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Fostering resilience: Empowering rural communities in the face of hardship  [cached]
Darryl Maybery,Rod Pope,Gene Hodgins,Yvonne Hitchenor
Gateways : International Journal of Community Research & Engagement , 2010,
Abstract: Australian rural communities are experiencing some of the worst climactic and economic conditions in decades. Unfortunately, the multiple government and non-government agency responses have reportedly been uncoordinated, sometimes losing sight of their consumers. This article describes a program designed to strengthen and empower resilience in small rural communities and summarises the outcomes, including needs and action planning undertaken. The 97 participants were from eight outer regional or remote towns and communities in the northern Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia. As groups representing their communities, they attended meetings and responded to a series of questions regarding issues arising from the drought, community needs, and actions their community could take to address these issues and needs. The study findings highlight the stress and strain of the climatic conditions and the insecurity of rural incomes, as well as problems with the high cost of transport. The communities recognised a degree of social disintegration but also expressed considerable hope that, by working together and better utilising social agencies, they could develop a social connectedness that would make their communities more resilient. Approaches that empower and facilitate community resilience are suggested as an effective model that governments and non-government agencies can use to encourage social groups that are struggling to build resilience.
Community Resilience and Oil Spills in Coastal Louisiana
Craig E. Colten,Jenny Hay,Alexandra Giancarlo
Ecology and Society , 2012, DOI: 10.5751/es-05047-170305
Abstract: The persistence of communities along Louisiana’s coast, despite centuries of natural and technological hazard events, suggests an enduring resilience. This paper employs a comparative historical analysis to examine “inherent resilience,” i.e., practices that natural resource-dependent residents deploy to cope with disruptions and that are retained in their collective memory. The analysis classifies activities taken in advance of and following a series of oil spills within Wilbanks’ four elements of community resilience: anticipation, reduced vulnerability, response, and recovery. Comparing local inherent resilience to formal government and corporate resilience enables the identification of strengths and weaknesses of these different categories of resilience. It also helps answer the questions: What forms of inherent resilience capacity existed prior to the formulation of formal contingency plans? How have communities drawn upon their own capabilities to survive without the infusion of massive external assistance? Have externally managed contingency planning procedures integrated or bypassed inherent resilience?
Resilience in Lower Columbia River Salmon Communities  [cached]
Irene E. Martin
Ecology and Society , 2008,
Abstract: In 1992, the first listings of Columbia River salmon under the Endangered Species Act occurred. Regulation of the Columbia River gillnet fishery since that time has greatly reduced fishing time and economic return to the fishing fleet. The counties where two-thirds of the gillnetters reside have registered negative social statistics during this period, including drug and alcohol abuse rates, incomes, and mortality rates, among others. The fishing communities' attempts to cope with this change, their strategies for resilience, and the potential consequences for their ability to advocate on behalf of salmon should they be further weakened are discussed. The possibility exists that the gillnet population could abandon its commitment to the Columbia River and settle in other areas.
Social Resilience in Online Communities: The Autopsy of Friendster  [PDF]
David Garcia,Pavlin Mavrodiev,Frank Schweitzer
Computer Science , 2013, DOI: 10.1145/2512938.2512946
Abstract: We empirically analyze five online communities: Friendster, Livejournal, Facebook, Orkut, Myspace, to identify causes for the decline of social networks. We define social resilience as the ability of a community to withstand changes. We do not argue about the cause of such changes, but concentrate on their impact. Changes may cause users to leave, which may trigger further leaves of others who lost connection to their friends. This may lead to cascades of users leaving. A social network is said to be resilient if the size of such cascades can be limited. To quantify resilience, we use the k-core analysis, to identify subsets of the network in which all users have at least k friends. These connections generate benefits (b) for each user, which have to outweigh the costs (c) of being a member of the network. If this difference is not positive, users leave. After all cascades, the remaining network is the k-core of the original network determined by the cost-to-benefit c/b ratio. By analysing the cumulative distribution of k-cores we are able to calculate the number of users remaining in each community. This allows us to infer the impact of the c/b ratio on the resilience of these online communities. We find that the different online communities have different k-core distributions. Consequently, similar changes in the c/b ratio have a different impact on the amount of active users. As a case study, we focus on the evolution of Friendster. We identify time periods when new users entering the network observed an insufficient c/b ratio. This measure can be seen as a precursor of the later collapse of the community. Our analysis can be applied to estimate the impact of changes in the user interface, which may temporarily increase the c/b ratio, thus posing a threat for the community to shrink, or even to collapse.
Resilience of Florida Keys Coral Communities Following Large-Scale Disturbances  [PDF]
Deborah L. Santavy,Erich M. Mueller,Lauri MacLaughlin,Esther C. Peters,Robert L. Quarles,Mace G. Barron
Diversity , 2011, DOI: 10.3390/d3040628
Abstract: The decline of coral reefs in the Caribbean over the last 40 years has been attributed to multiple chronic stressors and episodic large-scale disturbances. This study assessed the resilience of coral communities in two different regions of the Florida Keys reef system between 1998 and 2002 following hurricane impacts and coral bleaching in 1998. Resilience was assessed from changes in coral abundance, diversity, disease, and bleaching prevalence in reefs near the remote off-shore islands of the Dry Tortugas compared to reefs near Key West, a center of high population density and anthropogenic influences. During the first assessment in spring 1998, Key West and Dry Tortugas coral communities had similar abundance, species diversity, and disease prevalence. Bleaching and disease significantly increased in all reef areas during the summer 1998 El Ni?o event, with Key West reefs exhibiting higher bleaching and disease prevalence and severity compared to Dry Tortugas. Acroporids and total coral abundance significantly declined in both regions during 1998 following mass-coral bleaching and hurricane impact, but remained reduced only on Key West reefs during the 5-year assessment. These results provide additional evidence that coral reef systems distant from anthropogenic influences may have greater resilience to large-scale disturbances.
Resilience of Coral-Associated Bacterial Communities Exposed to Fish Farm Effluent  [PDF]
Melissa Garren, Laurie Raymundo, James Guest, C. Drew Harvell, Farooq Azam
PLOS ONE , 2009, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007319
Abstract: Background The coral holobiont includes the coral animal, algal symbionts, and associated microbial community. These microbes help maintain the holobiont homeostasis; thus, sustaining robust mutualistic microbial communities is a fundamental part of long-term coral reef survival. Coastal pollution is one major threat to reefs, and intensive fish farming is a rapidly growing source of this pollution. Methodology & Principal Findings We investigated the susceptibility and resilience of the bacterial communities associated with a common reef-building coral, Porites cylindrica, to coastal pollution by performing a clonally replicated transplantation experiment in Bolinao, Philippines adjacent to intensive fish farming. Ten fragments from each of four colonies (total of 40 fragments) were followed for 22 days across five sites: a well-flushed reference site (the original fragment source); two sites with low exposure to milkfish (Chanos chanos) aquaculture effluent; and two sites with high exposure. Elevated levels of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), chlorophyll a, total heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria abundance, virus like particle (VLP) abundances, and culturable Vibrio abundance characterized the high effluent sites. Based on 16S rRNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis, we observed rapid, dramatic changes in the coral-associated bacterial communities within five days of high effluent exposure. The community composition on fragments at these high effluent sites shifted towards known human and coral pathogens (i.e. Arcobacter, Fusobacterium, and Desulfovibrio) without the host corals showing signs of disease. The communities shifted back towards their original composition by day 22 without reduction in effluent levels. Significance This study reveals fish farms as a likely source of pathogens with the potential to proliferate on corals and an unexpected short-term resilience of coral-associated bacterial communities to eutrophication pressure. These data highlight a need for improved aquaculture practices that can achieve both sustainable industry goals and long-term coral reef survival.
The Networks Are Out There: Building Cultural and Economic Resilience Through Informal Communities of Practice  [PDF]
Eduardo Marisca
Computer Science , 2013,
Abstract: This paper explores the possibilities offered by informal communities of practice to operate as "prototyping spaces" for innovation in the context of developing economies. It begins by looking at the concept of "economic complexity" and how it is useful in both guiding the priorities and evaluating the challenges developing economies face when attempting to drive growth and build measures of resilience, and raises the question of how these economies can both introduce higher complexity activities while compensating for latecomer disadvantages versus more complex economies. It then examines in detail the case of the Twin Eagles Group, a Peruvian video game development community in the 1990s, and how they reverse engineered technologies and global practices to pursue their creative objectives. Based on this case, it concludes by laying out some of the methodological challenges associated to researching this sort of community because of the multi-sited nature of their activities.
Understanding Household Connectivity and Resilience in Marginal Rural Communities through Social Network Analysis in the Village of Habu, Botswana  [cached]
Lin Cassidy,Grenville D. Barnes
Ecology and Society , 2012, DOI: 10.5751/es-04963-170411
Abstract: Adaptability is emerging as a key issue not only in the climate change debate but in the general area of sustainable development. In this context, we examine the link between household resilience and connectivity in a rural community in Botswana. We see resilience and vulnerability as the positive and negative dimensions of adaptability. Poor, marginal rural communities confronted with the vagaries of climate change, will need to become more resilient if they are to survive and thrive. We define resilience as the capacity of a social–ecological system to cope with shocks such as droughts or economic crises without changing its fundamental identity. We make use of three different indices of household resilience: livelihood diversity, wealth, and a comprehensive resilience index based on a combination of human, financial, physical, social, and natural capital. Then, we measure the social connectivity of households through a whole network approach in social network analysis, using two measures of network centrality (degree centrality and betweenness). We hypothesize that households with greater social connectivity have greater resilience, and analyze a community in rural Botswana to uncover how different households make use of social networks to deal with shocks such as human illness and death, crop damage, and livestock disease. We surveyed the entire community of Habu using a structured questionnaire that focused on livelihood strategies and social networks. We found that gender, age of household head, and household size were positively correlated with social connectivity. Our analysis indicates that those households that are more socially networked are likely to have a wider range of livelihood strategies, greater levels of other forms of social capital, and greater overall capital. Therefore, they are more resilient.
Seasonal Variations and Resilience of Bacterial Communities in a Sewage Polluted Urban River  [PDF]
Tamara García-Armisen, ?zgül ?nceo?lu, Nouho Koffi Ouattara, Adriana Anzil, Michel A. Verbanck, Natacha Brion, Pierre Servais
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092579
Abstract: The Zenne River in Brussels (Belgium) and effluents of the two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) of Brussels were chosen to assess the impact of disturbance on bacterial community composition (BCC) of an urban river. Organic matters, nutrients load and oxygen concentration fluctuated highly along the river and over time because of WWTPs discharge. Tag pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes revealed the significant effect of seasonality on the richness, the bacterial diversity (Shannon index) and BCC. The major grouping: -winter/fall samples versus spring/summer samples- could be associated with fluctuations of in situ bacterial activities (dissolved and particulate organic carbon biodegradation associated with oxygen consumption and N transformation). BCC of the samples collected upstream from the WWTPs discharge were significantly different from BCC of downstream samples and WWTPs effluents, while no significant difference was found between BCC of WWTPs effluents and the downstream samples as revealed by ANOSIM. Analysis per season showed that allochthonous bacteria brought by WWTPs effluents triggered the changes in community composition, eventually followed by rapid post-disturbance return to the original composition as observed in April (resilience), whereas community composition remained altered after the perturbation by WWTPs effluents in the other seasons.
A method of assessing the resilience of whole communities of children: An example from rural Australia  [cached]
Dunstan Debra A,Todd Anna K
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1753-2000-6-17
Abstract: Background Children living in socioeconomic disadvantage are at risk of poor mental health outcomes. In order to focus and evaluate population health programs to facilitate children’s resilience, it is important to accurately assess baseline levels of functioning. With this end in mind, the aim of this study was to test the utility of 1) a voluntary random sampling method and 2) quantitative measures of adaptation (with national normative data) for assessing the resilience of children in an identified community. Method This cross-sectional study utilized a sample of participants (N = 309), including parents (n = 169), teachers (n = 20) and children (n = 170; age range = 5-16 years), recruited from the schools in Tenterfield; a socioeconomically disadvantaged community in New South Wales, Australia. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; including parent, teacher and youth versions) was used to measure psychological well-being and pro-social functioning, and NAPLAN results (individual children’s and whole school’s performance in literacy and numeracy) were used to measure level of academic achievement. Results The community’s disadvantage was evident in the whole school NAPLAN performance but not in the sample’s NAPLAN or SDQ results. The teacher SDQ ratings appeared to be more reliable than parent’s ratings. The voluntary random sampling method (requiring parental consent) led to sampling bias. Conclusions The key indicators of resilience - psychological well-being, pro-social functioning and academic achievement – can be measured in whole communities using the teacher version of the SDQ and whole school results on a national test of literacy and numeracy (e.g., Australia’s NAPLAN). A voluntary random sample (dependent upon parental consent) appears to have limited value due to the likelihood of sampling bias.
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