The use of advanced methods has been increasing day by day in the maritime sector, which is one of the sectors least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is aimed to minimize accidents, especially by using advanced methods in the investigation of marine accidents. This research aimed to conduct an exploratory statistical analysis of particular ship accidents in the Transport Safety Investigation Center of Turkey database. 46 ship accidents, which occurred between 2010-2018, have been selected from the database. In addition to the availability of a reliable and comprehensive database, taking advantage of the robust statistical models for investigation is critical to improving the safety of ships. Thus, descriptive analysis has been used in the research to identify causes and conditional factors related to different types of ship accidents. The research outcomes underline the fact that environmental factors and day and night ratio have great influence on ship safety.
In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.
Predicting the risk of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma (PA) in advance can benefit the quality of care and potentially reduce population mortality and morbidity. The aim of this study was to develop and prospectively validate a risk prediction model to identify patients at risk of new incident PA as early as 3 months before the onset of PA in a statewide, general population in Maine. The PA prediction model was developed using Deep Neural Networks, a deep learning algorithm, with a 2-year electronic-health-record (EHR) cohort. Prospective results showed that our model identified 54.35% of all inpatient episodes of PA, and 91.20% of all PA that required subsequent chemoradiotherapy, with a lead-time of up to 3 months and a true alert of 67.62%. The risk assessment tool has attained an improved discriminative ability. It can be immediately deployed to the health system to provide automatic early warnings to adults at risk of PA. It has potential to identify personalized risk factors to facilitate customized PA interventions.
Poor system use, including inappropriate design of health information systems, causes difficulties in communication with patients and increased time spent by healthcare professionals in recording the necessary health information for medical records. System features like pop-up reminders, complex menus, and poor user interfaces can make medical records far more time consuming than paper cards as well as affect decision-making processes. Although errors associated with health information and their real and likely effect on the quality of care and patient safety have been documented for many years, more research is needed to measure the occurrence of these errors and determine the causes to implement solutions. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to identify data integrity challenges in hospital information systems through a scoping review and based on the results provide recommendations on how to manage these. Only 34 papers were found to be most suitable out of 297 publications initially identified in the field. The results indicated that human and computerized systems are the most common challenges associated with data integrity and factors such as policy, environment, health workforce, and lack of awareness attribute to these challenges but if measures are taken the data integrity challenges can be managed.
It is recognized that people are the main drivers in almost all the processes that affect airworthiness assurance. This is especially true in the area of aircraft maintenance, which is an essential part of continuing airworthiness. This work investigates what impact English language proficiency, the intersection of the military and Thai cultures, and the lack of initial and continuing human factors training have on the work performance of maintenance personnel in the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF). A quantitative research method based on a cross-sectional survey was used to gather data about these three key aspects of “people” in a military airworthiness environment. 30 questions were developed addressing the crucial topics of English language proficiency, impact of culture, and human factors training. The officers and the non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who work for the Aeronautical Engineering Divisions in the RTAF comprised the survey participants. The survey data were analysed to support various hypotheses by using a t-test method. English competency in the RTAF is very important since all of the service manuals for Thai military aircraft are written in English. Without such competency, it is difficult for maintenance staff to perform tasks and correctly interpret the relevant maintenance manual instructions; any misunderstandings could lead to potential accidents. The survey results showed that the officers appreciated the importance of this more than the NCOs, who are the people actually doing the hands-on maintenance work. Military culture focuses on the success of a given mission, and leverages the power distance between the lower and higher ranks. In Thai society, a power distance also exists between younger and older citizens. In the RTAF, such a combination tends to inhibit a just reporting culture and hence hinders safety. The survey results confirmed this, showing that the older people and higher ranks involved with RTAF aircraft maintenance believe that the workplace has a positive safety culture and climate, whereas the younger people and lower ranks think the opposite. The final area of consideration concerned human factors training and non-technical skills training. The survey revealed that those participants who had previously attended such courses appreciated its value and were aware of its benefits in daily life. However, currently there is no regulation in the RTAF to mandate recurrent training to maintain such knowledge and skills. The findings from this work suggest that the people involved in assuring the continuing airworthiness of the RTAF would benefit from: (i) more rigorous requirements and standards in the recruitment, initial training and continuation training regarding English competence; (ii) the development of a strong safety culture that exploits the uniqueness of both the military culture and the Thai culture; and (iii) providing more initial and recurrent training in human factors and non-technical skills.
Wildfires are becoming an increasing concern worldwide, causing substantial social, economic, and environmental disruptions. This situation is especially relevant in Mediterranean-climate regions, present in all the five continents of the world, in which fire is not only a natural component of the environment but also perhaps one of the most important evolutionary forces. The rise in wildfire occurrences and their associated impacts suggests the need for identifying knowledge gaps and enhancing the basis of scientific evidence on how managers and policymakers may act effectively to address them. Considering that the main goal of a systematic map is to collate and catalog a body of evidence to describe the state of knowledge for a specific topic, it is a suitable approach to be used for this purpose. In this context, the aim of this study is to systematically map the research trends in wildfire management practices in Mediterranean-climate regions. A total of 201 wildfire management studies were analyzed and systematically mapped in terms of their: Year of publication; Place of study; Scientific outlet; Research area (Web of Science) or Research field (Scopus); Wildfire phase; Central research topic; Main objective of the study; Research methods; and Main conclusions or contributions. The results indicate that there is an increasing number of studies being developed on the topic (most from the last 10 years), but more than half of them are conducted in few Mediterranean countries (60% of the analyzed studies were conducted in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy or France), and more than 50% are focused on pre-fire issues, such as prevention and fuel management. In contrast, only 12% of the studies focused on “Economic modeling” or “Human factors and issues,” which suggests that the triple bottom line of the sustainability argument (social, environmental, and economic) is not being fully addressed by fire management research. More than one-fourth of the studies had their objective related to testing new approaches in fire or forest management, suggesting that new knowledge is being produced on the field. Nevertheless, the results indicate that most studies (about 84%) employed quantitative research methods, and only 3% of the studies used research methods that tackled social issues or addressed expert and practitioner’s knowledge. Perhaps this lack of multidisciplinary studies is one of the factors hindering more progress from being made in terms of reducing wildfire occurrences and their impacts.
The article presents results from the AF3 project “Advanced Forest Fire Fighting” focused on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)-based 3D surveillance and 3D area mapping using high-resolution photogrammetric methods from multispectral imaging, also taking advantage of the 3D scanning techniques from the SCAN4RECO project. We also present a proprietary embedded sensor system used for the detection of fire ignitions in the forest using near-infrared based scanner with weight and form factors allowing it to be easily deployed on standard commercial micro-UAVs, such as DJI Inspire or Mavic. Results from real-life pilot trials in Greece, Spain, and Israel demonstrated added-value in the use of UAS for precise and reliable detection of forest fires, as well as high-resolution 3D aerial modeling for accurate quantification of human resources and equipment required for firefighting.
Among many factors affecting the stability of mining excavations, rock-bursts and tremors play a special role. These dynamic loads occur practically always and have different sources of generation. The most important of them is the commonly used mining technique, which disintegrates a certain area of the rock mass not only in the area of the planned mining, but also creates waves that significantly exceed this area affecting the structural elements. In this work it is analysed the consequences of dynamic loads over the structural elements in an underground room and pillar mine to avoid roof instabilities. With this end, dynamic loads were evaluated through in situ and laboratory tests and simulated with numerical modelling. Initially, the geotechnical characterization of all materials was carried out by mean of large-scale tests. Then, drill holes were done on the roof of the mine and were monitored to determine possible discontinuities in it. Three seismic stations and a triaxial accelerometer were employed to measure the vibrations from blasting tests, establish the dynamic behaviour of roof and pillars and develop the transmission laws. At last, computer simulations by FLAC3D software were done to check the effect of vibrations on the stability of the roofs. The study shows that in-situ tests have a greater reliability than laboratory samples because of eliminating the effect of heterogeneities, that the pillars work decreasing the amplitude of the vibration around them, and that the tensile strength of a beam and depending on its span is overcome with waves in phase and delayed. The obtained transmission law allows designing a blasting which guarantees safety and prevents the risk of future failures.
With rapid development of urbanization and improvement of living standards in the world, energy consumption and carbon emissions of the building sector are expected to increase in the near future; because of that, energy-saving issues have become more important among the engineers. Besides, the building sector is a major contributor to energy consumption and carbon emissions. The concept of efficient building appeared as a response to the need for reducing energy demand in this sector which has the main purpose of shifting from standard buildings to low-energy buildings. Although energy-saving should happen in all steps of a building during the life cycle (material production, construction, demolition), the main concept of efficient energy building is saving energy during the life expectancy of a building by using passive and active systems, and should not sacrifice comfort and quality to reach these goals. The main aim of this study is to investigate passive strategies (do not need energy consumption or use renewable energy) to achieve energy-efficient buildings. Energy retrofit measures were explored by eQuest software using a case study as a base model. The study investigates predictive accuracy for the major factors like thermal transmittance (U-value) of the material, windows, shading devices, thermal insulation, rate of the exposed envelope, window/wall ration, lighting system in the energy consumption of the building. The base model was located in Istanbul, Turkey. The impact of eight passive parameters on energy consumption had been indicated. After analyzing the base model by eQuest, a final scenario was suggested which had a good energy performance. The results showed a decrease in the U-values of materials, the rate of exposing buildings, and windows had a significant effect on energy consumption. Finally, savings in electric consumption of about 10.5%, and gas consumption by about 8.37% in the suggested model were achieved annually.
Nostalgia is characterized as a mental state of human’s emotional longing for the past that activates both positive and negative emotions. The bittersweet emotions that are activated by nostalgia aid psychological functions to humans and are depended on the type of stimuli that evoke nostalgia but also on the nostalgia activation context. In general, despite that nostalgia can be activated and experienced by all people; however, it differs both in terms of nostalgia experience but also nostalgia frequency. As a matter of fact, nostalgia experience along with nostalgia frequency differs according to the level of the nostalgia proneness. People with high nostalgia proneness tend to experience nostalgia more intensely and frequently than people with low nostalgia proneness. Nostalgia proneness is considered as a basic individual difference that affects the experience of nostalgia, and it can be measured by the Southampton Nostalgia Scale (SNS); a psychometric instrument that measures human’s nostalgia proneness consisting of seven questions that assess a person’s attitude towards nostalgia, the degree of experience or tendency to nostalgic feelings and the nostalgia frequency. In the current study, we translated, validated and calibrated the SNS in Greek population (N = 267). For the calibration process, we used several scales relevant to positive dimensions, such as life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, time perspective and wellbeing. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed the factors that provide a good Southampton Nostalgia Proneness model fit for young adult Greek population.
Depression, anxiety, and stress are associated with decreased role functioning, productivity, and quality of life. International students are more prone to psychological distress as they face many stressors while studying abroad. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence and associated factors of depression, anxiety, and stress among international students, their help-seeking behavior, and their awareness of the available on-campus mental support services. A cross-sectional study with a purposive sampling method was performed on 280 international students at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) between the age of 18 and 35 years. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) questionnaire was used anonymously to assess the mental health of students. Socio-demographic, help-seeking behavior, and awareness data were obtained. Independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA test, and multiple linear regression were used to explore associated factors. The overall prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among international students were 58.9%, 71.8%, and 53.9%, respectively. Age was significantly associated with depression and anxiety. Ethnicity showed a significant association with depression and stress. No other factors were found to be significantly associated with psychological distress. Only 9.6% of the international students had sought help from on-campus mental support services. Students who were aware of the presence of such services were only 21.4% of the participants. In conclusion, this study addressed the gap in the literature on the mental health of international students and provided data that could be used in intervention programs to improve the mental health of the increasing number of international students in Malaysia.
Evaluating the levels of cyber-security risks within an enterprise is most important in protecting its information system, services and all its digital assets against security incidents (e.g. accidents, malicious acts, massive cyber-attacks). The existing risk assessment methodologies (e.g. eBIOS, OCTAVE, CRAMM, NIST-800) adopt a technical approach considering as attack factors only the capability, intention and target of the attacker, and not paying attention to the attacker’s psychological profile and personality traits. In this paper, a socio-technical approach is proposed in cyber risk assessment, in order to achieve more realistic risk estimates by considering the personality traits of the attackers. In particular, based upon principles from investigative psychology and behavioural science, a multi-dimensional, extended, quantifiable model for an attacker’s profile is developed, which becomes an additional factor in the cyber risk level calculation.
Introduction: Marginal gingivitis is a disease with considerable frequency among patients who present routinely for periodontal control and treatment. In fact, this disease may not have alarming symptoms in patients and may go unnoticed by themselves when personal hygiene conditions are optimal. The aim of this study was to collect retrograde data on the prevalence of marginal gingiva in the respective group of patients, evaluated according to specific periodontal diagnostic tools. Materials and methods: The study was conducted in two patient groups. The first group was with 34 patients, during December 2019-January 2020, and the second group was with 64 patients during 2010-2018 (each year in the mentioned monthly period). Bacterial plaque index, hemorrhage index, amount of gingival fluid, presence of xerostomia and candidiasis were recorded in patients. Results: Analysis of the collected data showed that susceptibility to marginal gingivitis shows higher values according to retrograde data, compared to cross-sectional ones. Susceptibility to candidiasis and the occurrence of xerostomia, even in the combination of both pathologies, as risk factors for the occurrence of marginal gingivitis, show higher values according to retrograde data. The female are presented with a reduced bacterial plaque index than the males, but more importantly, this index in the females is also associated with a reduced index of gingival hemorrhage, in contrast to the males. Conclusions: Cross-sectional data show that the prevalence of marginal gingivitis is more reduced, compared to retrograde data, based on the hemorrhage index and the bacterial plaque index together. Changes in production in the amount of gingival fluid show a higher prevalence of marginal gingivitis in cross-sectional data than in retrograde data; this is based on the sophistication of the way data are recorded, which evolves over time and also based on professional sensitivity to this phenomenon.
In an era where machines run and shape our world, the need for a stable, non-ending source of energy emerges. In this study, the focus was on the solar energy in Egypt as a renewable source, the most important factors that could affect the solar energy’s market share throughout its life cycle production were analyzed and filtered, the relationships between them were derived before structuring a Bayesian network. Also, forecasted models were built for multiple factors to predict the states in Egypt by 2035, based on historical data and patterns, to be used as the nodes’ states in the network. 37 factors were found to might have an impact on the use of solar energy and then were deducted to 12 factors that were chosen to be the most effective to the solar energy’s life cycle in Egypt, based on surveying experts and data analysis, some of the factors were found to be recurring in multiple stages. The presented Bayesian network could be used later for scenario and decision analysis of using solar energy in Egypt, as a stable renewable source for generating any type of energy needed.
Current collection quality is one of the limiting factors when increasing trains movement speed in the rail sector. With the movement speed growth, the impact forces on the current collector from the rolling stock and the aerodynamic influence increase, which leads to the spread in the contact pressure values, separation of the current collector head from the contact wire, contact arcing and excessive wear of the contact elements. The upcoming trend in resolving this issue is the use of the automatic control systems providing stabilization of the contact pressure value. The present paper considers the features of the contemporary automatic control systems of the current collector’s pressure; their major disadvantages have been stated. A scheme of current collector pressure automatic control has been proposed, distinguished by a proactive influence on undesirable effects. A mathematical model of contact strips wearing has been presented, obtained in accordance with the provisions of the central composition rotatable design program. The analysis of the obtained dependencies has been carried out. The procedures for determining the optimal current collector pressure on the contact wire and the pressure control principle in the pneumatic drive have been described.
Machine learning (ML) can be implemented in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) as a central solution or distributed solution where the ML is embedded in the nodes. Embedding improves privacy and may reduce prediction delay. In addition, the number of transmissions is reduced. However, quality factors such as prediction accuracy, fault detection efficiency and coordinated control of the overall system suffer. Here, we discuss and highlight the trade-offs that should be considered when choosing between embedding and centralized ML, especially for multihop networks. In addition, we present estimations that demonstrate the energy trade-offs between embedded and centralized ML. Although the total network energy consumption is lower with central prediction, it makes the network more prone for partitioning due to the high forwarding load on the one-hop nodes. Moreover, the continuous improvements in the number of operations per joule for embedded devices will move the energy balance toward embedded prediction.
The Nigerian hip-hop music genre, like the African American scene where it was adopted from, is riddled with musical lyrics that amplify and normalize hypermasculinity, homophobia, sexism, and objectification of women. Several factors are responsible for this anomaly; however, the greatest factor is the urge of hip-hop musicians to achieve the commercial success that is dependent on selling records and appealing to the established societal accepted norm for hip-hop music. Consequently, this paper presents a counter-narrative of this gender representation within the Nigerian hip-hop industry. This study analyzed the musical lyrics of the ‘Hypocrisy’ track on the 2019 album of famous Nigerian rapper, Falz the Bahd Guy; and argued that Falz in this album challenged the predominant ideas of hegemonic masculinity by singing in favor of LGBT people and women. Also, based on the success of this album, this paper argues that a hip-hop album can achieve commercial success without aligning with predominant hip-hop parameters of gender representation. The study recommends that future studies should evaluate the reactions of Nigerians to these gender presentations by Falz the Bahd guy.
In the age of social distance, which has been added to an individual and competitive worldview, it has become important to find a way to promote closeness and personal touch. The sense of social belonging and the existence of positive interaction with others have recently become a considerable necessity. Therefore, this theoretical paper will review one of the familiar and common concepts among different cultures around the world – birthday. This paper has a theoretical contribution that deepens the understanding of the birthday concept. Birthday rituals are historical and universal events, which noted since the prehistoric eras. In ancient history, birthday rituals were solely reserved for kings and nobility members, but over the years, birthday celebrations have evolved into a worldwide tradition. Some of the familiar birthday customs and symbols are currently common among most cultures, while some cultures have adopted for themselves unique birthday customs, which characterized their values and traditions. The birthday concept has a unique significance in Judaism as well, historically, religiously, and socially: It is considered as a lucky day and a private holiday for the celebrant. Therefore, the present paper reviews diverse birthday customs around the world in different cultures, including Judaism, and marks important birthdays throughout history. The paper also describes how the concept of birthday appears over the years in songs, novels, and art, and presents quotes from distinguished sages. The theoretical review suggests that birthday has a special meaning as a time-mark in the cycle of life, and as a socialization means in human development. Moreover, the birthday serves as a symbol of belonging and group cohesiveness, a day in which the celebrant's sense of belonging and sense of importance are strengthened and nurtured. Thus, the reappearance of these elements in a family or group interaction during the birthday ceremony allows the celebrant to absorb positive impressions about himself. In view of the extensive theoretical review, it seems that the unique importance of birthdays can serve as the foundation for intervention programs that may affect the participants’ sense of belonging and empowerment. In the group aspect, perhaps it can also yield therapeutic factors within a group. Concrete recommendations are presented at the end of the paper.
The Solidarity Economy (SE) acts in the re-articulation of the economic field to the other spheres of social action. The significant participation of women in SE resulted in the formation of a national network of self-managed enterprises in Brazil: The Solidarity and Feminist Economy Network (SFEN). The objective of the research is to identify factors of gender justice and feminist self-management practices that adhere to the reality of women in SE enterprises. The conceptual apparatus related to feminist studies in this research covers Nancy Fraser approaches on gender justice, and Patricia Yancey Martin approaches on feminist management practices, and authors of postcolonial feminism such as Mohanty and Maria Lugones, who lead the discussion to peripheral contexts, a necessary perspective when observing the women’s movement in SE. The research has a quantitative nature in the phases of data collection and analysis. The data collection was performed through two data sources: the database mapped in Brazil in 2010-2013 by the National Information System in Solidary Economy and 150 questionnaires with women from 16 enterprises in SFEN, in a state of Brazilian northeast. The data were analyzed using the multivariate statistical technique of Factor Analysis. The results show that the factors that define gender justice and feminist self-management practices in SE are interrelated in several levels, proving statistically the intersectional condition of the issue of women. The evidence from the quantitative analysis allowed us to understand the dimensions of gender justice and feminist management practices intersectionality; in this sense, the non-distribution of domestic work interferes in non-representation of women in public spaces, especially in peripheral contexts. The study contributes with important reflections to the studies of this area and can be complemented in the future with a qualitative research that approaches the perspective of women in the context of the SE self-management paradigm.
Women's Employment is one of the most important issues in the global economy. The article discusses the stated topic in Georgia, through historical content, Soviet experience, and modern perspectives. The paper discusses segmentation insa terms of employment and related problems. Based on statistical analysis, women's unemployment rate and its factors are analyzed. The level of employment of women in Transcaucasia (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) is discussed and is compared with Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia). The study analyzes women’s level of development, according to the average age of marriage and migration level. The focus is on Georgia's Association Agreement with the EU in 2014, which includes economic, social, trade and political issues. One part of it is gender equality at workplaces. According to the research, the average monthly remuneration of women managers in the financial and insurance sector equaled to 1044.6 Georgian Lari, while in overall business sector average monthly remuneration equaled to 961.1 GEL. Average salaries are increasing; however, the employment rate remains problematic. For example, in 2017, 74.6% of men and 50.8% of women were employed from a total workforce. It is also interesting that the proportion of men and women at managerial positions is 29% (women) to 71% (men). Based on the results, the main recommendation for government and civil society is to consider women as a part of the country’s economic development. In this aspect, the experience of developed countries should be considered. It is important to create additional jobs in urban or rural areas and help migrant women return and use their working resources properly.
Skillful management is one of the most important success factors for today’s farms. When a farm is well managed, it can generate funds for its sustainability. Grape is one of the most diffused fruits in the world and one of the most important cash crops with high potential of production in Afghanistan as well. While there are several organizations intervening for improvement of this cash crop, the quality and quantity are still not satisfactory for producers and external markets. The situation has not changed over the years. Therefore, a survey was conducted in 2017 with 60 grape growers, supported by questionnaires in Mirbachakot, Kalakan and Shakardara districts of Kabul province. The purpose was to get an understanding of the current socio-demographic characteristics of farmers, management methods, constraints, farm size, yield and contribution of grape farming to household income. Findings indicate that grape farming was predominant 83.3% male, 16.6% female and small-scale farmers were the main grape producers, 60% < 1 ha of land under grape production. Likewise, 50% had more than > 10 years and 33.3% between 1-5 years’ experience in grape farming. The high level of illiteracy and diseases had significant digit effect on growth, yield and quality of grapes. The results showed that vineyard management operations to protect grapes from mechanical damage are very poor or completely absent. Comparing developed countries, table grape is one of the fruits with the highest input of technology, while in developing countries the cost of labor is low but the purchase of the equipment is very high due to financial situation. Hence the low quality and quantity of grape are influenced by poor management methods, such as non-availability of experts and lack of technical guidance in the study site. Thereby, the study suggested that improved agricultural extension services and managerial skills could contribute to addressing the problems.
Voice biometric data associated with physiological, psychological and other factors are widely used in forensic phonoscopy. There are various methods for identifying and verifying a person by voice. This article explores the minimum speech signal data as individual parameters of a speech signal. Monozygotic twins are believed to be genetically identical. Using the minimum data of the speech signal, we came to the conclusion that the voice imprint of monozygotic twins is individual. According to the conclusion of the experiment, we can conclude that the minimum indicators of the speech signal are more stable and reliable for phonoscopic examinations.
The continuous increase in population implies increase in food demand. There is, therefore, the need to increase agricultural production and other forest products to ensure food security and economic development. This paper employs the three-level intensity analysis to assess the total change of land-use in two-time intervals (1986-2002 and 2002-2017), the net change and swap as well as gross gains and losses in the two intervals. The results revealed that the overall change in the 31-year period was greater in the second period (2002-2017). Agriculture and forest categories lost in the first period while the other land class gained. However, in the second period agriculture and built-up increased greatly while forest, water bodies and thick bushes/shrubland experienced loss. An assessment revealed a reduction of forest in both periods but was greater in the second period and expansion of agricultural land was recorded as population increases. The pixels gaining built-up targeted agricultural land in both intervals, it also targeted thick bushes/shrubland and waterbody in the second period only. Built-up avoided forest in both intervals as well as waterbody and thick bushes/shrubland. To help in developing the best land-use strategies/policies, a further validation of the social factors is necessary.
Differences in commercial, professional and personal cultural traditions between western consultants and project sponsors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region are potentially significant in the workplace, and this can impact on project outcomes. These cultural differences can, for example, result in conflict amongst senior managers, which can negatively impact the megaproject. New entrants to the GCC often experience ‘culture shock’ as they attempt to integrate into their unfamiliar environments. Megaprojects are unique ventures with individual project characteristics, which need to be considered when managing their associated risks. Megaproject research to date has mostly ignored the significance of the absence of cultural congruence in the GCC, which is surprising considering that there are large volumes of megaprojects in various stages of construction in the GCC. An initial step to dealing with cultural issues is to acknowledge culture as a significant risk factor (SRF). This paper seeks to understand the criticality for western consultants to address these risks. It considers the cultural barriers that exist between GCC sponsors and western consultants and examines the cultural distance between the key actors. Initial findings suggest the presence to a certain extent of ethnocentricity. Other cultural clashes arise out of a lack of appreciation of the customs, practices and traditions of ‘the Other’, such as the need for avoiding public humiliation and the hierarchal significance rankings. The concept and significance of cultural shock as part of the integration process for new arrivals are considered. Culture shock describes the state of anxiety and frustration resulting from the immersion in a culture distinctly different from one's own. There are potentially substantial project risks associated with underestimating the process of cultural integration. This paper examines two distinct but intertwined issues: the societal and professional culture differences associated with expatriate assignments. A case study examines the cultural congruences between GCC sponsors and American, British and German consultants, over a ten-year cycle. This provides indicators as to which nationalities encountered the most profound cultural issues and the nature of these. GCC megaprojects are typically intensive fast track demanding ventures, where consultant turnover is high. The study finds that building trust-filled relationships is key to successful project team integration and therefore, to successful megaproject execution. Findings indicate that both professional and social inclusion processes have steep learning curves. Traditional risk management practice is to approach any uncertainty in a structured way to mitigate the potential impact on project outcomes. This research highlights cultural risk as a significant factor in the management of GCC megaprojects. These risks arising from high staff turnover typically include loss of project knowledge, delays to the project, cost and disruption in replacing staff. This paper calls for cultural risk to be recognised as an SRF, as the first step to developing risk management strategies, and to reduce staff turnover for western consultants in GCC megaprojects.