Emerging technologies such as camera-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly being applied in building fire rescue to provide real-time visualization and 3D reconstruction of the entire fireground. However, flight planning of camera-equipped UAVs is usually a manual process, which is not sufficient to fulfill the needs of emergency management. This research proposes a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based approach to automatic flight planning of camera-equipped UAVs for building fire emergency response. In this research, Haversine formula and lawn mowing patterns are employed to automate flight planning based on geometrical and spatial information from GIS. The resulting flight mission satisfies the requirements of 3D reconstruction purposes of the fireground, in consideration of flight execution safety and visibility of camera frames. The proposed approach is implemented within a GIS environment through an application programming interface. A case study is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. The result shows that flight mission can be generated in a timely manner for application to fire emergency response.
Specific learning disability (SLD) in higher education has been partially explored in Greece so far. Moreover, opinions on professional perspectives for university students with SLD, is scarcely encountered in Greek research. The perceptions of the hidden character of SLD along with the university policy towards it and professional perspectives that result from this policy have been examined in the present research. This study has applied the paradigm of a Greek Tertiary Pedagogical Education Department (Early Childhood Education). Via mixed methods, data have been collected from different groups of people in the Pedagogical Department: students with SLD and without SLD, academic staff and administration staff, all of which offer the opportunity for triangulation of the findings. Qualitative methods include ten interviews with students with SLD and 15 interviews with academic staff and 60 hours of observation of the students with SLD. Quantitative methods include 165 questionnaires completed by third and fourth-year students and five questionnaires completed by the administration staff. Thematic analyses of the interviews’ data and descriptive statistics on the questionnaires’ data have been applied for the processing of the results. The use of medical terms to define and understand SLD was common in the student cohort, regardless of them having an SLD diagnosis. However, this medical model approach is far more dominant in the group of students without SLD who, by majority, hold misconceptions on a definitional level. The academic staff group seems to be leaning towards a social approach concerning SLD. According to them, diagnoses may lead to social exclusion. The Pedagogical Department generally endorses the principles of inclusion and complies with the provision of oral exams for students with SLD. Nevertheless, in practice, there seems to be a lack of regular academic support for these students. When such support does exist, it is only through individual initiatives. With regards to their prospective profession, students with SLD can utilize their personal experience, as well as their empathy; these appear to be unique weapons in their hands –in comparison with other educators− when it comes to teaching students in the future. In the Department of Pedagogy, provision towards SLD results sporadic, however the vision of an inclusive department does exist. Based on their studies and their experience, pedagogy students with SLD claim that they have an experiential internalized advantage for their future career as educators.
A weighted statistical stochastic based Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) model for modeling the potential barriers and enablers of sustainability for measuring and assessing the sustainability level is proposed. For context-dependent potential barriers and enablers, the proposed model takes the basis of the properties of the variables describing the sustainability functions and was developed into a realistic analytical model for the sustainable behavior of an organization. This thus serves as a means for measuring the sustainability of the organization. The main focus of this paper was the application of the AHP tool in a statistically-based model for measuring sustainability. Hence a strong weighted stochastic AHP based procedure was achieved. A case study scenario of a widely reported major Canadian electric utility was adopted to demonstrate the applicability of the developed model and comparatively examined its results with those of an equal-weighted model method. Variations in the sustainability of a company, as fluctuations, were figured out during the time. In the results obtained, sustainability index for successive years changed form 73.12%, 79.02%, 74.31%, 76.65%, 80.49%, 79.81%, 79.83% to more exact values 73.32%, 77.72%, 76.76%, 79.41%, 81.93%, 79.72%, and 80,45% according to priorities of factors that have found by expert views, respectively. By obtaining relatively necessary informative measurement indicators, the model can practically and effectively evaluate the sustainability extent of any organization and also to determine fluctuations in the organization over time.
The profusion of studies relating to the concept of organizational learning shows the importance that has been given to this concept in the management sciences. A few years ago, companies leaned towards ISO 9001 certification; this requires the implementation of the quality management system (QMS). In order for this objective to be achieved, companies must have a set of skills, which pushes them to develop learning through continuous training. The results of empirical research have shown that implementation of the QMS in the company promotes the development of learning. It should also be noted that several types of learning are developed in this sense. Given the nature of skills development is normative in the context of the quality demarche, companies are obliged to qualify and improve the skills of their human resources. Continuous training is the keystone to develop the necessary learning. To carry out continuous training, companies need to be able to identify their real needs by developing training plans based on well-defined engineering. The training process goes obviously through several stages. Initially, training has a general aspect, that is to say, it focuses on topics and actions of a general nature. Subsequently, this is done in a more targeted and more precise way to accompany the evolution of the QMS and also to make the changes decided each time (change of working method, change of practices, change of objectives, change of mentality, etc.). To answer our problematic we opted for the method of qualitative research. It should be noted that the case study method crosses several data collection techniques to explain and understand a phenomenon. Three cases of companies were studied as part of this research work using different data collection techniques related to this method.
There has been a growing emphasis in elevating the teachers’ proficiency and competencies through continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. In this era of a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA) world, teachers are expected to be collaborative designers, critical thinkers and creative builders. However, many of the CPD structures are still revolving in the model of transmission, which stands in contradiction to the cultivation of future-ready teachers for the innovative world of emerging technologies. This article puts forward the framing of CPD through a Principle-Based, Technological-Driven Knowledge Building Approach grounded in the essence of andragogy and progressive learning theories where growth is best exemplified through an authentic immersion in a social/community experience-based setting. Putting this Knowledge Building Professional Development Model (KBPDM) in operation via a Professional Learning Team (PLT) situated in a Secondary School in Singapore, research findings reveal that the intervention has led to a fundamental change in the learning paradigm of the teachers, henceforth equipping and empowering them successfully in their pedagogical design and practices for a 21st century classroom experience. This article concludes with the possibility in leveraging the Learning Analytics to deepen the CPD experiences for educators.
Existing learning techniques such as problem-based learning, project-based learning, or case study learning are learning techniques that focus mainly on technical details, but give no specific guidelines on learner’s experience and emotional learning aspects such as arousal salience and valence, being emotional states important factors affecting engagement and retention. Some approaches involving emotion in educational settings, such as social and emotional learning, lack neuroscientific rigorousness and use of specific neurobiological mechanisms. On the other hand, neurobiology approaches lack educational applicability. And educational approaches mainly focus on cognitive aspects and disregard conditioning learning. First, authors start explaining the reasons why it is hard to learn thoughtfully, then they use the method of neurobiological mapping to track the main limbic system functions, such as the reward circuit, and its relations with perception, memories, motivations, sympathetic and parasympathetic reactions, and sensations, as well as the brain cortex. The authors conclude explaining the major finding: The mechanisms of nonconscious learning and the triggers that guarantee long-term memory potentiation. Afterward, the educational framework for practical application and the instructors’ guidelines are established. An implementation example in engineering education is given, namely, the study of tuned-mass dampers for earthquake oscillations attenuation in skyscrapers. This work represents an original learning technique based on nonconscious learning mechanisms to enhance long-term memories that complement existing cognitive learning methods.
The growth and expansion of the industrial facilities comes proportional to the market increasing demand of products and services. Furthermore, raw material producers such as oil companies usually undergo massive revamping projects to maintain a synchronized supply. These revamping projects are usually delivered through challenging construction projects held and associated with daily site risks related to the construction process. Henceforth, a case study related to these risks and corresponding on-spot corrective measurements has been made on a certain number of construction project contractors at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to derive the benefits and overall effectiveness of the on-spot corrective measurements during the construction phase of a project, and how would the same help in avoiding major incidents, ensuring a smooth, cost effective and on time delivery of the project. Findings of this case study shall have an added value to the overall risk management process by minimizing the daily site risks that may affect the project lead time, resulting in an undisturbed on-site construction process.
To fight against climate change, California government issued the Senate Bill No. 100 (SB-100) in 2018 September, which aims at achieving a target of 100% renewable electricity by the end of 2045. A capacity expansion problem is solved in this case study using a binary quadratic programming model. The optimal locations and capacities of the potential renewable power plants (i.e., solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower), the phase-out schedule of existing fossil-based (nature gas) power plants and the transmission of electricity across the entire network are determined with the minimal total annualized cost measured by net present value (NPV). The results show that the renewable electricity contribution could increase to 85.9% by 2030 and reach 100% by 2035. Fossil-based power plants will be totally phased out around 2035 and solar and wind will finally become the most dominant renewable energy resource in California electricity mix.
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy that originated in the medical field and has also been used extensively in other knowledge disciplines with recognized advantages and limitations. PBL has been used in various undergraduate engineering programs with mixed outcomes. The current fourth industrial revolution (digital era or Industry 4.0) has made it essential for many science and engineering students to receive effective training in advanced courses such as industrial automation and robotics. This paper presents a case study at Assumption University of Thailand, where a PBL-like approach was used to teach some aspects of automation and robotics to selected groups of undergraduate engineering students. These students were given some basic level training in automation prior to participating in a subsequent training session in order to solve technical problems with increased complexity. The participating students’ evaluation of the training sessions in terms of learning effectiveness, skills enhancement, and incremental knowledge following the problem-solving session was captured through a follow-up survey consisting of 14 questions and a 5-point scoring system. From the most recent training event, an overall 70% of the respondents indicated that their skill levels were enhanced to a much greater level than they had had before the training, whereas 60.4% of the respondents from the same event indicated that their incremental knowledge following the session was much greater than what they had prior to the training. The instructor-facilitator involved in the training events suggested that this method of learning was more suitable for senior/advanced level students than those at the freshmen level as certain skills to effectively participate in such problem-solving sessions are acquired over a period of time, and not instantly.
Building materials selection is critical for the sustainability of any project. The choice of building materials has a huge impact on the built environment and cost of projects. Building materials emit huge amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to the use of cement as a basic component in the manufacturing process and as a binder, which harms our environment. Energy consumption from buildings has increased in the last few years; a huge amount of energy is being wasted from using unsustainable building and finishing materials, as well as from the process of heating and cooling of buildings. In addition, the construction sector in Egypt is taking a good portion of the economy; however, there is a lack of awareness of buildings environmental impacts on the built environment. Using advanced building materials and different wall systems can help in reducing heat consumption, the project’s initial and long-term costs, and minimizing the environmental impacts. Red Bricks is one of the materials that are being used widely in Egypt. There are many other types of bricks such as Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC); however, the use of Red Bricks is dominating the construction industry due to its affordability and availability. This research focuses on the New Egyptian Administrative Capital as a case study to investigate the potential of the influence of using different wall systems such as AAC on the project’s cost and the environment. The aim of this research is to conduct a comparative analysis between the traditional and most commonly used bricks in Egypt, which is Red Bricks, and AAC wall systems. Through an economic and environmental study, the difference between the two wall systems will be justified to encourage the utilization of uncommon techniques in the construction industry to build more affordable, energy efficient and sustainable buildings. The significance of this research is to show the potential of using AAC in the construction industry and its positive influences. The study analyzes the factors associated with choosing suitable building materials for different projects according to the need and criteria of each project and its nature without harming the environment and wasting materials that could be saved or recycled. The New Egyptian Administrative Capital is considered as the country’s new heart, where ideas regarding energy savings and environmental benefits are taken into consideration. Meaning that, Egypt is taking good steps to move towards more sustainable construction. According to the analysis and site visits, there is a potential in reducing the initial costs of buildings by 12.1% and saving energy by using different techniques up to 25%. Interviews with the mega structures project engineers and managers reveal that they are more open to introducing sustainable building materials that will help in saving the environment and moving towards green construction as well as to studying more effective techniques for energy conservation.
In Turkey, while urban area boundaries are enlarged by making decisions on investment areas in cities, development plans are made according to government decisions, rather than scientific criteria. Even environment protection laws state that “if public interest is at stake”, areas under mandatory protection can be transformed into investment areas. This leads to destruction of valuable agricultural lands. Paper demonstrates loss of agricultural lands by superimposing plans, Suitability of the Lands for Agricultural Use and Google Earth Images in an exemplary settlement, and expresses that urban area boundaries should be included in legislation as an official boundary for all settlements.
The financial sector is exposed to the risk of cyber-attacks like any other industrial sector. Furthermore, the topic of CybeRisk (cyber risk) has become particularly relevant given that Information Technology (IT) attacks have increased drastically in recent years, and cannot be stopped by single organizations requiring a response at international and national level. IT risk is never a matter purely for the IT manager, although he clearly plays a key role. A bank's risk management function requires a thorough understanding of the evolving risks as well as the tools and practical techniques available to address them. Upon the request of European and national legislation regarding CybeRisk in the financial system, banks are therefore called upon to strengthen the operational model for CybeRisk management. This will require an important change with a more intense collaboration with the structures that deal with information security for the development of an ad hoc system for the evaluation and control of this type of risk. The aim of the work is to propose a framework for the management and control of CybeRisk that will bridge the gap in the literature regarding the understanding and consideration of CybeRisk as an integral part of business management. The IT function has a strong relevance in the management of CybeRisk, which is perceived mainly as operational risk, but with a positive tendency on the part of risk management to the identification of CybeRisk assessment methods that are increasingly complete, quantitative and able to better describe the possible impacts on the business. The paper provides answers to the research questions: Is it possible to define a CybeRisk governance structure able to support the comparison between risk and security? How can the relationships between IT assets be integrated into a cyberisk assessment framework to guarantee a system of protection and risks control? From a methodological point of view, this research uses a case study approach. The choice of “Monte dei Paschi di Siena” was determined by the specific features of one of Italy’s biggest lenders. It is chosen to use an intensive research strategy: an in-depth study of reality. The case study methodology is an empirical approach to explore a complex and current phenomenon that develops over time. The use of cases has also the advantage of allowing the deepening of aspects concerning the "how" and "why" of contemporary events, on which the scholar has little control. The research bases on quantitative data and qualitative information obtained through semi-structured interviews of an open-ended nature and questionnaires to directors, members of the audit committee, risk, IT and compliance managers, and those responsible for internal audit function and anti-money laundering. The added value of the paper can be seen in the development of a framework based on a mapping of IT assets from which it is possible to identify their relationships for purposes of a more effective management and control of cyber risk.
This paper presents a multi-objective framework for sustainable urban development. The proposed framework aims to address different aspects of sustainability in urban development planning. These aspects include, but are not limited to education, health, job opportunities, architecture, culture, environment, mobility, energy, water, waste, and so on. Then, the proposed framework is applied to the Brackenridge Tract (an area in downtown Austin, Texas), to redevelop that area in a sustainable way. The detail of the implementation process is presented in this paper. The ultimate goal of this paper is to develop a sustainable area in downtown Austin with ensuring that it locally meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental, health as well as cultural aspects. Moreover, it helps the city with the population growth problem by accommodating more people in that area.
Today, many local and national governments are developing urban agriculture as an effective tool in responding to challenges such as food security, poverty and environmental problems. In fact, urban agriculture plays an important role in food system, which can provide citizens' income and become one of the components of economic, social and environmental systems. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the urban agriculture and urban food systems in order to understand the impact of urban foods production on environmental planning in non-western city region context. To achieve such objective, we carry out a case study in Mashhad city of Iran by using qualitative approaches. A survey on documentary studies and planning tools integrate with face to face interview with experts which explain the role of food system in environmental planning process. The paper extends the use of food in the environmental planning, specifically to examine this role to create agricultural garden as a mean to improve agricultural system in non-western country. The paper is concluded with a set of recommendations for researchers and policymakers who seek to create spaces in order to implement urban agriculture in cities for food justice.
In Egypt, there is continuous housing demand as a result of rapid population growth. In 1979, this forced the government to establish new urban communities in order to decrease stress around delta. New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) was formulated to take the responsibly of this new policy. These communities suffer from social life deficiency due to their typology, which is separated island with barriers. New urban communities’ typology results from the influence of neoliberalism movement and modern city planning forms. The lack of social interaction in these communities at present should be enhanced in the future. On a global perspective, sustainable development calls for creating more sustainable communities which include social, economic and environmental aspects. From 1960, planners were highly focusing on the promotion of the social dimension in urban development plans. The research hypothesis states: “It is possible to promote social interaction in new urban communities through a set of socio-spatial recommended strategies that are tailored for Greater Cairo Region context”. In order to test this hypothesis, the case of El-Sherouk city is selected, which represents the typical NUCA development plans. Social interaction indicators were derived from literature and used to explore diﬀerent social dynamics in the selected case. The tools used for exploring case study are online questionnaires, face to face questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These investigations were analyzed, conclusions and recommendations were set to improve social interaction.
In the past, we could increase profit by increasing product prices. But in the new decade, a competitive market does not let us to increase profit with increase prices. Therefore, the only way to increase profit will be reduce costs. A significant percentage of production costs are the maintenance costs, and analysis of these costs could achieve more profit. Most maintenance strategies such as RCM (Reliability-Center-Maintenance), TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance), PM (Preventive Maintenance) etc., are trying to reduce maintenance costs. In this paper, decreasing the maintenance costs of Concentration Plant of Golgohar Company (GEG) was examined by using of MTBF (Mean Time between Failures) and MTTR (Mean Time to Repair) analyses. These analyses showed that instead of buying new machines and increasing costs in order to promote capacity, the improving of MTBF and MTTR indexes would solve capacity problems in the best way and decrease costs.
In geophysical exploration surveys, the quality of acquired data holds significant importance before executing the data processing and interpretation phases. In this study, 2D seismic reflection survey data of Fort Abbas area, Cholistan Desert, Pakistan was taken as test case in order to assess its quality on statistical bases by using normalized root mean square error (NRMSE), Cronbach’s alpha test (α) and null hypothesis tests (t-test and F-test). The analysis challenged the quality of the acquired data and highlighted the significant errors in the acquired database. It is proven that the study area is plain, tectonically least affected and rich in oil and gas reserves. However, subsurface 3D modeling and contouring by using acquired database revealed high degrees of structural complexities and intense folding. The NRMSE had highest percentage of residuals between the estimated and predicted cases. The outcomes of hypothesis testing also proved the biasness and erraticness of the acquired database. Low estimated value of alpha (α) in Cronbach’s alpha test confirmed poor reliability of acquired database. A very low quality of acquired database needs excessive static correction or in some cases, reacquisition of data is also suggested which is most of the time not feasible on economic grounds. The outcomes of this study could be used to assess the quality of large databases and to further utilize as a guideline to establish database quality assessment models to make much more informed decisions in hydrocarbon exploration field.
This paper outlines the approaches taken to assess multi-hazard assessments. There is currently confusion in assessing multi-hazard impacts, and so this study aims to determine which of the available options are the most useful. The paper uses an international literature search, and analysis of current multi-hazard assessments and a case study to illustrate the effectiveness of the chosen method. Findings from this study will help those wanting to assess multi-hazards to undertake a straightforward approach. The paper is significant as it helps to interpret the various approaches and concludes with the preferred method. Many people in the world live in hazardous environments and are susceptible to disasters. Unfortunately, when a disaster strikes it is often compounded by additional cascading hazards, thus people would confront more than one hazard simultaneously. Hazards include natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, etc.) or cascading human-made hazards (for example, Natural Hazard Triggering Technological disasters (Natech) such as fire, explosion, toxic release). Multi-hazards have a more destructive impact on urban areas than one hazard alone. In addition, climate change is creating links between different disasters such as causing landslide dams and debris flows leading to more destructive incidents. Much of the prevailing literature deals with only one hazard at a time. However, recently sophisticated multi-hazard assessments have started to appear. Given that multi-hazards occur, it is essential to take multi-hazard risk assessment under consideration. This paper aims to review the multi-hazard assessment methods through articles published to date and categorize the strengths and disadvantages of using these methods in risk assessment. Napier City is selected as a case study to demonstrate the necessity of using multi-hazard risk assessments. In order to assess multi-hazard risk assessments, first, the current multi-hazard risk assessment methods were described. Next, the drawbacks of these multi-hazard risk assessments were outlined. Finally, the improvements to current multi-hazard risk assessments to date were summarised. Generally, the main problem of multi-hazard risk assessment is to make a valid assumption of risk from the interactions of different hazards. Currently, risk assessment studies have started to assess multi-hazard situations, but drawbacks such as uncertainty and lack of data show the necessity for more precise risk assessment. It should be noted that ignoring or partial considering multi-hazards in risk assessment will lead to an overestimate or overlook in resilient and recovery action managements.
The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.
This study evaluates obstructive sleep apnea treatment through a case study involving a 67-year-old male driver who had a successful continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment at home but experienced difficulties with traveling and dental care. There are many cheap sleep apnea and snoring devices available, but there is little professional advice on what kind of devices can help. Professional drivers receive yearly specialized medical care follow-up.
The study investigated the factors militating the organization of intramural sports programs in secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. The purpose of the study was to identify the factors affecting the organization of sports in secondary schools and also to proffer possible solutions to these factors. The study employed the inferential statistics of chi-square (x2). Five research hypotheses were formulated. The population for the study was all the students in the government-owned secondary schools in Ekiti West Local Government of Ekiti State Nigeria. The sample for the study was 60 students in three schools within the local government selected through simple random sampling techniques. The instrument used for the study was a self-developed questionnaire by the researcher for data collection. The instrument was presented to experts and academicians in the field of Human Kinetics and Health Education for construct and content validation. A reliability test was conducted which involves 10 students who are not part of the study. The test-retest coefficient of 0.74 was obtained which attested to the fact that the instrument was reliable enough for the study. The validated questionnaire was administered to the students in their various schools by the researcher with the help of two research assistants; the questionnaires were filled and returned to the researcher immediately. The data collected were analyzed using the descriptive statistics of frequency count, percentage and mean to analyze demographic data in section A of the questionnaire, while inferential statistics of chi-square was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 alpha level. The results of the study revealed that personnel, fund, schedule (time) were significant factors that affect the organization of intramural sport programs among students in secondary schools in Ekiti West Local Government Area of the State. The study also revealed that organization of intramural sports programs among students of secondary schools will improve and motivate students’ participation in sports beyond the local level. However, facilities and equipment is not a significant factor affecting the organization of intramural sports among secondary school students in Ekiti West Local Government Area.
With the improvement of living quality and demand for nighttime activities in China, the current situation of outdoor lighting environment at night needs to be assessed. Lighting environment at night plays an important role to guarantee night safety. Two typical residential communities in Hangzhou were selected. A comprehensive test method of outdoor lighting environment at night was established. The road, fitness area, landscape, playground and entrance were included. Field measurements and questionnaires were conducted in these two residential communities. The characteristics of residents’ habits and the subjective evaluation on different aspects of outdoor lighting environment at night were collected via questionnaire. A safety evaluation system on the outdoor lighting environment at night in the residential community was established. The results show that there is a big difference in illumination in different areas. The lighting uniformities of roads cannot meet the requirement of lighting standard in China. Residents pay more attention to the lighting environment of the fitness area and road than others. This study can provide guidance for the design and management of outdoor lighting environment at night.
The accreditation process of engineering degree programmes is based on various reports evaluated by the relevant governing bodies of the institution of higher education. One of the aforementioned reports for the accreditation process is a self-assessment report which is to be completed by the applying institution. This paper seeks to emphasise the importance of analysis of internal quality management systems and self-examination processes in the engineering accreditation processes. A description of how the programme fulfils the criteria should be given. Relevant stakeholders all need to contribute in the writing and structuring of the self-assessment report. The last step is to gather evidence in the form of supporting documentation. In conclusion, the paper also identifies learning outcomes in a case study in seeking accreditation from an international relevant professional body.
The economic scenario of any region does not show the real picture for the measurement of overall development. Therefore, economic development must be accompanied by social development to be able to make an assessment to measure the level of development. The spatial variation with respect to social development has been discussed taking into account the quality of functioning of a social system in a specific area. In this paper, an attempt has been made to study the spatial distribution of social infrastructural facilities and analyze the magnitude of regional disparities at inter- block level in Barddhman district. It starts with the detailed account of the selection process of social infrastructure indicators and describes the methodology employed in the empirical analysis. Analyzing the block level data, this paper tries to identify the disparity among the blocks in the levels of social development. The results have been subsequently explained using both statistical analysis and geo spatial technique. The paper reveals that the social development is not going on at the same rate in every part of the district. Health facilities and educational facilities are concentrated at some selected point. So overall development activities come to be concentrated in a few centres and the disparity is seen over the blocks.
South Africa, a water scarce country, experiences the phenomenon that its life supporting natural water resources is seriously threatened by the users that are totally dependent on it. South Africa is globally applauded to have of the best and most progressive water laws and policies. There are however growing concerns regarding natural water resource quality deterioration and a critical void in the management of natural resources and compliance to policies due to increasing institutional uncertainties and failures. These are in accordance with concerns of many South African researchers and practitioners that call for a change in paradigm from talk to practice and a more constructive, practical approach to governance challenges in the management of water resources. A qualitative theory-building case study through longitudinal action research was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The research assessed whether a strategic positioned institutional agent can be parlayed to facilitate and execute WRM on catchment level by engaging multiple stakeholders in a polycentric setting. Through a critical realist approach a distinction was made between ex ante self-deterministic human behaviour in the realist realm, and ex post governance-management in the constructivist realm. A congruence analysis, including Toulmin’s method of argumentation analysis, was utilised. The study evaluated the unique case of a self-steering local water management institution, the Impala Water Users Association (WUA) in the Pongola River catchment in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Exploiting prevailing water resource threats, it expanded its ancillary functions from 20,000 to 300,000 ha. Embarking on WRM activities, it addressed natural water system quality assessments, social awareness, knowledge support, and threats, such as: soil erosion, waste and effluent into water systems, coal mining, and water security dimensions; through structured engagement with 21 different catchment stakeholders. By implementing a proposed polycentric governance-management model on a catchment scale, the WUA achieved to fill the void. It developed a foundation and capacity to protect the resilience of the natural environment that is critical for freshwater resources to ensure long-term water security of the Pongola River basin. Further work is recommended on appropriate statutory delegations, mechanisms of sustainable funding, sufficient penetration of knowledge to local levels to catalyse behaviour change, incentivised support from professionals, back-to-back expansion of WUAs to alleviate scale and cost burdens, and the creation of catchment data monitoring and compilation centres.