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The Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies, developed in 2017 (CFDET 2017), aims to unify and facilitate agreement regarding the identification, structure, and relationships between various evaluation typologies found in the disaster setting. A peer-reviewed validation process sought input from international experts in the fields of disaster medicine, disaster/emergency management, humanitarian/development, and evaluation. This paper discusses the validation process, its results, and outcomes.
Previous frameworks, identified in the literature, lack validation and consistent terminology. To gain credibility and utility, this unique framework needed to be validated by international experts in the disaster setting.
A mixed methods approach was designed to validate the framework. An initial iterative process informed an online survey which used a combination of a five-point Likert scale and open-ended questions. Pre-determined consensus thresholds, informed by a targeted literature review, provided the validation criteria.
A sample of 33 experts from 11 countries responded to the validation process. Quantitative measures largely supported the elements and relationships of the framework, and strongly supported its value and usefulness for supporting, promoting, and undertaking evaluations, as well as its usefulness for teaching evaluation in the disaster setting. Qualitative input suggested opportunities to strengthen and enhance the framework. There were limited responses to better understand the barriers and enablers of undertaking disaster evaluations. A potential for self-selection bias of respondents may be a limitation of this study. The attainment of high consensus thresholds, however, provides confidence in the validity of the results.
For the first time, a framework of this nature has undergone a rigorous validation process by experts in three related disciplines at an international level. The modified framework, CFDET 2018, provides a unifying framework within which existing evaluation typologies can be structured. It gives evaluators confidence to choose an appropriate strategy for their particular evaluation in the disaster setting and facilitates consistency in reporting across the different phases of a disaster to better understand the process, outcomes, and impacts of the efficacy and efficiency of interventions. Future research could create a series of toolkits to support improved disaster evaluation processes and to evaluate the utility of the framework in the real-world setting.
Intensive use of external inputs in specialized industrial farming systems has created significant socio-ecological externalities, including water and air pollution from nutrients and pesticides, soil erosion and depletion of carbon stocks, biodiversity loss and rising production costs. Ecological intensification is a strategy for reducing reliance on inputs by intentionally designing agroecosystems to harness biological processes and ecological relationships for the sustainable functioning of the system. Incorporating perennials and diversifying systems are two avenues for achieving ecological intensification, and both are characteristics of agroforestry. This preliminary report uses examples of agroforestry in the US state of California as a proof of concept to explore the agronomic and economic feasibility and sustainability benefits of agroforestry in intensive irrigated and temperate farming systems. An exploratory study of farmers experimenting with agroforestry systems and other agricultural professionals identified eight different variants of agroforestry systems being practiced on prime agricultural land in California, ranging from simple use of winter cover crops in orchards to multi-storied cropping systems with integrated grazing. Respondents noted benefits of reduced inputs and production costs, and better nutrient cycling, soil health and pest control. Trade-offs and challenges included increases in labor requirements and management complexity. Knowledge gaps included lack of guidance in biophysical systems design, lack of clarity about economic tradeoffs, and lack of information about ecosystem services benefits. In light of interviewees’ responses, we discuss the constraints and factors needed to foster the successful expansion of agroforestry systems in California and other regions characterized by industrialized farming.
The frequency of disasters is increasing around the world with more people being at risk. There is a moral imperative to improve the way in which disaster evaluations are undertaken and reported with the aim of reducing preventable mortality and morbidity in future events. Disasters are complex events and undertaking disaster evaluations is a specialized area of study at an international level.
While some frameworks have been developed to support consistent disaster research and evaluation, they lack validation, consistent terminology, and standards for reporting across the different phases of a disaster. There is yet to be an agreed, comprehensive framework to structure disaster evaluation typologies.
The aim of this paper is to outline an evolving comprehensive framework for disaster evaluation typologies. It is anticipated that this new framework will facilitate an agreement on identifying, structuring, and relating the various evaluations found in the disaster setting with a view to better understand the process, outcomes, and impacts of the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions.
Research was undertaken in two phases: (1) a scoping literature review (peer-reviewed and “grey literature”) was undertaken to identify current evaluation frameworks and typologies used in the disaster setting; and (2) a structure was developed that included the range of typologies identified in Phase One and suggests possible relationships in the disaster setting.
No core, unifying framework to structure disaster evaluation and research was identified in the literature. The authors propose a “Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies” that identifies, structures, and suggests relationships for the various typologies detected.
The proposed Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies outlines the different typologies of disaster evaluations that were identified in this study and brings them together into a single framework. This unique, unifying framework has relevance at an international level and is expected to benefit the disaster, humanitarian, and development sectors. The next step is to undertake a validation process that will include international leaders with experience in evaluation, in general, and disasters specifically. This work promotes an environment for constructive dialogue on evaluations in the disaster setting to strengthen the evidence base for interventions across the disaster spectrum. It remains a work in progress.
WongDF, SpencerC, BoydL, BurkleFMJr., ArcherF. Disaster Metrics: A Comprehensive Framework for Disaster Evaluation Typologies. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(5):501–514.
Evaluating the effectiveness of the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programs (AACAPs) from a military participant perspective provides the objective of this research. The study will identify areas of concern and provide guidance on current military policy, doctrine and protocol.
Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programs (AACAPs) represent a co-operative initiative between the Australian Army and Australian Government, that delivers complex support for Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance (HA/DR) to improve the health and well-being of indigenous communities. Since 1997, the Army has conducted a number of AACAPs in remote Indigenous communities within continental Australia. No previous evaluations of these programs exist.
A ‘Quality Improvement’ study underpins this evaluation. Shewhart’s “Plan, Do, Study, Act” Model provides the guiding framework for the study. Allen’s Logic Model exemplifies the most appropriate framework to articulate the program needs and objectives, and to delineate the processes inherent in the program for this evaluation. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) evaluation model for public health programs, provides the evaluation standards to examine the delivery of health care to the deployed force in an austere environment. Part 1 of the study will be a desktop examination of current military policy, doctrine and protocol relating to AACAP. Part 2 will overlay personal experience from military participants in the AACAPs through a semi-structured interview, to enable deployed health personnel the opportunity to comment on their experiences. Analysis will comprise quantitative and qualitative method, specifically descriptive statistics and thematic analysis respectively. Army has approved all required governance, and ethics approval will be sought from Monash University.
This is a proposed study, no results are available.
The benefit of this research will be gaining new knowledge with context of a humanitarian focused military task, through the lens of quality improvement to build capacity and enhance capability.
Lithium sulfur (Li–S) batteries have the potential to provide higher energy storage density at lower cost than conventional lithium ion batteries. A key challenge for Li–S batteries is the loss of sulfur to the electrolyte during cycling. This loss can be mitigated by sequestering the sulfur in nanostructured carbon–sulfur composites. The nanoscale characterization of the sulfur distribution within these complex nanostructured electrodes is normally performed by electron microscopy, but sulfur sublimates and redistributes in the high-vacuum conditions of conventional electron microscopes. The resulting sublimation artifacts render characterization of sulfur in conventional electron microscopes problematic and unreliable. Here, we demonstrate two techniques, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and scanning electron microscopy in air (airSEM), that enable the reliable characterization of sulfur across multiple length scales by suppressing sulfur sublimation. We use cryo-TEM and airSEM to examine carbon–sulfur composites synthesized for use as Li–S battery cathodes, noting several cases where the commonly employed sulfur melt infusion method is highly inefficient at infiltrating sulfur into porous carbon hosts.
Part of Robert T. Leiper's (1881–1969) lasting legacy in medical helminthology is grounded on his pioneering work on schistosomiasis (Bilharzia). Having undertaken many expeditions to the tropics, his fascination with parasite life cycles typically allowed him to devise simple preventive measures that curtailed transmission. Building on his formative work with others in Africa and Asia, and again in Egypt in 1915, he elucidated the life cycles of African schistosomes. His mandate, then commissioned by the British War Office, was to prevent and break transmission of this disease in British troops. This he did by raising standing orders based on simple water hygiene measures. Whilst feasible in military camp settings, today their routine implementation is sadly out of reach for millions of Africans living in poverty. Whilst we celebrate the centenary of Leiper's research we draw attention to some of his lesser known colleagues, then focus on schistosomiasis in Uganda discussing why expanded access to treatment with praziquantel is needed now. Looking to WHO 2020 targets for neglected tropical diseases, we introduce COUNTDOWN, an implementation research consortium funded by DFID, UK, which fosters the scale-up of interventions and confirm the current relevance of Leiper's original research.
Written concurrently with the first item in C.M.I.R.3, the Faculty of Actuaries Mortality Research Group's paper determines a range within which mortality rates of Life Office Pensioners may be expected to change in the foreseeable future. Comparisons are made between the observed changes in pensioner mortality rates and those observed for the population of England and Wales, and reference is also made to the trends of mortality rates assumed in recent British population projections. From these considerations two forecasts are made, based upon “optimistic” and “pessimistic” future mortality assumptions, between which it is expected the actual future rates of mortality change will lie.
In the second part of the paper the financial effects of the range of forecasts are set out, when used to project the graduated pensioner Mortality Experience 1967-70 (C.M.I.R., 2, 57). The implications are illustrated in the context of two model funds, one based upon life offices' data, and the other based upon a non-insured pension scheme for which the contribution rates vary in accordance with the levels of future expected pensioner mortality.
An energy resource is the first step in the chain that supplies energy services (for a definition of energy services, see Chapter 1). Energy services are largely ignorant of the particular resource that supplies them; however, often the infrastructures, technologies, and fuels along the delivery chain are highly dependent on a particular type of resource. The availability and costs of bringing energy resources to the market place are key determinants to affordable and accessible energy services.
Energy resources pose no inherent limitation to meeting the rapidly growing global energy demand as long as adequate upstream investment is forthcoming – for exhaustible resources in exploration, production technology, and capacity (mining and field development) and, by analogy, for renewables in conversion technologies.
Hydrocarbons and Nuclear
Occurrences of hydrocarbons and fissile materials in the Earth's crust are plentiful – yet they are finite. The extent of the ultimately recoverable oil, natural gas, coal, or uranium is the subject of numerous reviews, yet still the range of values in the literature is large (Table 7.1). For example, the range for conventional oil is between 4900 exajoules (EJ) for reserves to 13,700 EJ (reserves plus resources) – a range that sustains continued debate and controversy. The large range is the result of varying boundaries of what is included in the analysis of a finite stock of an exhaustible resource, e.g., conventional oil only or conventional oil plus unconventional occurrences, such as oil shale, tar sands, and extra-heavy oils.
Disasters and large-scale crises continue to increase in frequency. To mitigate the potential catastrophes that confront humanity in the new millennium, an evidence-based approach to disaster medicine is required urgently. This paper moves towards such an approach by identifying the current evidence-base for disaster medicine.
Using a search strategy developed by the Cochrane Prehospital and Emergency Health Field, three independent reviewers searched the electronically indexed database MEDLINE (January 2000 – August 2010) to identify peer-reviewed literature relevant to disaster medicine. Reviewers screened the titles and abstracts identified by the search strategy and applied predetermined criteria to classify the reported publications for date, source and study type and topic.
A total of 8149 publications were identified. Of these, 8% focused on mitigation, 22% on preparedness, 19% on response and 51% on recovery. The publications were overwhelmingly anecdotal or descriptive (89%) while 5% were quantitative studies and 6% used qualitative methodologies. Only 66 of these publications were classified as being high level evidence. The publications were published in 928 journals, of which 34% were mental health related journals and 28% were public health journals. The journal “Prehospital and Disaster Medicine” had the greatest number of publications (5%) of all journals publishing on issues within the scope of disaster medicine. The events with the greatest numbers of publications were the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the conflict in Iraq. Of note, this search highlights the lack of publications reporting on the application of evaluation tools or frameworks.
Given that the “science” of disaster medicine is spread across over 900 different journals, keeping on top of the evolving evidence-base of this emerging discipline will continue to be a challenge. Furthermore, the overall low quality of the evidence is an ongoing concern.
The highly sensitive surface of porous silicon (PSi) and the possibility to measure changes in its electrical properties can be used for electrical biosensor applications. The sensing scenario can be extended from the well-characterized organic solvents and pH sensors to detection of biological processes involving the presence of charged molecules. We have investigated the change in electrical properties (capacitance and conductance) of macroporous silicon layers upon exposure to organic solvents and water. Evaluation of our sensor to detect a biological event was done by addressing DNA hybridization. As opposed to the previous work published in this field, in our devices the electrical contact is made on the crystalline silicon (c-Si) substrate. This allows a complete exposure of the surface to the sensing species and reduces the generation of ionic currents through the porous silicon matrix. We will report results of a complete characterization of our device including response speed, selectivity and sensitivity.
Thin films of boron carbon nitride (BCN) and boron carbide (BC) were synthesized by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) using two different reactant chemistries: (i) N,N’,N” – trimethylborazine (TMB); (ii) dilute diborane (5% in Ar) and hydrocarbon as precursor materials. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, Nano-Indentor, Flexus stress instrument and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to study the deposited films. The BC films are much more stable than BCN films under high humidity (100%) environment. Both BCN and BC films are very stable under atmospheric conditions. A high compressive stress of -4.2 GPA was achieved by conventional PECVD, which show promising applications in high performance ultra large-scale integrated circuit (ULSI) devices.
The H1N1 (swine influenza) 2009 outbreak in Victoria, Australia, provided a unique opportunity to review the prehospital response to a public health emergency. As part of Ambulance Victoria’s response to the outbreak, relevant emergency response plans and pandemic plans were instigated, focused efforts were aimed at encouraging the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and additional questions were included in the call-taking script for telephone triage of emergency calls to identify potential cases of H1N1 from the point of call. As a result, paramedics were alerted to all potential cases of H1N1 influenza or any patient who met the current case definition before their arrival on the scene and were advised to use appropriate PPE. During the period of May 1 to July 2, Ambulance Victoria telephone triaged 1598 calls relating to H1N1 (1228 in metropolitan areas and 243 in rural areas) and managed 127 calls via a referral service that provides specific telephone triage for potential H1N1 influenza cases based on the national call-taking script. The referral service determines whether a patient requires an emergency ambulance or can be diverted to other resources such as flu clinics. Key lessons learned during the H1N1 outbreak include a focused need for continued education and communication regarding infection control and the appropriate use of PPE. Current guidelines regarding PPE use are adequate for use during an outbreak of infectious disease. Compliance with PPE needs to be addressed through the use of intra-agency communications and regular information updates early in the progress of the outbreak. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2009;3(Suppl 2):S154–S159)
An investigation of Salm. saint-paul infection in England and Wales in 1959 is described. In one-third of the human incidents the infection was attributed to home-produced meat coming from two infected abattoirs.
Animal infection was demonstrated and was probably due to contaminated imported animal feedingstuffs.
The clinical histories of 55 of the 89 cases reported during the year were studied. There was one death. In ten patients the illness commenced with fever and malaise and diarrhoea was absent or did not occur until 24–48 hr. later. One patient developed meningitis and another an abdominal abscess.
A spontaneous mutation ‘tich’ (gene symbol tch) appeared as a recessive mutation in inbred mice of strain A. TL. Homozygotes are rather dumpy mice of approximately normal weight but with short limbs and tail. Skeletal measurements on backcross siblings show that the mandible bones are almost normal but long bones and some parts of the pelvic and pectoral girdles are short. Although tich resembles brachypodism phenotypically it is not linked to agouti, and does not match the description of any other skeletal mutation. There was some evidence for weak linkage with albinism on chromosome 7. The mutation has reappeared amongst the A. TL mice of a UK commercial breeder and may have been accepted as the norm for A. TL amongst some European users of this mouse.