Brinkley, Tanya Rosemary
01 January 2011
In public policy literature, there is a lack of research that integrates social construction theory within the advocacy coalition framework, and far less is known about how these theories address policy change and processes related to programs for disabled veterans.The purpose of this study was to conduct a policy analysis to evaluate how well the needs of veterans are met through the U.S. Veterans' Disability Compensation (USVDC) program. In a case study of a city in the southeastern U.S., gaps between formulation and implementation of USVDC policy were examined. The theoretical frameworks used in this study were Hacker's formulation and implementation gap to analyze policy, Schneider and Ingram's conceptualization of social construction, and Sabatier and Weible's advocacy coalition framework. The central research question for this study explored the extent to which the USVDC program meets the needs of disabled veterans (DVs). Data consisting of over 355 USVDC formulation and implementation documents, from March 2007 through August 2013, were coded using a priori codes and content analysis methodology.Findings indicate the USVDC policy subsystem struggled to manage the claims backlog that grew to over one million claims. Between April 2013 and September 2013, an emphasis to reduce the claims backlog improved stalled policy formulation, resulting in a shift to positive social constructions for DVs.Implications for positive social change include improved collaboration between policy makers, the Veterans' Administration, and recently transitioned target group DVs, to reshape policy formulation and implementation to further improve the quality of life for sick and injured veterans when entering the USVDC policy subsystem.
Individuals, endowments, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds constantly face portfolio management decisions ultimately affecting the lives of billions. This dissertation addresses two crucial challenges in the context of portfolio management which are to identify the optimal portfolio at any given point in time and to transition the portfolio accordingly. The first essay considers the dynamic consumption/portfolio allocation problem and develops solution techniques allowing us to identify the optimal portfolio allocation (between a risky and risk-free asset) and consumption level over time. Deciding how much to consume, versus how much to save is a question affecting nearly everyone. This essay develops two perturbation methods that yield approximate closed-form solutions to dynamic portfolio allocation/consumption problems under general preferences and a time-varying investment opportunity set. These solution methods are illustrated with examples involving time-varying expected returns, volatility, and interest rates. The second essay examines this monolithic "risky asset" more closely, developing a robust diversification method to define the optimal allocation of assets within the risky portfolio component. This diversification method relies solely on the covariance structure of the investment opportunity set which can be much more precisely estimated than expected returns. Using this new approach leads to an alternative to the mean-variance efficient set of portfolios as traditionally implemented. The resulting optimally diversified portfolio equalizes the correlation between each asset and the overall portfolio. This approach provides individuals and institutions with a robust and stable asset allocation rule which avoids the typical over-concentrations associated with substantial losses during market downturns. The third essay analyzes the question of how to optimally transition a portfolio from one set of allocations to another in the face of transaction costs (which are quantity-sensitive) and a penalty (utility) function for not holding the target portfolio. This improves on existing models by allowing for portfolio mandates that may not be mean-variance efficient, e.g., if they are sub-portfolios and do not represent the total wealth of an investor, or if political or reputational concerns lead to restricting investments. This essay identifies a formula for the optimal rebalancing path and shows that there are several general factors influencing this path.
Mind the gap| The integration of physical and mental healthcare in federally qualified health centersMonaghan, Karen R. 11 July 2015 (has links)
<p> In the United States, approximately 50 percent of people experience mental illness during their lifetimes (Cunningham, 2009). However, previous studies estimate that up to 80 percent of people living with a mental illness do not access services (Mackenzie et al., 2007). While there are numerous explanations for such disparity, this study posited that stigma associated with mental illness is a significant contributory factor. </p><p> In an attempt to address the gap between prevalence of mental illness and access to services, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), 2010 (US Government Printing Office, (a) 2011) mandated that Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) integrate physical and mental healthcare. This research employed case study methods to examine the implementation of this federal policy in FQHCs, focusing on what role, if any, stigma plays in such implementation. Analyzing data obtained from in-depth interviews and direct observations at two case study sites, as well as key informant interviews, and background information, this research explores the following questions: Does stigma impact the implementation of mental health policy and affect access to treatment in FQHCs for people living with mental illness? And, if stigma does impact mental health policy implementation and access to mental healthcare in FQHCs, how does this occur? </p><p> Study findings include: multiple definitions of and approaches for integrating physical and mental healthcare; mental healthcare being subsumed into, rather than integrated with, the medical model; and institutional stigma persisting in the agencies studied, resulting in the reinforcement of exclusionary policies and practices and limited access to mental healthcare for FQHC patients. </p><p> Empirical findings inform a new theoretical framework that identifies the role of institutional stigma in mental health policy development and implementation in FQHCs. Policy recommendations include: the adoption of non-stigmatizing practices in FQHCs; the inclusion of a single clear definition of integration within enabling legislation; restructuring of mental healthcare funding streams to facilitate agencies' access to resources; and federally mandated reporting of mental health outcomes to improve FQHC accountability. These recommendations aim to promote the equitable implementation of integration policy within FQHCs and increase access to mental healthcare for those persons in need.</p>
Lynch, Sarah R.
05 June 2018
<p> The scholarly research on emergency supply chain management acknowledges its inherent significance in efficacious disaster response, however, what is unknown is how to employ alternative means of transportation, specifically hybrid airships, to deliver relief aid direct to a point of need amidst a lack of intact infrastructure following disaster. The purpose of this study was to investigate subject matter expert opinions to determine the level of consensus on how to apply the innovative transportation mode of hybrid airships to emergency supply chain management through delivery of emergency supplies direct to a point of need despite a lack of intact infrastructure following a disaster event. It addresses the following research question: How do subject matter experts envision effective employment of hybrid airships in emergency supply chain management within the United States? This research was a qualitative, Type 2 case study of Hurricane Sandy utilizing the examination of publicly available documents and focused interviews. The interview sample was a criterion-based selection of subject matter experts who participated in the logistical response to Hurricane Sandy, and the sample of documents were obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Qualitative data analysis was used to identify and interpret themes throughout the data, and content clouds were specificity used to assist in visualizing interview transcript data. The consensus among subject matter experts is that hybrid airship application to emergency supply chain management should commence via a FEMA initiative to preposition the craft regionally throughout FEMA zones. Future research should address integration challenges through a Delphi study to poll a broader range of subject matter experts to refine consensus on hybrid airship employment in disaster logistics.</p><p>
Akange, Stephen S.
02 November 2016
<p> The socioeconomic progress of developing nations, states, and rural communities largely depends on the development and management of their water resources. Rural communities of the North Senatorial District (NSD) of Benue, Nigeria do not have adequate access to potable water. The purpose of this correlational study was to evaluate the statistical relationship between availability of potable water and the economic development of the NSD and Benue state. The primary theoretical framework included Omamegbe’s theory of migration and brain drain. A quantitative, cross-sectional design was employed using a modified version of the World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory Assessment Checklist. Participants consisted of 43 water supply managers and five officials of the Ministry for Water Resources and Environment (MWRE). Data were analyzed using Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient to establish a relationship between the independent variable (potable water supply) and the dependent variable constructs relating to the availability and quality of water supply technologies and resources as well as the presence of documentation for maintenance and improvements. The results indicated all dependent variables had statistically significant relationships to lack of potable water supply and its negative effect on the economic development of the NSD. The implications for social change include developing a state model that would improve water supply to communities of the NSD of Benue state which may no doubt have a positive health, economic, and social impacts for the state and potentially, the country.</p>
Blum, Scott C.
28 March 2017
<p> Since the first aircraft accident was attributed to the improper use of automation technology in 1996, the aviation community has recognized that the benefits of flight deck technology also have negative unintended consequences from both the technology itself and the human interaction required to implement and operate it. This mixed methods study looks at the relationship of technology to the severity of aircraft mishaps and the policy implications resulting from those relationships in order to improve safety of passenger carrying aircraft in the United States National Airspace System. U.S. mishap data from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Aviation Safety Reporting System was collected covering aircraft mishaps spanning the last twenty years. An ordinal regression was used to determine which types of flight deck technology played a significant role in the severity of aircraft mishaps ranging from minor to catastrophic. Using this information as a focal point, a qualitative analysis was undertaken to analyze the mechanisms for that impact, the effect of existing policy guidance relating to the use of technology, and the common behaviors not addressed by policy that provide a venue to address aviation safety. Some areas of current policy were found to be effective, while multiple areas of opportunity for intervention were uncovered at the various levels of aircraft control including the organizational, the supervisory, the preparatory, and the execution level that suggest policy adjustments that may be made to reduce incidence of control failure caused by cockpit automation. </p>
A case study analysis of California wildland fire response and management models| The 2003 Cedar Fire and 2013 Rim FireTownsell, Jason 21 December 2016 (has links)
<p> The phenomenon of wildfire growth has emerged as one of the most important geographical, social, and emergency management concerns in California this century. Attached to this concern are additional concerns related to the effective response to and management of wild fire. This qualitative multi-case research study examines the relationship between the organizational management methods of the responses to two of California’s largest and most devastating and costly wildfires ever, the 2003 California Cedar and the 2013 California Rim Fires. In addition to reviewing and analyzing the relationship between management methodology and incident response performance, this study also examines the progress and evolution of organizational management methods of the agencies involved in these two responses. The study is concluded with an analysis of the data and recommendations related to the adoption of a hybrid method of incident response management that values traditional hierarchical approaches while also valuing and instituting modern network approaches.</p>
Guru Rajan, Divya
<p>This dissertation consists of three papers, which together examine whether policies meant to address inequality, succeed in mitigating the impact of traditional institutions such as caste and enable ethnic minorities to claim their rights. Using experimental and quasi-experimental methods with data from a variety of primary and secondary sources, this dissertation analyzes whether policies meant to empower vulnerable groups in India have succeeded in doing so. The findings suggest that while legislations in the form of mandated political representation or freedom of information laws are necessary in terms of increasing the accountability of government towards citizens, they may not be sufficient in ensuring adequate and uniform delivery of public services, especially to citizens belonging to marginalized groups. Further, empowering citizens – especially those belonging to groups that have faced historic discrimination – to actively participate in civic and political life may require more active and intensive policy and programmatic interventions.</p> / Dissertation
11 May 2016
<p> Throughout history there have been taxes. As Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said in 1904, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” From the recorded writings of the earliest civilizations to the front page of today’s newspapers, taxes have been core to human existence. Governments require revenue. In the earliest civilizations governments raised revenue to fight wars and defend their citizens. Taxes were used to build roads, ports, and fortresses. As the world economy expanded, taxes were used to promote economic development, build factories, and encourage commerce. As social needs evolved over the last two decades, taxes have been used to provide for the poor and the needy, for education, and to improve the quality of life for a nation’s citizenry. </p><p> Regardless of the spending agenda, governments all need revenue. From the first civilizations to today’s modern government, the history of taxation has followed similar patterns and governments throughout history have faced similar challenges. What to tax? Should taxes be levied on property, income, or consumption? How to measure and determine the amount of tax to be paid? How to administer and collect tax? Should tax be direct to the citizen or indirect and collected at the source? How to find a balance in the fairness of tax? And how to deal with the inevitable strategies citizens develop to avoid tax? Should citizens self-report their tax liabilities with government systems to audit those reports? Or should government invest in the infrastructure required to collect taxes at the point of source? </p><p> This thesis will explore taxes: the history, the newest ideas, the abuses, and the reasons why tax policy today has become so cumbersome and legalistic that it takes thousands of pages to explain all the complexities of our tax system. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.)</p>
01 April 2011
Recent scholarship from political science, urban studies, and sociology conceptualizes the city as a space of decentralized democracy – a view emphasizing localization, participation, difference, and anti-hierarchical organizational form. Instead of conceiving the city as a place of atomized individuals and a locale for market exchange, this alternative framework recognizes the city‘s role as ―civitas‖ – a ―space of active democratic citizenship‖ and ―full human realization‖ based on open and free encounter and exchange with difference. The current research emerges from and fills a need within this perspective by examining how local urban contexts undergird and bolster new movement organizations (NMOs). Theory elaborates how urban density, land-use mix, housing age diversity, and connectivity generate and enable interaction with the social diversity fundamental to decentralized and anti-hierarchical NMOs. In addition, theory also examines how urban walking mediates the relationships between these urban contextual traits and NMOs. Linear regression is used to assess the direct effects of density, connectivity, land-use mix, and urban walking on NMO activity (measured as human rights, environmental, and social advocacy groups), and the Sobel test is employed to assess mediation. Data to measure the NMO dependent variable come from the 2007 ZIP Code Business Patterns, while urban contextual independent variables and socio-economic and demographic measures are drawn primarily from the 2000 U.S. Census. Regressions at the ZCTA level show that NMO activity is positively predicted by density, connectivity, and housing age diversity. Furthermore, Sobel tests indicate that walking mediates the relationships that NMOs have with density, connectivity, and land-use-mix. Several additional analyses are also performed. First, Guidestar Form 990 data are employed to validate the NMO dependent variable. Second, inclusion of an ideology measure in the regression estimations shows that the relationships of interest are not confounded by ―liberalism‖. Third, cross-lagged regressions are employed to investigate ―self-selection‖ effects. Finally, counterfactual cases are explored by estimating regressions with several alternative dependent variables. While coefficients on the independent variables of interest are typically larger and more often in the predicted direction when NMOs are employed as the dependent variable, results for several of the alternative dependent variables shed light on the main results by showing that urban contexts are conducive to specific kinds of activity.
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