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This report examines the assessment and course placement practices across California's community colleges for incoming students and recommends strategies for overall improvement.
Community colleges have processes in place for new student orientation, counseling, assessment, and course placement. Nonetheless, students, by and large, view their matriculation process as a one-shot deal—an isolated event that happens one day with minimal to no advance information.
Yet the assessment and placement process involves very high stakes for students and can negatively impact their future success. Course placement affects not only how quickly students can earn a certificate or degree—a factor affecting the cost of their program of study—but also their likelihood of completing a credential at all.
Drawing from quantitative analyses and interviews with counselors and students, the authors uncover substantial variance in assessment and placement policies statewide, as well as confusion among both students and counselors about the policies. The authors provide recommendations directed toward making assessment and placement part of overall diagnostic and learning processes that span high school and college.
This report aims to make a small contribution to the above challenge by compiling practical cases of marine and coastal management from different regions that have integrated a gender perspective in their design, implementation and evaluation, at community, project and policy levels. The report aims to draw out practical lessons and recommendations from the case studies that can be useful for policy makers and project managers involved in integrated coastal and marine planning.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
Due to growing concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and the capacity and resilience of energy grids around the world, engineers and policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to energy storage solutions. Indeed, energy storage can help address the intermittency of solar and wind power; it can also, in many cases, respond rapidly to large fluctuations in demand, making the grid more responsive and reducing the need to build backup power plants.
European Foundation Centre (EFC);
This report is the most comprehensive study to date into support for environmental initiatives provided by European philanthropic foundations. It builds on the three earlier editions, increasing the number of foundations and grants being analysed, along with the total value of these grants.
This 4th edition features a detailed analysis of the environmental grants of 87 European public-benefit foundations, as compared to 75 in the previous edition. These 87 foundations include many of Europe's largest providers of philanthropic grants for environmental initiatives.
Beyond Philanthropy invest impact GmbH;
This study is based on an extensive literature review and more than 50 interviews with a broad specturm of foundation leaders, academic experts, EU officials, and staff of ESPII organizations. The results are like a health check up of our sector. They show that not everything is perfect in this system, a system that many of us have helped to shape over the last 25 years. We should make sure that the health indicators of the European Philanthropy and Social Investment Infrastructure are in good shape for the next 25 years. We need this infrastructure to represent our sector, to drive innovations and to increase in the impact of our work. The latter is very much connected to tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Worldwide, small-scale fisheries (SSFs) contribute over half of global fish and invertebrate catch and generate employment for 90% of those working in the fishing capture industry, the majority of whom live in developing countries. Despite their importance, most of the world's estimated 10,000 SSFs are data deficient. Community data is critical to understanding fish stocks, and evaluating fisheries management policies, particularly in remote areas. This pilot study explores the potential for smartphones and the Open Data Kit software to assist in the collection of shark landings data in southwest Madagascar, where sustainable fisheries management is critical to economic and food security. The pilot builds on a previous study of participatory data collection using paper notebooks (2003–2016), which continued in eight villages throughout the smartphone trial (2013–2016), allowing comparisons in speed, accuracy and user experience to be drawn. Initial challenges, which included limited electricity supplies to charge the smartphones; typing errors caused by wet hands; and interpretation difficulties, were overcome during the trial with additional training and data accuracy improved as a result, with only 5% fewer records recorded on phones vs. paper notebooks by 2015. One major challenge - limited mobile network coverage – often prevented data from being uploaded from phones to an online database, meaning manual data extraction was required, with associated travel costs. With appropriate training, smartphones show promise as a useful and accurate tool for participatory fisheries data collection. However, this method may be better suited to regions with stronger mobile coverage.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF);
One dump truck full of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute; over the year, this accumulates to 8 million tons of plastics enter the oceans. In order to stop leakage of plastic into the environment, businesses must be a part of the solution and take accountability for their plastic pollution footprint and improve their products, supply chains, and waste management. In "No Plastic in Nature: A Practical Guide for Business Engagement," World Wildlife Fund provides an evidence-based guide for companies seeking to employ effective strategies for mitigating plastic waste within their business. Based on interviews with seven leading companies from consumer-oriented sectors, independent research, and analysis of best practices, the report outlines four distinct strategies businesses are currently undertaking and draws lessons from them and the progress achieved.
Despite being one of the most pervasive materials on the planet, plastic and its impact on human health is poorly understood. Human exposure to it grows with increasing plastic production and use. Research into the human health impacts of plastic to date have focused narrowly on specific moments in the plastic lifecycle, from wellhead to refinery, from store shelves to human bodies, and from disposal to ongoing impacts as air pollutants and ocean plastic. Individually, each stage of the plastic lifecycle poses significant risks to human health. Together, the lifecycle impacts of plastic paint an unequivocally toxic picture: plastic threatens human health on a global scale.
Governance reform is about instituting and practicing new ways of operation and interaction. It is no linear process but rather a whole-of-society transition that negotiates among varied interests and challenges towards changing entrenched practices.
Embarking on the present review, and in the interest of harvesting practical lessons from UNDP's Water & Ocean Governance (WOGP) portfolio, the exploration was focused on "What works in water/ocean governance?" The report aims to unveil the most critical steps or factors that made these generally successful water and/or ocean governance projects reach their objectives.
The report therefore puts a selected set of projects of the WOGP under the spotlight. Whereas the achievements are often of a very different nature, they all tackle complex, cross-sectoral water or ocean issues that none of the actors involved could have managed on their own. This illustrates the important difference between management – addressing matters that are principally tackled by one actor, often within the purview of one organization – and governance, which relates to the broader relations and rules that regulate the way a whole sector or society acts jointly.
Across the news industry, organizations large and small, commercial and nonprofit, single issue and daily news are experimenting with "engagement": Audience engagement, engaged journalism, engagement editors and specialists, engaging for trust, and the list goes on. But what is engagement? Why are organizations experimenting with engagement, and to what effect? We set out to answer these questions through a four month research project where we surveyed the field to identify the practices organizations consider to be "engaged journalism," an inclusive practice that prioritizes the information needs and wants of the community members it serves, creates collaborative space for the audience in all aspects of the journalistic process, and is dedicated to building and preserving trusting relationships between journalists and the public. We then dove deep into four very different organizations to learn not only what they do, but why they engage with communities, as well as how they know if their strategies are having an impact.
Youth Research & Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX);
This report is designed for practitioners working with young people living with and affected by HIV in Ontario. As resource navigators and connectors to services and programs, youth workers play an important role in the wellbeing of youth. They are uniquely positioned to support young people living with and affected by HIV and break down stigma. This report offers youth workers recommendations for best practices at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and community levels.
The report is organized into three main sections. The first sets the context, highlighting the demographics of youth living with HIV in Canada (specifically in Ontario) and the intersecting factors that contribute to the vulnerability of youth living with and affected by HIV, through a social determinants of health lens. The next section details frameworks, evidence-based interventions, and program features that support youth living with and affected by HIV. The final section outlines recommendations for best practices and strategies that can be adopted by youth workers and youth-serving organizations.
Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.;
The Great Recession of 2007-09, as pundits are now calling it, hit Northeast Florida brutally. A regional economy that had been fueled by population and construction growth, consistently doing better than the national average, saw unemployment skyrocket when the housing market collapsed, the economy retracted, and population growth slowed to a trickle.Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) surveyed the community to identify residents' top priority for in-depth study. Job growth far surpassed any other regional issue. Volunteers and partner organizations from the seven-county region came together to explore new ideas for retaining existing jobs, rapidly creating new jobs, and for positioning the region for long-term economic growth.
The study committee visited the seven partner counties (Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns), examined existing job development plans and economic development strategies for the region, and explored promising practices from other regions that were achieving success despite the national economic climate.
The resulting recommendations are designed to enhance economic development and job creation, signaling to the state and nation that Northeast Florida is open for business.
Implementation of these recommendations will highlight Northeast Florida's existing assets and strengthen its competitive advantages in the economic world. Most significantly, action will build on Northeast Florida's successes and enhance the combined regional approach to competing in the global marketplace.
First, the region must focus on its key regional growth industries. The primary immediate opportunities for substantial job creation in the region are in the areas of:* port logistics and associated industries* health and medical sciences* aviation/aerospace and defense contracting* financial services
Second, the region must bring its business and education sectors together in a shared emphasis to build and maintain an educated and skilled workforce. Shifting economic realities, along with the skill sets required for job growth, necessitate the training (or re-training) of local workers and the retention of these skilled local workers in their employment positions. It also prescribes the need for attracting talented workers from around the world.
Third, economic success will require even more emphasis on encouraging the growth of small businesses. Enhancing the region's entrepreneurial spirit is critical to sustaining a vibrant economy. Improving access to support for small business development and expansion holds the potential for creating more jobs and more business owners.
Fourth, the region requires both a vibrant urban heart and an expanded vision of its assets and aspirations – unfettered by current boundary definitions. The outsider's view of Northeast Florida often begins with Jacksonville and its downtown core. A good first impression of the city, along with having strong economic development partners with a variety of different attributes, can have long term positive implications. Successful regional economic development also means rethinking the regions boundary lines and embracing all the potential Northeast Florida has to offer – such as the research capacities demonstrated by the University of Florida
Fifth, regional leadership must come together to encourage economic growth and enhance the business-ready environment of Northeast Florida. Regional leadership (political, business, and community) must maintain focus on reducing issues that unnecessarily add roadblocks to sustainable economic growth, by streamlining regulation and permitting processes, in order to improve Northeast Florida's competitiveness and economic success.
Together, the implementation of these recommendations can accelerate short-term job creation and, more significantly, strengthen the region's ability to sustain economic growth for years to come.