A Study about Establishing Standards for Social Infrastructure
Overview of this report: This paper adopts a social sustainability framework to explore the issue of social infrastructure. It outlines a cost benefit analysis of the importance of social capital and well planned social infrastructure. On the basis of relevant research and through case studies, the paper indicates the costs to government and communities of not giving appropriate attention to social infrastructure needs and requirements. The report considers the distinction between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ infrastructure, the relationship between the two and the importance of incorporating both aspects in planning local communities. Consideration is given to developments in other jurisdictions in measuring social sustainability and establishing standards for social infrastructure that assist in the planning of new developments and redevelopment of local communities.
Over the past decade or more, governments across the developed world are now recognising the mistakes and associated costs involved in failing to provide for adequate social infrastructure in particular local communities. There is recognition that a number of metropolitan and regional areas have been hard hit as a result of factors such as structural changes in the economy, changed patterns of employment and income distribution and demographic and social changes. However, the failure to make adequate provision for social infrastructure in the past has exacerbated the problems for these areas. Consequently, particular localities have been left in a state of extreme disadvantage but with few social support services to buffer the effects of these changes. In response, governments are now faced with attempting to apply remedial measures to compensate for previous under-provision. Keep reading…
Study about Infrastructure Planning and Delivery: Best Practice
Introduction: Modern, efficient infrastructure underpins the economic health of all nations, supporting the economy, improving productivity, and providing access to opportunities to build stronger communities. As economies grow and populations expand, so too does the scale of demand on the infrastructure that supports daily life.Improving infrastructure networks can be a hugely expensive task. New railways, roads, desalination plants, power stations and broadband connections can cost hundreds of millions, and often, billions of dollars.
At the same time, their impact is equally huge: transforming neighbourhoods and cities; underpinning water security; and powering our homes, factories and offices.Getting the delivery of such infrastructure right is therefore an issue of real importance. Cost overruns can run into hundreds of millions of dollars; a poorly specified project can fail to meet the objectives set out for the investment. As a result, improving infrastructure delivery is now a key priority for governments and government agencies across Australia. Keep reading…
A Study about Environmental Information Systems in Corporate Engineering: Limits and Perspectives
Abstract:~ In this contribution two case studies are presented which demonstrate approaches to environmental assessment of industrial products, namely car components. Environmental Information Systems are the tool of choice for the estimation of mass flows within the systems and throughout the entire life cycle.
Introduction:~ What are the main forces of strategic and operational environmental management in industry and administration? Primarily these are criteria like economy and safety of goods and services. Environmental aspects of goods and services are mostly viewed in the framework of legislative directives and/or are a question of image or public relations. Keep reading…
A Study about Scaling Up Corporate Social Investments in Education
Scaling up good corporate social investment practices in developing countries is crucial to realizing the Education for All and Millennium Development Goals. Yet very few corporate social investments have the right mix of vision, financing, cross-sector engagement and leadership to come to scale. Globally, 67 million children are not enrolled in primary school, over 200 million are in school but not mastering basic skills such as reading, and many millions more complete post-primary education without the skills needed to participate in society or the local economy.
Overcoming these challenges will require swift and bold action by many actors, including governments, multilateral organizations, donors and civil society. Corporations can use their core assets to generate shared value for business and society by helping get children into school, setting a strong learning agenda and scaling up what works in education. This policy paper looks at what works and what is not working in corporate efforts to further education in developing countries. Keep reading…
A Study about Effects of Deregulation and Vertical Unbundling on the Performance: Electricity Generation Sector
Abstract:~ We study whether the 2002 deregulation and vertical unbundling of the Chinese electricity sector has boosted productivity in the generation segment of the industry. Controlling explicitly for sources of price-heterogeneity across firms and for firm-fixed effects, we find deregulation to be associated with a reduction in labor input and material use of 6 and 4 percent, respectively. This effect only appears two years after the reforms, is robust to alternative ways of identifying restructured firms, and to the nonrandom selection of restructured firms using a matching estimator. Input use of new state-owned firms that start operations two years into the reform period does not differ significantly anymore from input use of private sector entrants.
Introduction:~ We study whether the 2002 deregulation and vertical unbundling of the Chinese electricity sector has boosted productivity in the generation segment of the industry. Efficient operation of electricity plants is particularly important in China for several reasons. The manufacturing sector accounts for an unusually large share of the economy and it requires reliable and ever increasing amounts of electric power. Half of all provinces have suffered rolling brownouts in the last decade because of local capacity shortages and refusals of producers to generate electricity when generating costs surpassed regulated prices. Total electricity demand continues to grow and new capacity is constantly added. Keep reading..
White Paper about Nature and Dynamics of Institutions Supporting Exchange
Markets rest upon institutions. The development of market-based exchange relies on the support of two institutional pillars that are, in turn, shaped by the development of markets. Research in the ﬁeld of new institutional economics has largely focused upon one such institutional pillar ‘contract-enforcement institutions’ that determine the range of transactions in which individuals can commit to keep their contractual obligations. Yet, markets also require institutions that constrain those with coercive power from abusing others’ property rights. These ‘coercion-constraining’ institutions inﬂuence whether individuals will bring their goods to the market in the ﬁrst place.
Many successful market economies have prevailed in the past; there were adequate market-supporting institutions. Early successes, such as those in the Islamic world or China, were not indicators of later development. It was the commercial expansion that began in Europe during the late medieval period that led to the development of markets that support the complex, dynamic modern economy with its wide-scale reliance on impersonal exchange. Why didn’t early success lead to subsequent market expansion? More generally, what does determine the dynamics of market expansion? Addressing these questions is a key to understanding the ‘Rise of the West,’ the operation of market economies, and the factors that still hinder market development. Keep reading on Institutions Supporting Exchange
Case Study about Financial Management Systems in Small Sized Enterprises
Introduction: Despite the increasing amount of research in management accounting in the past decade, little was known of its form and effectiveness within Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). Whilst empirical studies have been devoted in these years on larger enterprises (e.g. Ezzamel et al 1994,Anderson 1995, Moden and Hamada 1991) it has been only more recently that research has been directed towards the financial management systems that operate within SME’s (Lyabert 1998, Mitchell et al 1999).
This study focused upon the small business sector of the economy and it had three main aims: firstly, it investigated the role, function and scope of the financial management systems operating within small firms (1). Secondly, it attempted to understand why in certain firms robust financial systems exist, whereas in others they are seen to be weak (2). Finally, the role of training and other support needs for sound financial management systems were investigated (3). Included within the analysis was the consider ation of whether sound accounting systems are contingent upon such factors as the role of the accounting profession, in-house accounting functions, the characteristics of the owner/director and business development training and support. Keep reading…
A Case Study about Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes
Social structure, especially in the form of social networks, affects economic outcomes for three main reasons. First, social networks affect the ﬂow and the quality of information. Much information is subtle, nuanced and difﬁcult to verify, so actors do not believe impersonal sources and instead rely on people they know. Second, social networks are an important source of reward and punishment, since these are often magniﬁed in their impact when coming from others personally known. Third, trust, by which I mean the conﬁdence that others will do the “right” thing despite a clear balance of incentives to the contrary, emerges, if it does, in the context of a social network.
Economists have recently devoted considerable attention to the impact of social structure and networks on the economy; for example, see the economists chapters in Rauch and Casella (2001) (and the illuminating review essay of this volume by Zuckerman, 2003), as well as Dutta and Jackson (2003) and Calvo Armengol (2004). However, I focus here on sociologists’ contributions. Sociologists have developed core principles about the interactions of social structure, information, ability to punish or reward, and trust that frequently recur in their analyses of political, economic and other institutions. I begin by reviewing some of these principles. Keep reading…
Case Study about Arizona Department of Economic Security
Around ten years ago, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) refreshed its entire server and storage environment. It created a shared infrastructure for its seven divisions, which all administer social services to Arizona citizens.
The infrastructure was state-of-the-art when it was first built, but over time the servers aged, then reached end of life—and by then, the economy was in a downturn. DES didn’t have the budget it needed to fund a 1:1 replacement of old hardware. Keep reading..
Case Studies about Work Organisation: Widening Women’s Work in Information and Communication Technology
General characteristics of the sector: Computer services is a sub-category of the economic sector known as ‘computing and related activities’, which also covers hardware manufacturing, telecommunications and computer wholesale activities. In the European industrial classification system, computer services is represented by NACE code 72 Sales and employment in computer services far outweigh those in computer manufacturing, in all of the seven countries covered by this study.
Computer services takes around two-third of the total computing market in these countries, accounting for between 66% and 70%. In other words, in computing as in the economy more broadly, services make up the vast majority of both activity and added value and have become far more significant than manufacturing. keep reading…