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2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Amy Lynch ◽  
Hayley Alderson ◽  
Gary Kerridge ◽  
Rebecca Johnson ◽  
Ruth McGovern ◽  

Purpose Young people who are looked after by the state face challenges as they make the transition from care to adulthood, with variation in support available. In the past decade, funding has been directed towards organisations to pilot innovations to support transition, with accompanying evaluations often conducted with a single disciplinary focus, in a context of short timescales and small budgets. Recognising the value and weight of the challenge involved in evaluation of innovations that aim to support the transitions of young people leaving care, this paper aims to provide a review of evaluation approaches and suggestions regarding how these might be developed. Design/methodology/approach As part of a wider research programme to improve understanding of the innovation process for young people leaving care, the authors conducted a scoping review of grey literature (publications which are not peer reviewed) focusing on evaluation of innovations in the UK over the past 10 years. The authors critiqued the evaluation approaches in each of the 22 reports they identified with an inter-disciplinary perspective, representing social care, public health and organisation science. Findings The authors identified challenges and opportunities for the development of evaluation approaches in three areas. Firstly, informed by social care, the authors suggest increased priority should be granted to participatory approaches to evaluation, within which involvement of young people leaving care should be central. Secondly, drawing on public health, there is potential for developing a common outcomes’ framework, including methods of data collection, analysis and reporting, which aid comparative analysis. Thirdly, application of theoretical frameworks from organisation science regarding the process of innovation can drive transferable lessons from local innovations to aid its spread. Originality/value By adopting the unique perspective of their multiple positions, the authors’ goal is to contribute to the development of evaluation approaches. Further, the authors hope to help identify innovations that work, enhance their spread, leverage resources and influence policy to support care leavers in their transitions to adulthood.

2021 ◽  

There are 2.4 billion people without improved sanitation and another 2.1 billion with inadequate sanitation (i.e. wastewater drains directly into surface waters), and despite improvements over the past decades, the unsafe management of fecal waste and wastewater continues to present a major risk to public health and the environment (UN, 2016). There is growing interest in low cost sanitation solutions which harness natural systems. However, it can be difficult for wastewater utility managers to understand under what conditions such nature-based solutions (NBS) might be applicable and how best to combine traditional infrastructure, for example an activated sludge treatment plant, with an NBS such as treatment wetlands. There is increasing scientific evidence that treatment systems with designs inspired by nature are highly efficient treatment technologies. The cost-effective design and implementation of ecosystems in wastewater treatment is something that exists and has the potential to be further promoted globally as both a sustainable and practical solution. This book serves as a compilation of technical references, case examples and guidance for applying nature-based solutions for treatment of domestic wastewater, and enables a wide variety of stakeholders to understand the design parameters, removal efficiencies, costs, co-benefits for both people and nature and trade-offs for consideration in their local context. Examples through case studies are from across the globe and provide practical insights into the variety of potentially applicable solutions. ISBN: 9781789062250 (Paperback) ISBN: 9781789062267 (eBook)

2021 ◽  
Vol 35 (3) ◽  
pp. 133-156
Belinda Archibong ◽  
Brahima Coulibaly ◽  
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Over three decades after market-oriented structural reforms termed “Washington Consensus” policies were first implemented, we revisit the evidence on policy adoption and the effects of these policies on socio-economic performance in sub-Saharan African countries. We focus on three key ubiquitous reform policies around privatization, fiscal discipline, and trade openness and document significant improvements in economic performance for reformers over the past two decades. Following initial declines in per capita economic growth over the 1980s and 1990s, reform adopters experienced notable increases in per capita real GDP growth in the post-2000 period. We complement aggregate analysis with four country case studies that highlight important lessons for effective reform. Notably, the ability to implement pro-poor policies alongside market-oriented reforms played a central role in successful policy performance.

Ahmed Samy Moursi ◽  
Nawal El-Fishawy ◽  
Soufiene Djahel ◽  
Marwa Ahmed Shouman

AbstractAir pollution is a major issue resulting from the excessive use of conventional energy sources in developing countries and worldwide. Particulate Matter less than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5) is the most dangerous air pollutant invading the human respiratory system and causing lung and heart diseases. Therefore, innovative air pollution forecasting methods and systems are required to reduce such risk. To that end, this paper proposes an Internet of Things (IoT) enabled system for monitoring and predicting PM2.5 concentration on both edge devices and the cloud. This system employs a hybrid prediction architecture using several Machine Learning (ML) algorithms hosted by Nonlinear AutoRegression with eXogenous input (NARX). It uses the past 24 h of PM2.5, cumulated wind speed and cumulated rain hours to predict the next hour of PM2.5. This system was tested on a PC to evaluate cloud prediction and a Raspberry Pi to evaluate edge devices’ prediction. Such a system is essential, responding quickly to air pollution in remote areas with low bandwidth or no internet connection. The performance of our system was assessed using Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Normalized Root Mean Square Error (NRMSE), coefficient of determination (R2), Index of Agreement (IA), and duration in seconds. The obtained results highlighted that NARX/LSTM achieved the highest R2 and IA and the least RMSE and NRMSE, outperforming other previously proposed deep learning hybrid algorithms. In contrast, NARX/XGBRF achieved the best balance between accuracy and speed on the Raspberry Pi.

PLoS Biology ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 19 (7) ◽  
pp. e3001313
Taylor Bolt ◽  
Jason S. Nomi ◽  
Danilo Bzdok ◽  
Lucina Q. Uddin

Methods for data analysis in the biomedical, life, and social (BLS) sciences are developing at a rapid pace. At the same time, there is increasing concern that education in quantitative methods is failing to adequately prepare students for contemporary research. These trends have led to calls for educational reform to undergraduate and graduate quantitative research method curricula. We argue that such reform should be based on data-driven insights into within- and cross-disciplinary use of analytic methods. Our survey of peer-reviewed literature analyzed approximately 1.3 million openly available research articles to monitor the cross-disciplinary mentions of analytic methods in the past decade. We applied data-driven text mining analyses to the “Methods” and “Results” sections of a large subset of this corpus to identify trends in analytic method mentions shared across disciplines, as well as those unique to each discipline. We found that the t test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), linear regression, chi-squared test, and other classical statistical methods have been and remain the most mentioned analytic methods in biomedical, life science, and social science research articles. However, mentions of these methods have declined as a percentage of the published literature between 2009 and 2020. On the other hand, multivariate statistical and machine learning approaches, such as artificial neural networks (ANNs), have seen a significant increase in the total share of scientific publications. We also found unique groupings of analytic methods associated with each BLS science discipline, such as the use of structural equation modeling (SEM) in psychology, survival models in oncology, and manifold learning in ecology. We discuss the implications of these findings for education in statistics and research methods, as well as within- and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Roberta D'Alessandro ◽  
David Natvig ◽  
Michael T. Putnam

The substantial uptick in research on heritage languages over the past three decades has enhanced our understanding of the development of bilingual grammars throughout the lifespan. This interest has been accompanied by a noticeable increase of experimental work, often combined with some degree of formal rigor. Exclusively and predominantly formal research on these languages—especially studies whose empirical focus centers on moribund heritage varieties—occasionally encounters criticism, due primarily to a lack of understanding of the methodology and objectives of this body of research as a whole. The purpose of this positional essay is to once again elucidate with clarity the motivation and importance of formal linguistic research on these languages, providing a fruitful path forward for continued work in this well-established field of linguistic inquiry.


The idea of this special issue on Spoken language in time and across time emerged at an international symposium on this topic that we organised at Lund University on 20 September 2019. The purpose of the symposium was to celebrate important past and present achievements of spoken language research as well as past and present corpora available for such research. Some speakers reported on academic and technical advances from the past, while others offered information about state-of-the-art research on spoken language and spoken corpus compilation. Our idea with the symposium was also to bring together early career scholars, somewhat more senior scholars as well as senior scholars – the latter actually active when interest in spoken language and spoken corpus compilation was in its infancy. The type of spoken corpora in focus extended from the world's first publicly available, machine-readable spoken corpus, The London–Lund Corpus of Spoken English (Svartvik 1990), nowadays referred to as LLC–1, through to the spoken parts of The British National Corpora (BNC) from 1994 (BNC Consortium 2007) and 2014 (Love et al. 2017), The Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English (DCPSE) consisting of LLC–1 and the British component of The International Corpus of English (ICE–GB), Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English (SBCSAE) (Du Bois et al. 2000–5), The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) (Davies 2008–) and finally the most recent one, The London–Lund Corpus 2 (LLC–2) (Põldvere, Johansson & Paradis 2021a). The symposium thus covered approximately half a century of data from publicly available corpora compiled for multipurpose use by the academic community for research on spoken English in different contexts.

2021 ◽  
Zihua Zhao ◽  
Yu Zhang ◽  
Gonzalo A Avila ◽  
Peng Han ◽  
Xubin Pan ◽  

Abstract Human-mediated species introductions have greatly contributed significantly to the current global alteration of the biosphere, with many invasive species rapidly expanding their geographic ranges, leading to changes in biodiversity and disruptions of ecosystem functioning. With a modified SDM that considers both extensive data coverage and the distance to previously already occupied areas, we show continued shifts and expansions of geographic ranges of two globally invasive tephritid pest species Bactrocera dorsalis and Ceratitis capitata). Both tephritid pests are still expanding globally, with their geographic ranges estimated to have expanded by 65% and 22% in the past three decades. The potential future geographic distributions of B. dorsalis and C. capitata under four scenarios of Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) for 2050 highlighted some key changes when compared to their current occurrences. Under all four RCPs by 2050, the potential geographic distribution of C. capitata was predicted to shrink by 5-14%, while the distribution of B. dorsalis was predicted to increase by 12-15%. Under different climate scenarios for 2050, B. dorsalis could experience a notable poleward expansion with increasing connectivity in its future geographic distribution. The two tephritids will continue to co-occur in Africa, with B. dorsalis experiencing higher suitability in most regions where they overlap. Climate changes were estimated to contribute more, than non-equilibrial invasion expansion, to changes in the geographic ranges of the two tephritid pests. The forecasted potential geographic distributions could enhance regional biosecurity preparedness in future climates and mitigate proactively the economic loss from these fruit fly pests.

Judith Johnson ◽  
Tmam Abdulaziz Al-Ghunaim ◽  
Chandra Shekhar Biyani ◽  
Anthony Montgomery ◽  
Roland Morley ◽  

AbstractSurgical disciplines are popular and training places are competitive to obtain, but trainees report higher levels of burnout than either their non-surgical peers or attending or consultant surgeons. In this review, we critically summarise evidence on trends and changes in burnout over the past decade, contributors to surgical trainee burnout, the personal and professional consequences of burnout and consider the evidence for interventions. There is no evidence for a linear increase in burnout levels in surgeons over the past decade but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be established and is likely to be significant. Working long hours and experiencing stressful interpersonal interactions at work are associated with higher burnout in trainees but feeling more supported by training programmes and receiving workplace supervision are associated with reduced burnout. Burnout is associated with poorer overall mental and physical well-being in surgical trainees and has also been linked with the delivery of less safe patient care in this group. Useful interventions could include mentorship and improving work conditions, but there is a need for more and higher quality studies.

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