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    A transdisciplinary multiscaled approach to engage with green infrastructure planning, restoration and use in sub-Saharan Africa

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    AVAILABILITY OF DATA AND MATERIAL : Data can be made available upon request from the first and corresponding author.The systematic integration of green infrastructure (GI) concepts in urban planning shows promise to reduce environmental hazards; while creating sociocultural benefits. However, cities in sub-Saharan Africa face rapid urbanisation and are challenged by the degradation of existing GI, increasing their vulnerability to climatic risks. This paper presents the findings of a transdisciplinary research project that investigated GI planning in the City of Tshwane, South Africa, over two years. The researchers conducted a community survey, an on-the-ground rapid assessment of multifunctional benefit provisions, first-hand observations of local stormwater systems, reviewed policy documents and conducted semi-structured interviews with metro officials. To integrate the above findings, four design studios and eight co-creation workshops were held that explored GI spatial planning in the city. The researchers examined the uptake of GI planning principles, and the challenges, opportunities and local proposals for GI applications, and here synthesised some main conclusions. Despite many well-known challenges, GI opportunities include creating socioeconomic incentives for stronger human-nature relations, providing for multifunctional benefits and anchoring GI in local communities. Interactive research can facilitate increased local awareness and engagement, but access to GI benefits is physically constrained and socially determined by knowledge, networks and safety factors. Based on the above findings, the researchers propose locally adapted planning strategies to enhance GI: creating opportunities for GI access and co-ownership, encouraging multifunctional, safe and flexible GI, supporting multiscale GI integration, and strengthening collaborative governance. A joint GI vision can reinforce city ownership along with flexible and creative design alternatives that are rooted in local communities.Open access funding provided by University of Pretoria. This research was funded by the Danish Funding Agency under the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Integrative Green Infrastructure Project (GRIP). cities and communitie

    Engaging communities as partners: policing strategies in Johannesburg

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    PURPOSE : This paper aims to explore police perspectives on community engagement strategies within the context of crime prevention in South Africa, focusing on Johannesburg metropolitan police stations. The study’s objective is to scrutinise the effectiveness and challenges of community policing strategies. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : Through a qualitative research approach, this study conducted unstructured interviews with station commanders and visible policing officers across 10 Johannesburg metropolitan police stations. FINDINGS : The findings reveal that community policing strategies, such as community–policing forums, sector policing, street patrollers and social media utilisation, can effectively engage communities as partners in crime prevention. However, certain challenges such as resource limitations and difficulties in policing-specific regions, were also identified. ORIGINALITY/VALUE : This study contributes to the broader understanding of community–policing partnerships and the practical implications of community–policing strategies in South Africa, suggesting areas for improvement and adaptation to the unique South African context. This knowledge can help optimise efforts to foster stronger relationships between police and communities, bolster public trust and ultimately improve crime prevention outcomes.The National Research Foundation (NRF). of Public Management and Administration (SPMA)SDG-11:Sustainable cities and communitie

    Nurses’ perspectives on user-friendly self-sampling interventions for diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections among young women in eThekwini district municipality : a nominal group technique

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    AVAILABILITY OF DATA AND MATERIALS : All data generated or analysed during this study are available in the manuscript. However, additional datasets used are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request if required.BACKGROUND : Syndromic management in the main non-laboratory-based management approach for sexually transmitted infections (STI) in most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) but it has limitations. Self-sampling has been proven as a suitable alternative approach to help improve management STIs by improving access to diagnosis among vulnerable populations. We sought to determine health workers’ perspectives on user-friendly self-sampling interventions for STIs among young women in eThekwini District Municipality. METHODS : Healthcare workers providing STI healthcare services in the study location participated in a nominal group technique (NGT) workshop. The NGT workshop was aimed enabling collaboration with key health providers in identifying user-friendly self-sampling interventions for diagnosis of STIs among young women. Data collection was conducted in two phases: phase 1 determined barrier that hinder young women from accessing current STI healthcare services and phase 2 focused on determining the key strategies for self-sampling interventions to diagnose STIs in young women. Thematic analysis and percentage form analysis were used to examine qualitative and quantitative data respectively. RESULTS : The following barriers were identified: negligence; myths about STIs; fear of judgement; denial; operating hours; lack of knowledge of STI symptoms and safe sex practices; and stigma associated with STIs. The following strategies were suggested: hand out self-sampling kits at popular restaurants; collect self-sampling kits from security guard at primary healthcare clinics (PHCs); receive STI diagnostic results via SMS or email or the clinic for treatment; improve youth friendly services at PHCs; educate the public on proper use of the kits. Education about STIs and handing out self-sampling kits at clinics, universities, schools, pharmacies or via outreach teams were ranked high priority strategies. CONCLUSIONS : The findings highlight the need to address stigma and fear of judgment and provide comprehensive education to improve healthcare-seeking behaviour in young women. Additionally, the study also indicates that using eHealth solutions could significantly enhance the accessibility and efficiency of STI healthcare services in LMICs.The Department of Higher Education funding for the Next Generation of Academics Programme for employees, South Africa.https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.comhj2024School of Health Systems and Public Health (SHSPH)SDG-03:Good heatlh and well-bein

    Poor cardiorespiratory fitness in first year medical students at a South African University

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    The personal health behaviours, including physical activity, of healthcare professionals influence their counselling practices as they relate to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). However, despite the importance of producing healthy, physically active graduates, there are limited data on the physical fitness of future healthcare professionals. This cross-sectional observational study determined the prevalence of below-average fitness in the four components of fitness in first-year university medical students. 152 participants (46 male, 106 female, 20.16 ± 2.69 years) completed cardiorespiratory fitness tests (submaximal step test), flexibility (sit-and-reach test), muscle strength (handgrip), and muscle endurance tests (sit-ups, push-ups). Sex differences were reported using one-way ANOVA or Chi square test and significance was set at p < 0.05. The prevalence (%) of below-average fitness was 69.54% for cardiorespiratory, 25.66% for handgrip strength, 65.79% for sit-ups, 23.03% for push-ups and 7.24% for flexibility. Physical fitness parameters (mean±standard deviation (SD)) were compared between sexes, where it was found that females were more flexible than males (40.61 ± 8.40 cm vs 36.70 ± 9.31 cm, p = 0.012). Males had better handgrip strength (88.96 ± 12.04 kg vs 59.34 ± 10.36 kg, p < 0.001), muscle endurance sit-ups (33.46 ± 9.04 vs 24.48 ± 12.18, p < 0.001) and push-ups (30.28 ± 13.95 vs 24.27 ± 12.35, p = 0.009). First-year medical students have poor physical fitness, notably cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, which are important markers for NCD risk assessment. Tertiary institutions training healthcare professionals should consider developing interventions to improve students’ physical fitness thereby influencing their health, wellbeing, academic performance and future counselling practices.The International Olympic Committee., Sport and Leisure SciencesFamily MedicinePhysiologySchool of Health Systems and Public Health (SHSPH)Sports MedicineSDG-03:Good heatlh and well-bein

    How will AI text generation and processing impact sustainability reporting? Critical analysis, a conceptual framework and avenues for future research

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    PURPOSE : The ability of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT to produce convincing, human-like text has major implications for the future of corporate reporting, including sustainability reporting. As the importance of sustainability reporting continues to grow, this study aims to critically analyse the benefits and pitfalls of automated text generation and processing. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : This study develops a conceptual framework to delineate the field, assess the implications and form the basis for the generation of research questions. This study uses Alvesson and Deetz’s critical framework, considering insight (a review of literature and practice in the field), critique (consideration of the influences on the production and use of non-financial information and the implications for assurers of such information) and transformative redefinition (considering the implications of generative AI for sustainability reporting and proposing a research agenda). FINDINGS : This study highlights the implications of generative AI for sustainability accounting, reporting, assurance and report usage, including the risk of AI facilitating greenwashing, and the importance of more research on the use of AI for these matters. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS : The paper highlights to stakeholders the implications of AI for all aspects of sustainability reporting, including accounting, reporting, assurance and usage of reports. SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS : The implications of AI need to be understood in society, which this paper facilitates. ORIGINALITY/VALUE : This study critically analyses the potential use of AI for sustainability reporting, construct a conceptual framework to delineate the field and develop a research agenda. for the goal

    Population genomics of the muskox' resilience in the near absence of genetic variation

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    DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT : Raw sequence reads are deposited in the European Nucleotide Archive under study accession ID: PRJEB64293. Scripts used in the analyses are available at studies of species threatened by extinction are providing crucial information about evolutionary mechanisms and genetic consequences of population declines and bottlenecks. However, to understand how species avoid the extinction vortex, insights can be drawn by studying species that thrive despite past declines. Here, we studied the population genomics of the muskox (Ovibos moschatus), an Ice Age relict that was at the brink of extinction for thousands of years at the end of the Pleistocene yet appears to be thriving today. We analysed 108 whole genomes, including present-day individuals representing the current native range of both muskox subspecies, the white-faced and the barren-ground muskox (O. moschatus wardi and O. moschatus moschatus) and a ~21,000-year-old ancient individual from Siberia. We found that the muskox' demographic history was profoundly shaped by past climate changes and post-glacial re-colonizations. In particular, the white-faced muskox has the lowest genome-wide heterozygosity recorded in an ungulate. Yet, there is no evidence of inbreeding depression in native muskox populations. We hypothesize that this can be explained by the effect of long-term gradual population declines that allowed for purging of strongly deleterious mutations. This study provides insights into how species with a history of population bottlenecks, small population sizes and low genetic diversity survive against all odds.Carlsbergfondet and Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond. Research InstituteZoology and EntomologyNon

    Developing breakthrough innovation capabilities in university ecosystems : a case study from South Africa

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    DATA AVAILABILITY : Data will be made available on request.The emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) paradigm, whilst posing challenges, also presents significant opportunities to bolster research capabilities and pioneer breakthrough innovations that can stimulate economic growth across various sectors. However, the realisation of these benefits relies heavily on the ability of countries and their constituents to innovate effectively in this new landscape. The purpose of this study is to explore how innovation mechanisms can be employed to foster stronger innovation capabilities within a university ecosystem, particularly in the African context. To do so a case study methodology is used, where cross-sectional data gathered over six months is assessed using the Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) as a theoretical lens. The findings reveal that such innovation mechanisms, like a makerspace within a university ecosystem, provide critical support for design phase innovation and collaboration. We illustrate this by employing a conceptual framework that explains the process by which innovations evolve from ideas into valuable outcomes. work and economic growt

    Effect of vanadium implantation on the chemical bonding structure of glassy carbon

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    DATA AVAILABILITY : Data will be made available on request.Please read abstract in the article.The Bilateral relationships between South Africa and Hungary in science and technology (S&T). The XPS and SNMS measurements were financed by the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, Hungary.

    Revisiting a flux recovery systematic error arising from common deconvolution methods used in aperture-synthesis imaging

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    DATA AVAILABILITY : The data underlying this article will be shared upon reasonable request to the corresponding author.The point-spread function (PSF) is a fundamental property of any astronomical instrument. In interferometers, differing array configurations combined with their uv coverage, and various weighting schemes can produce an irregular but deterministic PSF. As a result, the PSF is often deconvolved using CLEAN-style algorithms to improve image fidelity. In this paper, we revisit a significant effect that causes the flux densities measured with any interferometer to be systematically offset from the true values. Using a suite of carefully controlled simulations, we show that the systematic offset originates from a mismatch in the units of the image produced by these CLEAN-style algorithms. We illustrate that this systematic error can be significant, ranging from a few to tens of per cent. Accounting for this effect is important for current and future interferometric arrays, such as MeerKAT, LOFAR, and the SKA, whose core-dominated configuration naturally causes an irregular PSF. We show that this offset is independent of other systematics, and can worsen due to some factors such as the goodness of the fit to the PSF, the deconvolution depth, and the signal-to-noise ratio of the source. Finally, we present several methods that can reduce this effect to just a few per cent.The Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, which is funded by the STFC; the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme; the RADIOBLOCKS project will receive funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme; the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) project funded by STFC. -MERLIN.

    Multiscale enhancement of refrigerant falling film boiling by combining commercially enhanced tubes with nanostructures

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    DATA AVAILABILITY : Data will be made available on request.Multiscale surface structures offer the opportunity to combine the heat transfer enhancement provided by microscale structures with the dryout benefits provided by some nanostructures, which is particularly attractive for falling film evaporators, who have to prevent dryout to ensure high heat transfer coefficients can be maintained. In this study commercially produced plain, low-finned and 3D enhanced commercially produced tubes were tested uncoated as well as coated with fibrous nanostructures that induce wicking on the surface to investigate the opportunity that multiscale enhancements might offer falling film boiling evaporators. Single tubes were heated internally by water and tested in the horizontal position with refrigerant R-134a drizzled over the outside of the tube surface at saturation temperatures of 5 and 25 °C, heat fluxes from 20 to 100 kW/m2 and film Reynolds numbers of up to 2000. The tubes tested were a roughened plain tube, a low-finned Gewa-KS tube and two different 3D enhanced tubes, an Gewa-B5 and an Turbo EHPII, that have networks of re-entrant cavities. The uncoated 3D enhanced tubes achieved the highest heat transfer coefficients, outperforming a roughened plain tube by up to 500 %. The uncoated low-finned tube had heat transfer coefficients that were up to 140 % higher than the roughened plain tube, despite having only an 80 % larger surface area, thought to be due to bubbles sliding down the channels between the fins, increasing the surface area of the bubbles in contact with the surface and thus allowing for increased microlayer evaporation. The application of the copper oxide coating benefitted the low-finned tube, with heat transfer enhancement of up to 60 %, possibly due to liquid wicked underneath the sliding bubbles and onto the fin tips. However, the nanocoating largely decreased the heat transfer of the roughened plain tube and the 3D enhanced tubes, thought to be due flooding of nucleation sites on the roughened tube and interference with the hydraulics of the re-entrant cavity network on the surface of the 3D enhanced surfaces. The low-finned tube also benefitted the most from the falling film boiling heat transfer mode compared to previous pool boiling results, with heat transfer increased by up to 80 and 460 % for the uncoated and coated low-finned tube respectively, again likely due to the bubbles sliding in the fin channels under falling film conditions. The Gewa-B5 tubes had the best dryout performance, followed by the Turbo EHPII tubes and then the low-finned Gewa-KS tube. The open pore structure of the Gewa-B5 likely aided it in dryout prevention, while the fins of the Gewa-KS are thought to have prevented lateral fluid distribution and thus worsen dryout. The dryout performance of the tubes we not markedly improved by the nanocoating, highlighting the difficulty in improving wettability on high wetting low surface tensions fluids such as refrigerants. Microscale enhancements were thus shown to have significant influence on dryout performance, while nanoscale enhancements had little effect in this study.The Renewable Energy Hub and Spokes Programme of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Wieland Group for the supply of the tubes tested. and Aeronautical EngineeringSDG-09: Industry, innovation and infrastructur


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