to changes and shaping the future as the construction concept, and inheritance and innovation, crossover and fusion, coordination and sharing as the principal approach". In this context, Tianjin University, as a traditional Chinese university with advantages in engineering, further launched the CCII (Coherent-Collaborative-Interdisciplinary-Innovation) program, raising the cultivation idea of integrating new liberal arts education, multidisciplinary engineering education and personalized professional education. As urban planning practice in China has undergone the evolution of "physical planning -- comprehensive strategic planning -- resource management-oriented planning", planning education has also experienced the transmutation process of "building foundation -- urban scientific foundation -- multi-disciplinary integration". As a characteristic and advantageous discipline of Tianjin University, the major of Urban and Rural Planning, in accordance with the "CCII Program of Tianjin University", aims to build China's top and world-class major, and implements the following educational reform measures: 1. Adding corresponding English courses, such as advanced course on GIS Analysis, courses on comparative studies in international planning involving ecological resources and the sociology of the humanities, etc. 2. Holding "Academician Forum", inviting international academicians to give lectures or seminars to track international frontier scientific research issues. 3. Organizing "International Joint Workshop" to provide students with international exchange and design practice platform. 4. Setting up a business practice base, so that students can find problems from practice and solve them in an innovative way. Through these measures, the Urban and Rural Planning major of Tianjin University has formed a talent training system with multi-disciplinary cross integration and orienting to the future science and technology.

Keywords: China, higher education reform, innovation, new engineering education, rural and urban planning, Tianjin University.

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27 Bridging the Gap: Living Machine in Educational Nature Preserve Center

Authors: Zakeia Benmoussa

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Pressure on freshwater systems comes from removing too much water to grow crops; contamination from economic activities, land use practices, and human waste. The paper will be focusing on how water management can influence the design, implementation, and impacts of the ecological principles of biomimicry as sustainable methods in recycling wastewater. At Texas State, United States of America, in particular the lower area of the Trinity River refuge, there is a true example of the diversity to be found in that area, whether when exploring the lands or the waterways. However, as the Trinity River supplies water to the state’s residents, the lower part of the river at Liberty County presents several problem of wastewater discharge in the river. Therefore, conservation efforts are particularly important in the Trinity River basin. Clearly, alternative ways must be considered in order to conserve water to meet future demands. As a result, there should be another system provided rather than the conventional water treatment. Mimicking ecosystem's technologies out of context is not enough, but if we incorporate plants into building architecture, in addition to their beauty, they can filter waste, absorb excess water, and purify air. By providing an architectural proposal center, a living system can be explored through several methods that influence natural resources on the micro-scale in order to impact sustainability on the macro-scale. The center consists of an ecological program of Plant and Water Biomimicry study which becomes a living organism that purifies the river water in a natural way through architecture. Consequently, a rich beautiful nature could be used as an educational destination, observation and adventure, as well as providing unpolluted fresh water to the major cities of Texas. As a result, these facts raise a couple of questions: Why is conservation so rarely practiced by those who must extract a living from the land? Are we sufficiently enlightened to realize that we must now challenge that dogma? Do architects respond to the environment and reflect on it in the correct way through their public projects? The method adopted in this paper consists of general research into careful study of the system of the living machine, in how to integrate it at architectural level, and finally, the consolidation of the all the conclusions formed into design proposal. To summarise, this paper attempts to provide a sustainable alternative perspective in bridging physical and mental interaction with biodiversity to enhance nature by using architecture.

Keywords: Biodiversity, design with nature, sustainable architecture, waste water treatment.

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26 An Integrated Approach to Child Care Earthquake Preparedness through “Telemachus” Project

Authors: A. Kourou, S. Kyriakopoulos, N. Anyfanti

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A lot of children under the age of five spend their daytime hours away from their home, in a kindergarten. Caring for children is a serious subject, and their safety in case of earthquake is the first priority. Being aware of earthquakes helps to prioritize the needs and take the appropriate actions to limit the effects. Earthquakes occurring anywhere at any time require emergency planning. Earthquake planning is a cooperative effort and childcare providers have unique roles and responsibilities. Greece has high seismicity and Ionian Islands Region has the highest seismic activity of the country. Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization (EPPO) is a national organization in Greece. The mission of EPPO is the seismic risk reduction by designing an earthquake management program of mitigation and preparedness. Among other actions EPPO has analyzed the needs and requirements of kindergartens on earthquake protection issues and has designed specific activities to familiarize the day care centers staff being prepared for earthquakes.  This research presents the results of a survey that detects the level of earthquake preparedness of kindergartens in all over the country and Ionian Islands too. A closed-form questionnaire of 20 main questions was developed for the survey in order to detect the aspects of participants concerning the earthquake preparedness actions at individual, family and day care environment level. 2668 questionnaires were gathered from March 2014 to May 2019, and analyzed by EPPO’s Department of Education. Moreover, this paper presents the EPPO’s educational activities targeted to the Ionian Islands Region that implemented in the framework of “Telemachus” Project. To provide safe environment for children to learn, and staff to work is the foremost goal of any State, community and kindergarten. This project is funded under the Priority Axis “Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development” of Operational Plan “Ionian Islands 2014-2020”. It is increasingly accepted that emergency preparedness should be thought of as an ongoing process rather than a one-time activity. Creating an earthquake safe daycare environment that facilitates learning is a challenging task. Training, drills, and update of emergency plan should take place throughout the year at kindergartens to identify any gaps and to ensure the emergency procedures. EPPO will continue to work closely with regional and local authorities to actively address the needs of children and kindergartens before, during and after earthquakes.

Keywords: Child care centers, education on earthquake issues, emergency planning, Ionian Islands Region of Greece, kindergartens, preparedness.

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25 Geostatistical Analysis of Contamination of Soils in an Urban Area in Ghana

Authors: S. K. Appiah, E. N. Aidoo, D. Asamoah Owusu, M. W. Nuonabuor

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Urbanization remains one of the unique predominant factors which is linked to the destruction of urban environment and its associated cases of soil contamination by heavy metals through the natural and anthropogenic activities. These activities are important sources of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn). Often, these heavy metals lead to increased levels in some areas due to the impact of atmospheric deposition caused by their proximity to industrial plants or the indiscriminately burning of substances. Information gathered on potentially hazardous levels of these heavy metals in soils leads to establish serious health and urban agriculture implications. However, characterization of spatial variations of soil contamination by heavy metals in Ghana is limited. Kumasi is a Metropolitan city in Ghana, West Africa and is challenged with the recent spate of deteriorating soil quality due to rapid economic development and other human activities such as “Galamsey”, illegal mining operations within the metropolis. The paper seeks to use both univariate and multivariate geostatistical techniques to assess the spatial distribution of heavy metals in soils and the potential risk associated with ingestion of sources of soil contamination in the Metropolis. Geostatistical tools have the ability to detect changes in correlation structure and how a good knowledge of the study area can help to explain the different scales of variation detected. To achieve this task, point referenced data on heavy metals measured from topsoil samples in a previous study, were collected at various locations. Linear models of regionalisation and coregionalisation were fitted to all experimental semivariograms to describe the spatial dependence between the topsoil heavy metals at different spatial scales, which led to ordinary kriging and cokriging at unsampled locations and production of risk maps of soil contamination by these heavy metals. Results obtained from both the univariate and multivariate semivariogram models showed strong spatial dependence with range of autocorrelations ranging from 100 to 300 meters. The risk maps produced show strong spatial heterogeneity for almost all the soil heavy metals with extremely risk of contamination found close to areas with commercial and industrial activities. Hence, ongoing pollution interventions should be geared towards these highly risk areas for efficient management of soil contamination to avert further pollution in the metropolis.

Keywords: Coregionalization, ordinary cokriging, multivariate geostatistical analysis, soil contamination, soil heavy metals, risk maps, spatial distribution.

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24 A Mixed Method Investigation of the Impact of Practicum Experience on Mathematics Female Pre-Service Teachers’ Sense of Preparedness

Authors: Fatimah Alsaleh, Glenda Anthony

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The practicum experience is a critical component of any initial teacher education (ITE) course. As well as providing a near authentic setting for pre-service teachers (PSTs) to practice in, it also plays a key role in shaping their perceptions and sense of preparedness. Nevertheless, merely including a practicum period as a compulsory part of ITE may not in itself be enough to induce feelings of preparedness and efficacy; the quality of the classroom experience must also be considered. Drawing on findings of a larger study of secondary and intermediate level mathematics PSTs’ sense of preparedness to teach, this paper examines the influence of the practicum experience in particular. The study sample comprised female mathematics PSTs who had almost completed their teaching methods course in their fourth year of ITE across 16 teacher education programs in Saudi Arabia. The impact of the practicum experience on PSTs’ sense of preparedness was investigated via a mixed-methods approach combining a survey (N = 105) and in-depth interviews with survey volunteers (N = 16). Statistical analysis in SPSS was used to explore the quantitative data, and thematic analysis was applied to the qualitative interviews data. The results revealed that the PSTs perceived the practicum experience to have played a dominant role in shaping their feelings of preparedness and efficacy. However, despite the generally positive influence of practicum, the PSTs also reported numerous challenges that lessened their feelings of preparedness. These challenges were often related to the classroom environment and the school culture. For example, about half of the PSTs indicated that the practicum schools did not have the resources available or the support necessary to help them learn the work of teaching. In particular, the PSTs expressed concerns about translating the theoretical knowledge learned at the university into practice in authentic classrooms. These challenges engendered PSTs feeling less prepared and suggest that more support from both the university and the school is needed to help PSTs develop a stronger sense of preparedness. The area in which PSTs felt least prepared was that of classroom and behavior management, although the results also indicated that PSTs only felt a moderate level of general teaching efficacy and were less confident about how to support students as learners. Again, feelings of lower efficacy were related to the dissonance between the theory presented at university and real-world classroom practice. In order to close this gap between theory and practice, PSTs expressed the wish to have more time in the practicum, and more accountability for support from school-based mentors. In highlighting the challenges of the practicum in shaping PSTs’ sense of preparedness and efficacy, the study argues that better communication between the ITE providers and the practicum schools is necessary in order to maximize the benefit of the practicum experience.

Keywords: Mathematics, practicum experience, pre-service teachers, sense of preparedness.

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23 The Resource-Base View of Organization and Innovation: Recognition of Significant Relationship in an Organization

Authors: Francis Deinmodei W. Poazi, Jasmine O. Tamunosiki-Amadi, Maurice Fems

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In recent times the resource-based view (RBV) of strategic management has recorded a sizeable attention yet there has not been a considerable scholarly and managerial discourse, debate and attention. As a result, this paper gives special bit of critical reasoning as well as top-notch analyses and relationship between RBV and organizational innovation. The study examines those salient aspects of RBV that basically have the will power in ensuring the organization's capacity to go for innovative capability. In achieving such fit and standpoint, the paper joins other relevant academic discourse and empirical evidence. To this end, a reasonable amount of contributions in setting the ground running for future empirical researches would have been provided. More so, the study is guided and built on the following strength and significance: Firstly, RBV sees resources as heterogeneity which forms a strong point of strength and allows organisations to gain competitive advantage. In order words, competitive advantage can be achieved or delivered to the organization when resources are distinctively utilized in a valuable manner more than the envisaged competitors of the organization. Secondly, RBV is significantly influential in determining the real resources that are available in the organization with a view to locate capabilities within in order to attract more profitability into the organization when applied. Thus, there will be more sustainable growth and success in the ever competitive and emerging market. Thus, to have succinct description of the basic methodologies, the study adopts both qualitative as well as quantitative approach with a view to have a broad samples of opinion in establishing and identifying key and strategic organizational resources to enable managers of resources to gain a competitive advantage as well as generating a sustainable increase and growth in profit. Furthermore, a comparative approach and analysis was used to examine the performance of RBV within the organization. Thus, the following are some of the findings of the study: it is clear that there is a nexus between RBV and growth of competitively viable organizations. More so, in most parts, organizations have heterogeneous resources domiciled in their organizations but not all organizations as it was specifically and intelligently adopting the tenets of RBV to strengthen heterogeneity of resources which allows organisations to gain competitive advantage. Other findings of this study reveal that of managerial perception of RBV with respect to application and transformation of resources to achieve a profitable end. It is against this backdrop, the importance of RBV cannot be overemphasized; the study is strongly convinced and think that RBV view is one focal and distinct approach that is focused on internal to outside strategy which engenders sourcing or generating resources internally as well as having the quest to apply such internally sourced resources diligently to increase or gain competitive advantage.

Keywords: Competitive advantage, innovation, organisation, recognition, resource-based view.

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22 Outcomes of Pregnancy in Women with TPO Positive Status after Appropriate Dose Adjustments of Thyroxin: A Prospective Cohort Study

Authors: Revathi S. Rajan, Pratibha Malik, Nupur Garg, Smitha Avula, Kamini A. Rao

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This study aimed to analyse the pregnancy outcomes in patients with TPO positivity after appropriate L-Thyroxin supplementation with close surveillance. All pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at Milann-The Fertility Center, Bangalore, India- from Aug 2013 to Oct 2014 whose booking TSH was more than 2.5 mIU/L were included along with those pregnant women with prior hypothyroidism who were TPO positive. Those with TPO positive status were vigorously managed with appropriate thyroxin supplementation and the doses were readjusted every 3 to 4 weeks until delivery. Women with recurrent pregnancy loss were also tested for TPO positivity and if tested positive, were monitored serially with TSH and fT4 levels every 3 to 4 weeks and appropriately supplemented with thyroxin when the levels fluctuated. The testing was done after an informed consent in all these women. The statistical software namely SAS 9.2, SPSS 15.0, Stata 10.1, MedCalc 9.0.1, Systat 12.0 and R environment ver.2.11.1 were used for the analysis of the data. 460 pregnant women were screened for thyroid dysfunction at booking of which 52% were hypothyroid. Majority of them (31.08%) were subclinically hypothyroid and the remaining were overt. 25% of the total no. of patients screened were TPO positive. The various pregnancy complications that were observed in the TPO positive women were gestational glucose intolerance [60%], threatened abortion [21%], midtrimester abortion [4.3%], premature rupture of membranes [4.3%], cervical funneling [4.3%] and fetal growth restriction [3.5%]. 95.6% of the patients who followed up till the end delivered beyond 30 weeks. 42.6% of these patients had previous history of recurrent abortions or adverse obstetric outcome and 21.7% of the delivered babies required NICU admission. Obstetric outcomes in our study in terms of midtrimester abortions, placental abruption, and preterm delivery improved for the better after close monitoring of the thyroid hormone [TSH and fT4] levels every 3 to 4 weeks with appropriate dose adjustment throughout pregnancy. Euthyroid women with TPO positive status enrolled in the study incidentally were those with recurrent abortions/infertility and required thyroxin supplements due to elevated Thyroid hormone (TSH, fT4) levels during the course of their pregnancy. Significant associations were found with age>30 years and Hyperhomocysteinemia [p=0.017], recurrent pregnancy loss or previous adverse obstetric outcomes [p=0.067] and APLA [p=0.029]. TPO antibody levels >600 I U/ml were significantly associated with development of gestational hypertension [p=0.041] and fetal growth restriction [p=0.082]. Euthyroid women with TPO positivity were also screened periodically to counter fluctuations of the thyroid hormone levels with appropriate thyroxin supplementation. Thus, early identification along with aggressive management of thyroid dysfunction and stratification of these patients based on their TPO status with appropriate thyroxin supplementation beginning in the first trimester will aid risk modulation and also help avert complications.

Keywords: Antinuclear antibody, Subclinical hypothyroidism, Thyroxin, TPO antibody.

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21 Civic E-Participation in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis

Authors: Izabela Kapsa

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Civic participation is an important aspect of democracy. The contemporary model of democracy is based on citizens' participation in political decision-making (deliberative democracy, participatory democracy). This participation takes many forms of activities like display of slogans and symbols, voting, social consultations, political demonstrations, membership in political parties or organizing civil disobedience. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 are characterized by great social, economic and political diversity. Civil society is also part of the process of democratization. Civil society, funded by the rule of law, civil rights, such as freedom of speech and association and private ownership, was to play a central role in the development of liberal democracy. Among the many interpretations of concepts, defining the concept of contemporary democracy, one can assume that the terms civil society and democracy, although different in meaning, nowadays overlap. In the post-communist countries, the process of shaping and maturing societies took place in the context of a struggle with a state governed by undemocratic power. State fraud or repudiation of the institution is a representative state, which in the past was the only way to manifest and defend its identity, but after the breakthrough became one of the main obstacles to the development of civil society. In Central and Eastern Europe, there are many obstacles to the development of civil society, for example, the elimination of economic poverty, the implementation of educational campaigns, consciousness-related obstacles, the formation of social capital and the deficit of social activity. Obviously, civil society does not only entail an electoral turnout but a broader participation in the decision-making process, which is impossible without direct and participative democratic institutions. This article considers such broad forms of civic participation and their characteristics in Central and Eastern Europe. The paper is attempts to analyze the functioning of electronic forms of civic participation in Central and Eastern European states. This is not accompanied by a referendum or a referendum initiative, and other forms of political participation, such as public consultations, participative budgets, or e-Government. However, this paper will broadly present electronic administration tools, the application of which results from both legal regulations and increasingly common practice in state and city management. In the comparative analysis, the experiences of post-communist bloc countries will be summed up to indicate the challenges and possible goals for further development of this form of citizen participation in the political process. The author argues that for to function efficiently and effectively, states need to involve their citizens in the political decision-making process, especially with the use of electronic tools.

Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, e-participation, e-government, post-communism.

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20 Humic Acid and Azadirachtin Derivatives for the Management of Crop Pests

Authors: R. S. Giraddi, C. M. Poleshi

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Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture.  Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control.  The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.

Keywords: Humic acid, azadirachtin, vermicompost, insect-pest.

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19 Funding Innovative Activities in Firms: The Ownership Structure and Governance Linkage - Evidence from Mongolia

Authors: Ernest Nweke, Enkhtuya Bavuudorj

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The harsh realities of the scandalous failure of several notable corporations in the past two decades have inextricably resulted in a surge in corporate governance studies. Nevertheless, little or no attention has been paid to corporate governance studies in Mongolian firms and much less to the comprehension of the correlation among ownership structure, corporate governance mechanisms and trend of innovative activities. Innovation is the bed rock of enterprise success. However, the funding and support for innovative activities in many firms are to a great extent determined by the incentives provided by the firm’s internal and external governance mechanisms. Mongolia is an East Asian country currently undergoing a fast-paced transition from socialist to democratic system and it is a widely held view that private ownership as against public ownership fosters innovation. Hence, following the privatization policy of Mongolian Government which has led to the transfer of the ownership of hitherto state controlled and state directed firms to private individuals and organizations, expectations are high that sufficient motivation would be provided for firm managers to engage in innovative activities. This research focuses on the relationship between ownership structure, corporate governance on one hand and the level of innovation on the hand. The paper is empirical in nature and derives data from both reliable secondary and primary sources. Secondary data for the study was in respect of ownership structure of Mongolian listed firms and innovation trend in Mongolia generally. These were analyzed using tables, charts, bars and percentages. Personal interviews and surveys were held to collect primary data. Primary data was in respect of corporate governance practices in Mongolian firms and were collected using structured questionnaire. Out of a population of three hundred and twenty (320) companies listed on the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE), a sample size of thirty (30) randomly selected companies was utilized for the study. Five (5) management level employees were surveyed in each selected firm giving a total of one hundred and fifty (150) respondents. Data collected were analyzed and research hypotheses tested using Chi-Square test statistic. Research results showed that corporate governance mechanisms were better and have significantly improved overtime in privately held as opposed to publicly owned firms. Consequently, the levels of innovation in privately held firms were considerably higher. It was concluded that a significant and positive relationship exists between private ownership and good corporate governance on one hand and the level of funding provided for innovative activities in Mongolian firms on the other hand.

Keywords: Corporate governance, innovation, ownership structure, stock exchange.

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18 Use of Curcumin in Radiochemotherapy Induced Oral Mucositis Patients: A Control Trial Study

Authors: Shivayogi Charantimath

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Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are effective for treating malignancies but are associated with side effects like oral mucositis. Chlorhexidine gluconate is one of the most commonly used mouthwash in prevention of signs and symptoms of mucositis. Evidence shows that chlorhexidine gluconate has side effects in terms of colonization of bacteria, bad breadth and less healing properties. Thus, it is essential to find a suitable alternative therapy which is more effective with minimal side effects. Curcumin, an extract of turmeric is gradually being studied for its wide-ranging therapeutic properties such as antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antimicrobial, antiseptic, chemo sensitizing and radio sensitizing properties. The present study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of topical curcumin gel on radio-chemotherapy induced oral mucositis in cancer patients. The aim of the study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of curcumin gel in the management of oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing radio chemotherapy and compare with chlorhexidine. The study was conducted in K.L.E. Society’s Belgaum cancer hospital. 40 oral cancer patients undergoing the radiochemotheraphy with oral mucositis was selected and randomly divided into two groups of 20 each. The study group A [20 patients] was advised Cure next gel for 2 weeks. The control group B [20 patients] was advised chlorhexidine gel for 2 weeks. The NRS, Oral Mucositis Assessment scale and WHO mucositis scale were used to determine the grading. The results obtained were calculated by using SPSS 20 software. The comparison of grading was done by applying Mann-Whitney U test and intergroup comparison was calculated by Wilcoxon matched pairs test. The NRS scores observed from baseline to 1st and 2nd week follow up in both the group showed significant difference. The percentage of change in erythema in respect to group A was 63.3% for first week and for second week, changes were 100.0% with p = 0.0003. The changes in Group A in respect to erythema was 34.6% for 1st week and 57.7% in second week. The intergroup comparison was significant with p value of 0.0048 and 0.0006 in relation to group A and group B respectively. The size of the ulcer score was measured which showed 35.5% [P=0.0010] of change in Group A for 1st and 2nd week showed totally reduction i.e. 103.4% [P=0.0001]. Group B showed 24.7% change from baseline to 1st week and 53.6% for 2nd week follow up. The intergroup comparison with Wilcoxon matched pair test was significant with p=0.0001 in group A. The result obtained by WHO mucositis score in respect to group A shows 29.6% [p=0.0004] change in first week and 75.0% [p=0.0180] change in second week which is highly significant in comparison to group B. Group B showed minimum changes i.e. 20.1% in 1st week and 33.3% in 2nd week. The p value with Wilcoxon was significant with 0.0025 in Group A for 1st week follow up and 0.000 for 2nd week follow up. Curcumin gel appears to an effective and safer alternative to chlorhexidine gel in treatment of oral mucositis.

Keywords: Curcumin, chemotherapy, mucositis, radiotherapy.

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17 Adverse Drug Reactions Monitoring in the Northern Region of Zambia

Authors: Ponshano Kaselekela, Simooya O. Oscar, Lunshano Boyd

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The Copperbelt University Health Services (CBUHS) was designated by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), formally the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (PRA) as a regional pharmacovigilance centre to carryout activities of drug safety monitoring in four provinces in Zambia. CBUHS’s mandate included stimulating the reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), as well as collecting and collating ADR reports from health institutions in the four provinces. This report covers the researchers’ experiences from May 2008 to September, 2016. The main objectives are 1) to monitor ADRs in the Zambian population, 2) to disseminate information to all health professionals in the region advising that the CBU health was a centre for reporting ADRs in the region, 3) to monitor polypharmacy as well as the benefit-risk profile of medicines, 4) to generate independent, evidence based recommendations on the safety of medicines, 5) to support ZAMRA in formulating safety related regulatory decisions for medicines, and 6) to communicate findings with all key stakeholders. The methodology involved monthly visits, beginning in early May 2008 to September, 2016, by the CBUHS to health institutions in the programme areas. Activities included holding discussions with health workers, distribution of ADR forms and collection of ADRs reports. These reports, once collected, were documented and assessed at the CBUHS. A report was then prepared for ZAMRA on quarterly basis. At ZAMRA, serious ADRs were noted and recommendations made to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Zambia. The results show that 2,600 ADRs reports were received at the pharmacovigilance regional centre. Most of the ADRs reports that received were due to antiretroviral drugs, as well as a few from anti-malarial drugs like Artemether/Lumefantrine – Coartem®. Three hundred and twelve ADRs were entered in the Uppsala Monitoring Centre WHO Vigiflow for further analysis. It was concluded that in general, 2008-16 were exciting years for the pharmacovigilance group at CBUHS. From a very tentative beginning, a lot of strides were made and contacts established with healthcare facilities in the region. The researchers were encouraged by the support received from the Copperbelt University management, the motivation provided by ZAMRA and most importantly the enthusiasm of health workers in all the health care facilities visited. As a centre for drug safety in Zambia, the results show it achieves its objectives for monitoring ADRs, Pharmacovigilance (drug safety monitoring), and activities of monitoring ADRs as well as preventing them. However, the centre faces critical challenges caused by erratic funding that prevents the smooth running of the programme.

Keywords: Assessments, evaluation, monitoring, pharmacovigilance.

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16 Exploring the Spatial Characteristics of Mortality Map: A Statistical Area Perspective

Authors: Jung-Hong Hong, Jing-Cen Yang, Cai-Yu Ou

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The analysis of geographic inequality heavily relies on the use of location-enabled statistical data and quantitative measures to present the spatial patterns of the selected phenomena and analyze their differences. To protect the privacy of individual instance and link to administrative units, point-based datasets are spatially aggregated to area-based statistical datasets, where only the overall status for the selected levels of spatial units is used for decision making. The partition of the spatial units thus has dominant influence on the outcomes of the analyzed results, well known as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). A new spatial reference framework, the Taiwan Geographical Statistical Classification (TGSC), was recently introduced in Taiwan based on the spatial partition principles of homogeneous consideration of the number of population and households. Comparing to the outcomes of the traditional township units, TGSC provides additional levels of spatial units with finer granularity for presenting spatial phenomena and enables domain experts to select appropriate dissemination level for publishing statistical data. This paper compares the results of respectively using TGSC and township unit on the mortality data and examines the spatial characteristics of their outcomes. For the mortality data between the period of January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2010 of the Taitung County, the all-cause age-standardized death rate (ASDR) ranges from 571 to 1757 per 100,000 persons, whereas the 2nd dissemination area (TGSC) shows greater variation, ranged from 0 to 2222 per 100,000. The finer granularity of spatial units of TGSC clearly provides better outcomes for identifying and evaluating the geographic inequality and can be further analyzed with the statistical measures from other perspectives (e.g., population, area, environment.). The management and analysis of the statistical data referring to the TGSC in this research is strongly supported by the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. An integrated workflow that consists of the tasks of the processing of death certificates, the geocoding of street address, the quality assurance of geocoded results, the automatic calculation of statistic measures, the standardized encoding of measures and the geo-visualization of statistical outcomes is developed. This paper also introduces a set of auxiliary measures from a geographic distribution perspective to further examine the hidden spatial characteristics of mortality data and justify the analyzed results. With the common statistical area framework like TGSC, the preliminary results demonstrate promising potential for developing a web-based statistical service that can effectively access domain statistical data and present the analyzed outcomes in meaningful ways to avoid wrong decision making.

Keywords: Mortality map, spatial patterns, statistical area, variation.

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15 Research of the Factors Affecting the Administrative Capacity of Enterprises in the Logistic Sector of Bulgaria

Authors: R. Kenova, K. Anguelov, R. Nikolova

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The human factor plays a major role in boosting the competitive capacity of logistic enterprises. This is of particular importance when it comes to logistic companies. On the one hand they should be strictly compliant with legislation; on the other hand, they should be competitive in terms of pricing and of delivery timelines. Moreover, their policies should allow them to be as flexible as possible. All these circumstances are reason for very serious challenges for the qualification, motivation and experience of the human resources, working in logistic companies or in logistic departments of trade and industrial enterprises. The geographic place of Bulgaria puts it in position of a country with some specific competitive advantages in the goods transport from Europe to Asia and back. Along with it, there is a number of logistic companies, that operate in this sphere in Bulgaria. In the current paper, the authors aim to establish the condition of the administrative capacity and human resources in the logistic companies and logistic departments of trade and industrial companies in Bulgaria in order to propose some guidelines for improving of their effectiveness. Due to independent empirical research, conducted in Bulgarian logistic, trade and industrial enterprises, the authors investigate both the impact degree and the interdependence of various factors that characterize the administrative capacity. The study is conducted with a prepared questionnaire, in format of direct interview with the respondents. The volume of the poll is 50 respondents, representatives of: general managers of industrial or trade enterprises; logistic managers of industrial or trade enterprises; general managers of forwarding companies – either with own or with hired transport; experts from Bulgarian association of logistics; logistic lobbyist and scientists of the relevant area. The data are gathered for 3 months, then arranged by a specialized software program and analyzed by preset criteria. Based on the results of this methodological toolbox, it can be claimed that there is a correlation between the individual criteria. Also, a commitment between the administrative capacity and other factors that determine the competitiveness of the studied companies is established. In this paper, the authors present results of the empirical research that concerns the number and the workload in the logistic departments of the enterprises. Also, what is commented is the experience, related to logistic processes management and human resources competence. Moreover, the overload level of the logistic specialists is analyzed as one of the main threats for making mistakes and losing clients. The paper stands behind the thesis that there is indispensability of forming an effective and efficient administrative capacity, based on the number, qualification, experience and motivation of the staff in the logistic companies. The paper ends with recommendations about the qualification and experience of the specialists in logistic departments; providing effective and efficient administrative capacity in the logistic departments; interdependence of the human factor and the other factors that influence the enterprise competitiveness.

Keywords: Administrative capacity, human resources, logistic competitiveness, staff qualification.

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14 Coastal Vulnerability Index and Its Projection for Odisha Coast, East Coast of India

Authors: Bishnupriya Sahoo, Prasad K. Bhaskaran

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Tropical cyclone is one among the worst natural hazards that results in a trail of destruction causing enormous damage to life, property, and coastal infrastructures. In a global perspective, the Indian Ocean is considered as one of the cyclone prone basins in the world. Specifically, the frequency of cyclogenesis in the Bay of Bengal is higher compared to the Arabian Sea. Out of the four maritime states in the East coast of India, Odisha is highly susceptible to tropical cyclone landfall. Historical records clearly decipher the fact that the frequency of cyclones have reduced in this basin. However, in the recent decades, the intensity and size of tropical cyclones have increased. This is a matter of concern as the risk and vulnerability level of Odisha coast exposed to high wind speed and gusts during cyclone landfall have increased. In this context, there is a need to assess and evaluate the severity of coastal risk, area of exposure under risk, and associated vulnerability with a higher dimension in a multi-risk perspective. Changing climate can result in the emergence of a new hazard and vulnerability over a region with differential spatial and socio-economic impact. Hence there is a need to have coastal vulnerability projections in a changing climate scenario. With this motivation, the present study attempts to estimate the destructiveness of tropical cyclones based on Power Dissipation Index (PDI) for those cyclones that made landfall along Odisha coast that exhibits an increasing trend based on historical data. The study also covers the futuristic scenarios of integral coastal vulnerability based on the trends in PDI for the Odisha coast. This study considers 11 essential and important parameters; the cyclone intensity, storm surge, onshore inundation, mean tidal range, continental shelf slope, topo-graphic elevation onshore, rate of shoreline change, maximum wave height, relative sea level rise, rainfall distribution, and coastal geomorphology. The study signifies that over a decadal scale, the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) depends largely on the incremental change in variables such as cyclone intensity, storm surge, and associated inundation. In addition, the study also performs a critical analysis on the modulation of PDI on storm surge and inundation characteristics for the entire coastal belt of Odisha State. Interestingly, the study brings to light that a linear correlation exists between the storm-tide with PDI. The trend analysis of PDI and its projection for coastal Odisha have direct practical applications in effective coastal zone management and vulnerability assessment.

Keywords: Bay of Bengal, coastal vulnerability index, power dissipation index, tropical cyclone.

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13 Fish Catch Composition from Gobind Sagar Reservoir during 2006-2012

Authors: Krishan Lal, Anish Dua

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Gobind Sagar Reservoir has been created in Himachal Pradesh, India (31° 25´ N and 76 ° 25´E) by damming River Sutlej at village Bhakra in 1963. The average water spread area of this reservoir is 10,000 hectares. Fishermen have organized themselves in the form of co-operative societies. 26 fisheries co-operative societies were working in Gobind Sagar Reservoir up till 2012. June and July months were observed as closed season, no fishing was done during this period. Proper record maintaining of fish catch was done at different levels by the state fisheries department. Different measures like minimum harvestable size, mesh size regulation and prohibition of illegal fishing etc. were taken for fish conservation. Fishermen were actively involved in the management. Gill nets were used for catching fishes from this reservoir. State fisheries department is realizing 15% royalty of the sold fish. Data used in this paper is about the fish catch during 2006-2012 and were obtained from the state fisheries department, Himachal Pradesh. Catla catla, Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigala, Sperata seenghala, Cyprinus carpio, Tor putitora, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Labeo calbasu, Labeo dero and Ctenopharyngodon idella etc., were the fish species exploited for commercial purposes. Total number of individuals of all species caught was 3141236 weighing 5637108.9 kg during 2006-2012. H. molitrix was introduced accidently in this reservoir and was making a good share of fish catch in this reservoir. The annual catch of this species was varying between 161279.6 kg, caught in 2011 and 788030.8 kg caught in 2009. Total numbers of individuals of C. idella caught were 8966 weighing 64320.2 kg. The catch of Cyprinus carpio was varying between 144826.1 kg caught in 2006 and 214480.1 kg caught in 2010. Total catch of Tor putitora was 180263.2 kg during 2006-2012. Total catch of L. dero, S. seenghala and Catla catla remained 100637.4 kg, 75297.8 kg and 561802.9 kg, respectively, during 2006-2012. Maximum fish catch was observed during the months of August (after observing Closed Season). Maximum catch of exotic carps was from Bhakra area of the reservoir which has fewer fluctuations in water levels. The reservoir has been divided into eight beats for administrative purpose, to avoid conflicts between operating fisheries co-operative societies for area of operation. Fish catch was more by co-operative societies operating in the area of reservoir having fewer fluctuations in water level and catch was less by co-operative societies operating in the area of more fluctuations in water level. Species-wise fish catch by different co-operative societies from their allotted area was studied. This reservoir is one of most scientifically managed reservoirs.

Keywords: Co-operative societies, fish catch, fish species, reservoir.

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12 A Multi-Phase Methodology for Investigating Localisation Policies within the GCC: The Hotel Industry in the KSA and the UAE

Authors: Areej Azhar, Peter Duncan, David Edgar

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Due to a high unemployment rate among local people and a high reliance on expatriate workers, the governments in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries have been implementing programmes of localisation (replacing foreign workers with GCC nationals). These programmes have been successful in the public sector but much less so in the private sector. However, there are now insufficient jobs for locals in the public sector and the onus to provide employment has fallen on the private sector. This paper is concerned with a study, which is a work in progress (certain elements are complete but not the whole study), investigating the effective implementation of localisation policies in four- and five-star hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The purpose of the paper is to identify the research gap, and to present the need for the research. Further, it will explain how this research was conducted. Studies of localisation in the GCC countries are under-represented in scholarly literature. Currently, the hotel sectors in KSA and UAE play an important part in the countries’ economies. However, the total proportion of Saudis working in the hotel sector in KSA is slightly under 8%, and in the UAE, the hotel sector remains highly reliant on expatriates. There is therefore a need for research on strategies to enhance the implementation of the localisation policies in general and in the hotel sector in particular. Further, despite the importance of the hotel sector to their economies, there remains a dearth of research into the implementation of localisation policies in this sector. Indeed, as far as the researchers are aware, there is no study examining localisation in the hotel sector in KSA, and few in the UAE. This represents a considerable research gap. Regarding how the research was carried out, a multiple case study strategy was used. The four- and five-star hotel sector in KSA is one of the cases, while the four- and five-star hotel sector in the UAE is the other case. Four- and five-star hotels in KSA and the UAE were chosen as these countries have the longest established localisation policies of all the GCC states and there are more hotels of these classifications in these countries than in any of the other Gulf countries. A literature review was carried out to underpin the research. The empirical data were gathered in three phases. In order to gain a pre-understanding of the issues pertaining to the research context, Phase I involved eight unstructured interviews with officials from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (three interviewees); the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund (one); the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (three); and the Abu Dhabi Development Fund (one).

In Phase II, a questionnaire was administered to 24 managers and 24 employees in four- and five-star hotels in each country to obtain their beliefs, attitudes, opinions, preferences and practices concerning localisation. Unstructured interviews were carried out in Phase III with six managers in each country in order to allow them to express opinions that may not have been explored in sufficient depth in the questionnaire. The interviews in Phases I and III were analysed using thematic analysis and SPSS will be used to analyse the questionnaire data. It is recommended that future research be undertaken on a larger scale, with a larger sample taken from all over KSA and the UAE rather than from only four cities (i.e., Riyadh and Jeddah in KSA and Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE), as was the case in this research.

Keywords: KSA, UAE, localisation, hotels, Human Resource Management.

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11 Mental Health Surveys on Community and Organizational Levels: Challenges, Issues, Conclusions and Possibilities

Authors: László L. Lippai

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In addition to the fact that mental health bears great significance to a particular individual, it can also be regarded as an organizational, community and societal resource. Within the Szeged Health Promotion Research Group, we conducted mental health surveys on two levels: The inhabitants of a medium-sized Hungarian town and students of a Hungarian university with a relatively big headcount were requested to participate in surveys whose goals were to define local government priorities and organization-level health promotion programmes, respectively. To facilitate professional decision-making, we defined three, pragmatically relevant, groups of the target population: the mentally healthy, the vulnerable and the endangered. In order to determine which group a person actually belongs to, we designed a simple and quick measurement tool, which could even be utilised as a smoothing method, the Mental State Questionnaire validity of the above three categories was verified by analysis of variance against psychological quality of life variables. We demonstrate the pragmatic significance of our method via the analyses of the scores of our two mental health surveys. On town level, during our representative survey in Hódmezővásárhely (N=1839), we found that 38.7% of the participants was mentally healthy, 35.3% was vulnerable, while 16.3% was considered as endangered. We were able to identify groups that were in a dramatic state in terms of mental health. For example, such a group consisted of men aged 45 to 64 with only primary education qualification and the ratios of the mentally healthy, vulnerable and endangered were 4.5, 45.5 and 50%, respectively. It was also astonishing to see to what a little extent qualification prevailed as a protective factor in the case of women. Based on our data, the female group aged 18 to 44 with primary education—of whom 20.3% was mentally healthy, 42.4% vulnerable and 37.3% was endangered—as well as the female group aged 45 to 64 with university or college degree—of whom 25% was mentally healthy, 51.3 vulnerable and 23.8% endangered—are to be handled as priority intervention target groups in a similarly difficult position. On organizational level, our survey involving the students of the University of Szeged, N=1565, provided data to prepare a strategy of mental health promotion for a university with a headcount exceeding 20,000. When developing an organizational strategy, it was important to gather information to estimate the proportions of target groups in which mental health promotion methods; for example, life management skills development, detection, psychological consultancy, psychotherapy, would be applied. Our scores show that 46.8% of the student participants were mentally healthy, 42.1% were vulnerable and 11.1% were endangered. These data convey relevant information as to the allocation of organizational resources within a university with a considerable headcount. In conclusion, The Mental State Questionnaire, as a valid smoothing method, is adequate to describe a community in a plain and informative way in the terms of mental health. The application of the method can promote the preparation, design and implementation of mental health promotion interventions. 

Keywords: Health promotion, mental health promotion, mental state questionnaire, psychological well-being.

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10 Waste Burial to the Pressure Deficit Areas in the Eastern Siberia

Authors: L. Abukova, O. Abramova, A. Goreva, Y. Yakovlev

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Important executive decisions on oil and gas production stimulation in Eastern Siberia have been recently taken. There are unique and large fields of oil, gas, and gas-condensate in Eastern Siberia. The Talakan, Koyumbinskoye, Yurubcheno-Tahomskoye, Kovykta, Chayadinskoye fields are supposed to be developed first. It will result in an abrupt increase in environmental load on the nature of Eastern Siberia. In Eastern Siberia, the introduction of ecological imperatives in hydrocarbon production is still realistic. Underground water movement is the one of the most important factors of the ecosystems condition management. Oil and gas production is associated with the forced displacement of huge water masses, mixing waters of different composition, and origin that determines the extent of anthropogenic impact on water drive systems and their protective reaction. An extensive hydrogeological system of the depression type is identified in the pre-salt deposits here. Pressure relieve here is steady up to the basement. The decrease of the hydrodynamic potential towards the basement with such a gradient resulted in reformation of the fields in process of historical (geological) development of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise. The depression hydrodynamic systems are characterized by extremely high isolation and can only exist under such closed conditions. A steady nature of water movement due to a strictly negative gradient of reservoir pressure makes it quite possible to use environmentally-harmful liquid substances instead of water. Disposal of the most hazardous wastes is the most expedient in the deposits of the crystalline basement in certain structures distant from oil and gas fields. The time period for storage of environmentally-harmful liquid substances may be calculated by means of the geological time scales ensuring their complete prevention from releasing into environment or air even during strong earthquakes. Disposal of wastes of chemical and nuclear industries is a matter of special consideration. The existing methods of storage and disposal of wastes are very expensive. The methods applied at the moment for storage of nuclear wastes at the depth of several meters, even in the most durable containers, constitute a potential danger. The enormous size of the depression system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise makes it possible to easily identify such objects at the depth below 1500 m where nuclear wastes will be stored indefinitely without any environmental impact. Thus, the water drive system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise is the ideal object for large-volume injection of environmentally harmful liquid substances even if there are large oil and gas accumulations in the subsurface. Specific geological and hydrodynamic conditions of the system allow the production of hydrocarbons from the subsurface simultaneously with the disposal of industrial wastes of oil and gas, mining, chemical, and nuclear industries without any environmental impact.

Keywords: Eastern Siberia, formation pressure, underground water, waste burial.

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9 Nigerian Football System: Examining Meso-Level Practices against a Global Model for Integrated Development of Mass and Elite Sport

Authors: I. Derek Kaka’an, P. Smolianov, D. Koh Choon Lian, S. Dion, C. Schoen, J. Norberg

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This study was designed to examine mass participation and elite football performance in Nigeria with reference to advance international football management practices. Over 200 sources of literature on sport delivery systems were analyzed to construct a globally applicable model of elite football integrated with mass participation, comprising of the following three levels: macro- (socio-economic, cultural, legislative, and organizational), meso- (infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs) and micro-level (operations, processes, and methodologies for development of individual athletes). The model has received scholarly validation and showed to be a framework for program analysis that is not culturally bound. The Smolianov and Zakus model has been employed for further understanding of sport systems such as US soccer, US Rugby, swimming, tennis, and volleyball as well as Russian and Dutch swimming. A questionnaire was developed using the above-mentioned model. Survey questions were validated by 12 experts including academicians, executives from sport governing bodies, football coaches, and administrators. To identify best practices and determine areas for improvement of football in Nigeria, 120 coaches completed the questionnaire. Useful exemplars and possible improvements were further identified through semi-structured discussions with 10 Nigerian football administrators and experts. Finally, content analysis of Nigeria Football Federation’s website and organizational documentation was conducted. This paper focuses on the meso-level of Nigerian football delivery, particularly infrastructures, personnel, and services enabling sport programs. This includes training centers, competition systems, and intellectual services. Results identified remarkable achievements coupled with great potential to further develop football in different types of public and private organizations in Nigeria. These include: assimilating football competitions with other cultural and educational activities, providing favorable conditions for employees of all possible organizations to partake and help in managing football programs and events, providing football coaching integrated with counseling for prevention of antisocial conduct, and improving cooperation between football programs and organizations for peace-making and advancement of international relations, tourism, and socio-economic development. Accurate reporting of the sports programs from the media should be encouraged through staff training for better awareness of various events. The systematic integration of these meso-level practices into the balanced development of mass and high-performance football will contribute to international sport success as well as national health, education, and social harmony.

Keywords: Football, high performance, mass participation, Nigeria, sport development.

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8 Considering Aerosol Processes in Nuclear Transport Package Containment Safety Cases

Authors: Andrew Cummings, Rhianne Boag, Sarah Bryson, Gordon Turner

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Packages designed for transport of radioactive material must satisfy rigorous safety regulations specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Higher Activity Waste (HAW) transport packages have to maintain containment of their contents during normal and accident conditions of transport (NCT and ACT). To ensure containment criteria is satisfied these packages are required to be leak-tight in all transport conditions to meet allowable activity release rates. Package design safety reports are the safety cases that provide the claims, evidence and arguments to demonstrate that packages meet the regulations and once approved by the competent authority (in the UK this is the Office for Nuclear Regulation) a licence to transport radioactive material is issued for the package(s). The standard approach to demonstrating containment in the RWM transport safety case is set out in BS EN ISO 12807. In this document a method for measuring a leak rate from the package is explained by way of a small interspace test volume situated between two O-ring seals on the underside of the package lid. The interspace volume is pressurised and a pressure drop measured. A small interspace test volume makes the method more sensitive enabling the measurement of smaller leak rates. By ascertaining the activity of the contents, identifying a releasable fraction of material and by treating that fraction of material as a gas, allowable leak rates for NCT and ACT are calculated. The adherence to basic safety principles in ISO12807 is very pessimistic and current practice in the demonstration of transport safety, which is accepted by the UK regulator. It is UK government policy that management of HAW will be through geological disposal. It is proposed that the intermediate level waste be transported to the geological disposal facility (GDF) in large cuboid packages. This poses a challenge for containment demonstration because such packages will have long seals and therefore large interspace test volumes. There is also uncertainty on the releasable fraction of material within the package ullage space. This is because the waste may be in many different forms which makes it difficult to define the fraction of material released by the waste package. Additionally because of the large interspace test volume, measuring the calculated leak rates may not be achievable. For this reason a justification for a lower releasable fraction of material is sought. This paper considers the use of aerosol processes to reduce the releasable fraction for both NCT and ACT. It reviews the basic coagulation and removal processes and applies the dynamic aerosol balance equation. The proposed solution includes only the most well understood physical processes namely; Brownian coagulation and gravitational settling. Other processes have been eliminated either on the basis that they would serve to reduce the release to the environment further (pessimistically in keeping with the essence of nuclear transport safety cases) or that they are not credible in the conditions of transport considered.

Keywords: Aerosol processes, Brownian coagulation, gravitational settling, transport regulations.

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7 Analytical Study of Sedimentation Formation in Lined Canals using the SHARC Software- A Case Study of the Sabilli Canal in Dezful, Iran

Authors: A.H. Sajedipoor, N. Hedayat, A.Rohani, Z.Yazdi

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Sediment formation and its transport along the river course is considered as important hydraulic consideration in river engineering. Their impact on the morphology of rivers on one hand and important considerations of which in the design and construction of the hydraulic structures on the other has attracted the attention of experts in arid and semi-arid regions. Under certain conditions where the momentum energy of the flow stream reaches a specific rate, the sediment materials start to be transported with the flow. This can usually be analyzed in two different categories of suspended and bed load materials. Sedimentation phenomenon along the waterways and the conveyance of vast volume of materials into the canal networks can potentially influence water abstraction in the intake structures. This can pose a serious threat to operational sustainability and water delivery performance in the canal networks. The situation is serious where ineffective watershed management (poor vegetation cover in the water basin) is the underlying cause of soil erosion which feeds the materials into the waterways that intern would necessitate comprehensive study. The present paper aims to present an analytical investigation of the sediment process in the waterways on one hand and estimation of the sediment load transport into the lined canals using the SHARC software on the other. For this reason, the paper focuses on the comparative analysis of the hydraulic behaviors of the Sabilli main canal that feeds the pumping station with that of the Western canal in the Greater Dezful region to identify effective factors in sedimentation and ways of mitigating their impact on water abstraction in the canal systems. The method involved use of observational data available in the Dezful Dastmashoon hydrometric station along a 6 km waterway of the Sabilli main canal using the SHARC software to estimate the suspended load concentration and bed load materials. Results showed the transport of a significant volume of sediment loads from the waterways into the canal system which is assumed to have arisen from the absence of stilling basin on one hand and the gravity flow on the other has caused serious challenges. This is contrary to what occurs in the Sabilli canal, where the design feature which incorporates a settling basin just before the pumping station is the major cause of reduced sediment load transport into the canal system.Results showed that modification of the present design features by constructing a settling basin just upstream of the western intake structure can considerably reduce the entry of sediment materials into the canal system. Not only this can result in the sustainability of the hydraulic structures but can also improve operational performance of water conveyance and distribution system, all of which are the pre-requisite to secure reliable and equitable water delivery regime for the command area.

Keywords: Sedimentation, main canal, Sabilli, western canal, dez diversion weir.

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6 Sand Production Modelled with Darcy Fluid Flow Using Discrete Element Method

Authors: M. N. Nwodo, Y. P. Cheng, N. H. Minh

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In the process of recovering oil in weak sandstone formations, the strength of sandstones around the wellbore is weakened due to the increase of effective stress/load from the completion activities around the cavity. The weakened and de-bonded sandstone may be eroded away by the produced fluid, which is termed sand production. It is one of the major trending subjects in the petroleum industry because of its significant negative impacts, as well as some observed positive impacts. For efficient sand management therefore, there has been need for a reliable study tool to understand the mechanism of sanding. One method of studying sand production is the use of the widely recognized Discrete Element Method (DEM), Particle Flow Code (PFC3D) which represents sands as granular individual elements bonded together at contact points. However, there is limited knowledge of the particle-scale behavior of the weak sandstone, and the parameters that affect sanding. This paper aims to investigate the reliability of using PFC3D and a simple Darcy flow in understanding the sand production behavior of a weak sandstone. An isotropic tri-axial test on a weak oil sandstone sample was first simulated at a confining stress of 1MPa to calibrate and validate the parallel bond models of PFC3D using a 10m height and 10m diameter solid cylindrical model. The effect of the confining stress on the number of bonds failure was studied using this cylindrical model. With the calibrated data and sample material properties obtained from the tri-axial test, simulations without and with fluid flow were carried out to check on the effect of Darcy flow on bonds failure using the same model geometry. The fluid flow network comprised of every four particles connected with tetrahedral flow pipes with a central pore or flow domain. Parametric studies included the effects of confining stress, and fluid pressure; as well as validating flow rate – permeability relationship to verify Darcy’s fluid flow law. The effect of model size scaling on sanding was also investigated using 4m height, 2m diameter model. The parallel bond model successfully calibrated the sample’s strength of 4.4MPa, showing a sharp peak strength before strain-softening, similar to the behavior of real cemented sandstones. There seems to be an exponential increasing relationship for the bigger model, but a curvilinear shape for the smaller model. The presence of the Darcy flow induced tensile forces and increased the number of broken bonds. For the parametric studies, flow rate has a linear relationship with permeability at constant pressure head. The higher the fluid flow pressure, the higher the number of broken bonds/sanding. The DEM PFC3D is a promising tool to studying the micromechanical behavior of cemented sandstones.

Keywords: Discrete Element Method, fluid flow, parametric study, sand production/bonds failure.

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5 Investigating the Role of Community in Heritage Conservation through the Ladder of Citizen Participation Approach: Case Study, Port Said, Egypt

Authors: Sara S. Fouad, Omneya Messallam

Abstract:

Egypt has countless prestigious buildings and diversity of cultural heritage which are located in many cities. Most of the researchers, archaeologists, stakeholders and governmental bodies are paying more attention to the big cities such as Cairo and Alexandria, due to the country’s centralization nature. However, there are other historic cities that are grossly neglected and in need of emergency conservation. For instance, Port Said which is a former colonial city that was established in nineteenth century located at the edge of the northeast Egyptian coast between the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal. This city is chosen because it presents one of the important Egyptian archaeological sites that archive Egyptian architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries. The historic urban fabric is divided into three main districts; the Arab, the European (Al-Afrang), and Port Fouad. The European district is selected to be the research case study as it has culture diversity, significant buildings, and includes the largest number of the listed heritage buildings in Port Said. Based on questionnaires and interviews, since 2003 several initiative trials have been taken by Alliance Francaise, the National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH), some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and few number of community residents to highlight the important city legacy and protect it from being demolished. Unfortunately, the limitation of their participation in decision-making policies is considered a crucial threat facing sustainable heritage conservation. Therefore, encouraging the local community to participate in their architecture heritage conservation would create a self-confident one, capable of making decisions for the city’s future development. This paper aims to investigate the role of the local inhabitants in protecting their buildings heritage through listing the community level of participations twice (2012 and 2018) in preserving their heritage based on the ladder citizen participation approach. Also, it is to encourage community participation in order to promote city architecture conservation, heritage management, and sustainable development. The methodology followed in this empirical research involves using several data assembly methods such as structural observations, questionnaires, interviews, and mental mapping. The questionnaire was distributed among 92 local inhabitants aged 18-60 years. However, the outset of this research at the beginning demonstrated the majority negative attitude, motivation, and confidence of the local inhabitants’ role to safeguard their architectural heritage. Over time, there was a change in the negative attitudes. Therefore, raising public awareness and encouraging community participation by providing them with a real opportunity to take part in the decision-making. This may lead to a positive relationship between the community residents and the built heritage, which is essential for promoting its preservation and sustainable development.

Keywords: Al-Afrang/Port Said, community participation, heritage conservation, ladder of citizen participation, NGOs.

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4 Creative Mapping Landuse and Human Activities: From the Inventories of Factories to the History of the City and Citizens

Authors: R. Tamborrino, F. Rinaudo

Abstract:

Digital technologies offer possibilities to effectively convert historical archives into instruments of knowledge able to provide a guide for the interpretation of historical phenomena. Digital conversion and management of those documents allow the possibility to add other sources in a unique and coherent model that permits the intersection of different data able to open new interpretations and understandings. Urban history uses, among other sources, the inventories that register human activities in a specific space (e.g. cadastres, censuses, etc.). The geographic localisation of that information inside cartographic supports allows for the comprehension and visualisation of specific relationships between different historical realities registering both the urban space and the peoples living there. These links that merge the different nature of data and documentation through a new organisation of the information can suggest a new interpretation of other related events. In all these kinds of analysis, the use of GIS platforms today represents the most appropriate answer. The design of the related databases is the key to realise the ad-hoc instrument to facilitate the analysis and the intersection of data of different origins. Moreover, GIS has become the digital platform where it is possible to add other kinds of data visualisation. This research deals with the industrial development of Turin at the beginning of the 20th century. A census of factories realized just prior to WWI provides the opportunity to test the potentialities of GIS platforms for the analysis of urban landscape modifications during the first industrial development of the town. The inventory includes data about location, activities, and people. GIS is shaped in a creative way linking different sources and digital systems aiming to create a new type of platform conceived as an interface integrating different kinds of data visualisation. The data processing allows linking this information to an urban space, and also visualising the growth of the city at that time. The sources, related to the urban landscape development in that period, are of a different nature. The emerging necessity to build, enlarge, modify and join different buildings to boost the industrial activities, according to their fast development, is recorded by different official permissions delivered by the municipality and now stored in the Historical Archive of the Municipality of Turin. Those documents, which are reports and drawings, contain numerous data on the buildings themselves, including the block where the plot is located, the district, and the people involved such as the owner, the investor, and the engineer or architect designing the industrial building. All these collected data offer the possibility to firstly re-build the process of change of the urban landscape by using GIS and 3D modelling technologies thanks to the access to the drawings (2D plans, sections and elevations) that show the previous and the planned situation. Furthermore, they access information for different queries of the linked dataset that could be useful for different research and targets such as economics, biographical, architectural, or demographical. By superimposing a layer of the present city, the past meets to the present-industrial heritage, and people meet urban history.

Keywords: Digital urban history, census, digitalisation, GIS, modelling, digital humanities.

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3 Smart Meters and In-Home Displays to Encourage Water Conservation through Behavioural Change

Authors: Julia Terlet, Thomas H. Beach, Yacine Rezgui

Abstract:

Urbanization, population growth, climate change and the current increase in water demand have made the adoption of innovative demand management strategies crucial to the water industry. Water conservation in urban areas has to be improved by encouraging consumers to adopt more sustainable habits and behaviours. This includes informing and educating them about their households’ water consumption and advising them about ways to achieve significant savings on a daily basis. This paper presents a study conducted in the context of the European FP7 WISDOM Project. By integrating innovative Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) frameworks, this project aims at achieving a change in water savings. More specifically, behavioural change will be attempted by implementing smart meters and in-home displays in a trial group of selected households within Cardiff (UK). Using this device, consumers will be able to receive feedback and information about their consumption but will also have the opportunity to compare their consumption to the consumption of other consumers and similar households. Following an initial survey, it appeared necessary to implement these in-home displays in a way that matches consumer's motivations to save water. The results demonstrated the importance of various factors influencing people’s daily water consumption. Both the relevant literature on the subject and the results of our survey therefore led us to include within the in-home device a variety of elements. It first appeared crucial to make consumers aware of the economic aspect of water conservation and especially of the significant financial savings that can be achieved by reducing their household’s water consumption on the long term. Likewise, reminding participants of the impact of their consumption on the environment by making them more aware of water scarcity issues around the world will help increasing their motivation to save water. Additionally, peer pressure and social comparisons with neighbours and other consumers, accentuated by the use of online social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, will likely encourage consumers to reduce their consumption. Participants will also be able to compare their current consumption to their past consumption and to observe the consequences of their efforts to save water through diverse graphs and charts. Finally, including a virtual water game within the display will help the whole household, children and adults, to achieve significant reductions by providing them with simple tips and advice to save water on a daily basis. Moreover, by setting daily and weekly goals for them to reach, the game will expectantly generate cooperation between family members. Members of each household will indeed be encouraged to work together to reduce their water consumption within different rooms of the house, such as the bathroom, the kitchen, or the toilets. Overall, this study will allow us to understand the elements that attract consumers the most and the features that are most commonly used by the participants. In this way, we intend to determine the main factors influencing water consumption in order to identify the measures that will most encourage water conservation in both the long and short term.

Keywords: Behavioural change, ICT technologies, water consumption, water conservation.

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2 Rethinking the Languages for Specific Purposes Syllabus in the 21st Century: Topic-Centered or Skills-Centered

Authors: A. Knezović

Abstract:

21st century has transformed the labor market landscape in a way of posing new and different demands on university graduates as well as university lecturers, which means that the knowledge and academic skills students acquire in the course of their studies should be applicable and transferable from the higher education context to their future professional careers. Given the context of the Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) classroom, the teachers’ objective is not only to teach the language itself, but also to prepare students to use that language as a medium to develop generic skills and competences. These include media and information literacy, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills, effective written and oral communication, as well as collaborative work and social skills, all of which are necessary to make university graduates more competitive in everyday professional environments. On the other hand, due to limitations of time and large numbers of students in classes, the frequently topic-centered syllabus of LSP courses places considerable focus on acquiring the subject matter and specialist vocabulary instead of sufficient development of skills and competences required by students’ prospective employers. This paper intends to explore some of those issues as viewed both by LSP lecturers and by business professionals in their respective surveys. The surveys were conducted among more than 50 LSP lecturers at higher education institutions in Croatia, more than 40 HR professionals and more than 60 university graduates with degrees in economics and/or business working in management positions in mainly large and medium-sized companies in Croatia. Various elements of LSP course content have been taken into consideration in this research, including reading and listening comprehension of specialist texts, acquisition of specialist vocabulary and grammatical structures, as well as presentation and negotiation skills. The ability to hold meetings, conduct business correspondence, write reports, academic texts, case studies and take part in debates were also taken into consideration, as well as informal business communication, business etiquette and core courses delivered in a foreign language. The results of the surveys conducted among LSP lecturers will be analyzed with reference to what extent those elements are included in their courses and how consistently and thoroughly they are evaluated according to their course requirements. Their opinions will be compared to the results of the surveys conducted among professionals from a range of industries in Croatia so as to examine how useful and important they perceive the same elements of the LSP course content in their working environments. Such comparative analysis will thus show to what extent the syllabi of LSP courses meet the demands of the employment market when it comes to the students’ language skills and competences, as well as transferable skills. Finally, the findings will also be compared to the observations based on practical teaching experience and the relevant sources that have been used in this research. In conclusion, the ideas and observations in this paper are merely open-ended questions that do not have conclusive answers, but might prompt LSP lecturers to re-evaluate the content and objectives of their course syllabi.

Keywords: Languages for specific purposes (LSP), language skills, topic-centered syllabus, transferable skills.

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1 Environmental Impacts of Point and Non-Point Source Pollution in Krishnagiri Reservoir: A Case Study in South India

Authors: N. K. Ambujam, V. Sudha

Abstract:

Reservoirs are being contaminated all around the world with point source and Non-Point Source (NPS) pollution. The most common NPS pollutants are sediments and nutrients. Krishnagiri Reservoir (KR) has been chosen for the present case study, which is located in the tropical semi-arid climatic zone of Tamil Nadu, South India. It is the main source of surface water in Krishnagiri district to meet the freshwater demands. The reservoir has lost about 40% of its water holding capacity due to sedimentation over the period of 50 years. Hence, from the research and management perspective, there is a need for a sound knowledge on the spatial and seasonal variations of KR water quality. The present study encompasses the specific objectives as (i) to investigate the longitudinal heterogeneity and seasonal variations of physicochemical parameters, nutrients and biological characteristics of KR water and (ii) to examine the extent of degradation of water quality in KR. 15 sampling points were identified by uniform stratified method and a systematic monthly sampling strategy was selected due to high dynamic nature in its hydrological characteristics. The physicochemical parameters, major ions, nutrients and Chlorophyll a (Chl a) were analysed. Trophic status of KR was classified by using Carlson's Trophic State Index (TSI). All statistical analyses were performed by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences programme, version-16.0. Spatial maps were prepared for Chl a using Arc GIS. Observations in KR pointed out that electrical conductivity and major ions are highly variable factors as it receives inflow from the catchment with different land use activities. The study of major ions in KR exhibited different trends in their values and it could be concluded that as the monsoon progresses the major ions in the water decreases or water quality stabilizes. The inflow point of KR showed comparatively higher concentration of nutrients including nitrate, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), total phosphors (TP), total suspended phosphorus (TSP) and total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) during monsoon seasons. This evidently showed the input of significant amount of nutrients from the catchment side through agricultural runoff. High concentration of TDP and TSP at the lacustrine zone of the reservoir during summer season evidently revealed that there was a significant release of phosphorus from the bottom sediments. Carlson’s TSI of KR ranged between 81 and 92 during northeast monsoon and summer seasons. High and permanent Cyanobacterial bloom in KR could be mainly due to the internal loading of phosphorus from the bottom sediments. According to Carlson’s TSI classification Krishnagiri reservoir was ranked in the hyper-eutrophic category. This study provides necessary basic data on the spatio-temporal variations of water quality in KR and also proves the impact of point and NPS pollution from the catchment area. High TSI warrants a greater threat for the recovery of internal P loading and hyper-eutrophic condition of KR. Several expensive internal measures for the reduction of internal loading of P were introduced by many scientists. However, the outcome of the present research suggests for the innovative algae harvesting technique for the removal of sediment nutrients.

Keywords: Hyper-eutrophication, Krishnagiri reservoir, nutrients, NPS pollution.

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