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How liberal is Estonian alcohol policy? A review of policy development, 1991-2008

How liberal is Estonian alcohol policy? A review of policy development, 1991-2008

AIMS - This article inspects alcohol policy changes in Estonia between 1991 and 2008, using the Eurocare Bridging the Gap (BtG) scale. Estonian indicators are compared with those of 30 European countries. Seven alcohol policy measures are discussed: control of production and wholesale; control of distribution; age limits; advertising; social and environmental control; public policy; and alcohol taxation. DATA - The indicator values are based on an analysis of legislative changes and governmental programmes during these years. RESULTS - Alcohol policy issues have had low political priority in independent Estonia. In international comparison, the initial policy of the early 1990s was extremely liberal. The most intensive period of political and economic reforms started to subside after 1995, alcohol legislation was overhauled in 1998-1999 and unified restrictions on sales hours were introduced in 2008, all of which led to receding liberalism. The contrast to the neighbouring Nordic countries nevertheless remains sharp. In relation to other European countries, Estonian alcohol controls remain at a medium level. CONCLUSIONS - In line with an improved administrative capacity, Estonia has implemented more structured alcohol policies, which also take social aspects into consideration.

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Understanding the direct involvement of parents in policy development and school activities in a primary school

Abstract

It is acknowledged that parental engagement with children’s learning and education is of vital importance. But, there is a tendency to confuse engagement with learning with engagement with the school. While all types of parents’ involvement can have a positive effect, it is actually what parents do with their child at home that has the greatest impact. However, unless parental involvement in learning is embedded in whole-school processes it is unlikely to as effective as possible. This paper documents an action research study that explores the inclusion of parents and home values in the construction of the teaching and learning environment. This was a small step towards positive parent-teacher collaboration, which allowed an exchange of knowledge, values and cultural background experiences. In acknowledging the ways in which the parents already engaged with their children’s learning, it began to enhance self-efficacy in their ability to directly affect this learning. This work has also provoked reflexive engagement of my influence and understanding of involving parents of children with additional and diverse learning needs. But, it also details the transformative journey that influenced my thinking about how we as a school could begin to develop whole-school processes to directly involve parents in policy development and school activities.

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Informality and migrant entrepreneurs in Cape Town’s inner city

Abstract

Informality is a defining characteristic of cities in the global South and most especially across the region of sub-Saharan Africa. Policy responses by governments towards the informal economy impact the livelihoods of informal entrepreneurs. In South Africa the informal economy is a critical source of livelihoods in urban areas. Many participants in the informal economy of South Africa’s major urban centres are international migrants, mostly drawn to the country from other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The objective in this paper is to examine the challenges faced by international migrant entrepreneurs in relation to policy development for the informal economy of the City of Cape Town. The analysis uses qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, documentary sources and secondary surveys. It is revealed that in Cape Town despite a pro-development rhetoric in the inner city there is evidence of a subtle but systematic exclusion of street traders, including of migrant entrepreneurs. Little evidence exists of a coherent analysis by city policy makers to understand and foreground the contributions made by migrant entrepreneurs for the urban economy.

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Lost in translation: Ever changing and competing purposes for national examinations in the Czech Republic

Lost in translation: Ever changing and competing purposes for national examinations in the Czech Republic

In reaction to central control of schooling by the Soviet Union, the Czech Republic countered with what some say was the most decentralized system in Europe. While the political move to democracy was extraordinarily successful, there were numerous governments between 1989 and the present. The combination of the decentralized control of schooling and lack of continuity in the political realm in regard to education lengthened substantially the amount of time it has taken to mount national assessments. Those assessments, 5th and 9th grade and a high school leaving examination, are now on track but not without political and technical barriers.

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Measuring the Use of Knowledge in Policy Development

Abstract

Public hearings are frequently used on all levels of government to systematically collect and analyze information in the early stages of legislative policymaking. The methods currently employed measure knowledge utilization in this context by means of citation analysis of edited articles and/or reports that summarize the information shared at these meetings. By combining citation analysis and social network analysis, this article develops a methodology that can be used to capture citations in transcripts of public hearings that precede these reports. In order to demonstrate its strengths and weaknesses, the method is utilized to analyze the 2009 hearings that informed the 2010 House of Commons Transport Committee report on developing the capacity of major roads in the United Kingdom to meet the country’s strategic transport needs. The research shows a good degree of consistency between two independent coders who employed this method to distinguish citations from non-citations and classify the data. It is concluded that the method can be utilized to reliably measure knowledge utilization at public hearings, and that it can be employed in conjunction with research that focuses on measuring citations in memos, briefings, articles or reports integrating some of the evidence given at these meetings.

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Decision Making in Psychiatric Reform: A Case Study of the Czech Experience

Abstract

This study examines the initial impact of a broadly participatory planning process in the Czech Republic during 2016–2017, aimed at both reducing inpatient care and expanding community mental health systems, on policy and programmatic decision making. A central focus of the study involves the trade-offs between and efforts to integrate shared decision making with evidence-based planning methods within the context of a national psychiatric reform strategy, particularly one involving a former Soviet bloc state.

Given the uniqueness of the Czech experience, an exploratory case study methodology is used, one involving ten interviews with key informants and examination of a wide variety of documents. Results include the development of broad new decision and oversight structures, and the initial implementation of community mental health services. The nation faces some of the same trade-offs found elsewhere, such as in the United States, between an inclusive participatory process, and one that systematically incorporates empirical rational and evidence and best practices within bounded parameters.

Implications for new psychiatric deinstitutionalization initiatives are identified, including development of a national mental health authority, a professional workforce, new funding strategies, multi-level service coordination, mechanisms to assure transparency, among others.

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Contemporary agrarian question and alternative ways to its solution

Summary

Article presents a complex problem of an agrarian question - its causes, consequences and ways of mitigating the negative effects associated with it. Featured, competing models of agricultural development - industrial and sustainable, are characterized. Also the negative effects of excessive industrialization of agricultural production, leading to the failure of this model, are shown. At the same time, as an alternative, authors indicate sustainable agricultural model, engaging in its account economic, social and environmental costs. As an example of the transition from the industrial model to sustainable development model, the EU common agricultural policy has been described, including its future form in the financial perspective 2014-2020.

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Small enterprise development in South Africa: The role of business incubators

: Godisa Trust Godisa Trust, 2005/6: Godisa Annual Report 2005/06. Pretoria: Godisa Trust InfoDev, 2010a: Global Practice in Incubation: Policy Development and Implementation, Washington DC: The World Bank. InfoDev, 2010b: Global Practice in Incubation: Policy Development and Implementation: South African Country Study, Washington DC: The World Bank. Jang, Y., 2009: Evaluating Technology Business Incubator as a Tool of Government Intervention: Public vs Private, University of Florida, PhD dissertation

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Planning at Sea: Shifting planning practices at the German North Sea coast

study, whereas the analysis in Schleswig-Holstein necessarily remains, with minor exceptions, at the level of the federal state. Interviews were conducted by the author in German, and were subsequently transcribed, annotated and coded following a constructivist grounded theory approach ( Corbin/Strauss 2015 ). The interviews were informed by a common set of research objectives and topics, yet conducted in a flexible manner to allow for a more specific focus on individual policy developments and initiatives pertaining to the direct experience of the interviewee (e

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Educational Reforms and Language Planning Quandary in Algeria: An Illustration with Arabization

Summary

The paper aims to present a critical review of language policy development in Algeria since its independence (1962) to present time. It takes the policy of Arabization, an important turning point in Algerian history that was troubled with serious problems, as an example of language planning in the country. Data was gathered from policy documents, laws, and newspaper articles. It was then coded into themes before it was analysed employing a documentary research method. To provide a methodical discussion, the first part of the paper explores language policy and planning in Algeria. The second part discusses the impact of Arabization on the country’s current state of policy development in light of the debates over the national educational reforms of 2003. The third part highlights the quandary that language planners face during the processes of language planning and policy making. Lastly, the paper concludes with an evaluation of the process of language policy development in the country. The paper argues that in order to foster sustainable multilingualism and achieve effective educational reforms, a keener recognition of Algerian linguistic diversity by the government is imperative.

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