2,220 research outputs found

    Local government financial reporting: A survey of Western Australian practice and the examination of some explanatory economic and political factors

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    This thesis is an exploratory study that examines a measure of the extent and nature of financial reporting by Western Australian local governments against the requirements and recommendations specified in the legislation, regulations and accounting standards. In addition, several economic and political factors which may provide some explanation for the variation in reporting practices of Western Australian local government councils is examined. Three disclosure measures are reported to provide descriptive information about Western Australian local government councils, compliance with mandatory reporting requirements, their voluntary disclosure of additional financial information and their policy of disseminating their annual financial information to the municipality. Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficients are established to measure the relationship between the economic and political factors and the disclosure indexes. Linear regression models are developed to assess the explanatory power of these economic and political factors in relation to councils\u27 identified reporting practices in the financial years, 1990/91 and 1991/92. The survey results indicate, that as expected, councils in the main comply with the accounting directions specified in the state government\u27s legislation and regulations. In addition, to the regulatory reporting requirements, the Local Government Act 196Q-1982 allows councils to disclose additional financial information considered necessary or desirable. The financial statements were examined for voluntarily adoption of Australian Accounting Standard AAS 27 Financial Reporting by Local Governments and the disclosure of additional financial information in line with private sector reporting practices. The disclosure of additional information is found to be at best minimal. It is concluded that councils\u27 current reporting practices are not sufficient to ensure the adequate discharging of their accountability responsibilities. Examination of the economic and political factors\u27 explanatory power suggests that councils with larger populations more adequately discharge their financial reporting responsibilities than councils with smaller populations. This maybe attributable to the council being \u27separated\u27 from the residents and ratepayers, which leads to the formation of interest groups within the municipality. Given the exploratory nature of this research, several areas have been identified which may warrant further research to provide a better understanding of local government financial reporting. In particular, more specific research is suggested to investigate the variation in reporting noted between small and large councils. Other matters identified that may be worthy of further investigation include: the auditor\u27s role in ensuring adequate financial disclosure by councils, the use of newspapers as a possible alternate information source, why councils appear not to report non-financial performance measures and the motivation for early adoption of public sector accounting standards which have multi-year adoption periods

    Towards evaluation criteria in participatory flood risk management

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    Flood risk consists of complex and dynamic problems, whose management calls for innovative ways of engaging with a wide range of local stakeholders, many of whom lack the technical expertise to engage with traditional flood risk management practices. Participatory approaches offer potential for involving these stakeholders in decision-making, yet limited advice is available to users in choosing which techniques to employ and what they might expect them to deliver. Assessing the effectiveness of participatory approaches in local flood risk management is a critical step towards better understanding how community resilience is built. This paper presents a framework for evaluating participatory approaches to flood risk management that covers four evaluation elements (context, process, substantive and social outcomes). Practical success criteria are provided for evaluation, with references indicating where further advice and guidance can be sought. Criteria are tailored to the requirements of flood risk management, and aim to be sufficiently flexible for the framework to be easily transferable

    Scaling law for the heating of solar coronal loops

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    We report preliminary results from a series of numerical simulations of the reduced magnetohydrodynamic equations, used to describe the dynamics of magnetic loops in active regions of the solar corona. A stationary velocity field is applied at the photospheric boundaries to imitate the driving action of granule motions. A turbulent stationary regime is reached, characterized by a broadband power spectrum Ek≃k−3/2E_k\simeq k^{-3/2} and heating rate levels compatible with the heating requirements of active region loops. A dimensional analysis of the equations indicates that their solutions are determined by two dimensionless parameters: the Reynolds number and the ratio between the Alfven time and the photospheric turnover time. From a series of simulations for different values of this ratio, we determine how the heating rate scales with the physical parameters of the problem, which might be useful for an observational test of this model.Comment: 12 pages, 4 figures. Astrophysical Journal Letters (in press

    Bridging the legitimacy gap—translating theory into practical signposts for legitimate flood risk governance

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    Legitimacy is widely regarded as a founding principle of ‘good’ and effective governance, yet despite intense academic debate and policy discourse, the concept remains conceptually confusing and poorly articulated in practice. To bridge this gap, this research performed an interpretive thematic analysis of academic scholarship across public administration, public policy, law, political science and geography. Three core themes were identified in relation to representative deliberation, procedural and distributive equity and justice, and socio-political acceptability, with numerous sub-themes therein. In an attempt to clarify conceptual confusion, this paper grounds these theoretical debates in the context of flood risk governance where numerous legitimacy dilemmas exist. A number of questions are presented as conceptual ‘sign posts’ to encourage reflexive governance in the future. Thus, more broadly, we assert the importance of bringing legitimacy to the forefront of contemporary flood risk governance discourse and practice, moving beyond the realm of academic reflection

    Social justice in the context of adaptation to climate change – reflecting on different policy approaches to distribute and allocate flood risk management

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    Editorial to a special edition of the journal. Consequences of extreme hydrological events, such as those recently experienced in United States (e.g. Hurricane Harvey or Irma in 2017), floods in South Asia in 2017, or the Central European floods in 2013 and 2016, have again focused the attention of society, policy makers and academic scholars on questions of how to reduce vulnerability to such events, especially when faced with the dual challenges of climate and societal change. Not only is the likelihood of floods increasing (e.g. IPCC 2014), but, due to continuing development in hazard-prone zones, the so called bullseye effect which argues that increasing disaster frequency is largely due to increasing exposure, and the resulting higher degree of vulnerability in floodplains, it becomes more and more challenging to protect all properties to the same standard (see discussion around residual risk, Ashley et al. 2014; Jongman et al. 2015; Fuchs et al. 2017a). Hence, the outcome of current flood risk management strategies in many situations are necessitating changes to the current social contract between state and society, requiring a re-design of the role of central government and individual citizens and communities in terms of sharing responsibilities (Adger et al. 2013; Doorn 2016). In particular, government often encourages society to take the lead in the responsibility for flood risk management, but apparently with conflicts and misunderstandings arising (Harris 2012; Kuhlicke et al. 2016; Fuchs et al. 2017b) as well as potentially introducing inequalities in flood risk management outcomes. In Europe, we can already observe these aspects in recent developments, which have led to a re-arrangement of roles and responsibilities for flood risk management, such as introduction of Partnership Funding in England and Wales or Canada ‘risk-based’ stormwater charge (Thaler and Priest 2014; Geaves and Penning-Rowsell 2016; Thaler and Levin-Keitel 2016; Henstra and Thistlethwaite 2017). However, discussion and research concerning the implications of social justice and injustice in these new flood risk management debates is scarce (Johnson et al. 2007; Doorn 2015; Thaler and Hartmann 2016)

    Plasma Relaxation and Topological Aspects in Hall Magnetohydrodynamics

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    Parker's formulation of isotopological plasma relaxation process in magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is extended to Hall MHD. The torsion coefficient alpha in the Hall MHD Beltrami condition turns out now to be proportional to the "potential vorticity." The Hall MHD Beltrami condition becomes equivalent to the "potential vorticity" conservation equation in two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamics if the Hall MHD Lagrange multiplier beta is taken to be proportional to the "potential vorticity" as well. The winding pattern of the magnetic field lines in Hall MHD then appears to evolve in the same way as "potential vorticity" lines in 2D hydrodynamics

    Ethnicity and children

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    This article explores field research that sought to find out how young children explored difference and identity in a multi-ethnic early years setting and whether this influenced their peer interactions

    Consequences of spontaneous reconnection at a two-dimensional non-force-free current layer

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    Magnetic neutral points, where the magnitude of the magnetic field vanishes locally, are potential locations for energy conversion in the solar corona. The fact that the magnetic field is identically zero at these points suggests that for the study of current sheet formation and of any subsequent resistive dissipation phase, a finite beta plasma should be considered, rather than neglecting the plasma pressure as has often been the case in the past. The rapid dissipation of a finite current layer in non-force-free equilibrium is investigated numerically, after the sudden onset of an anomalous resistivity. The aim of this study is to determine how the energy is redistributed during the initial diffusion phase, and what is the nature of the outward transmission of information and energy. The resistivity rapidly diffuses the current at the null point. The presence of a plasma pressure allows the vast majority of the free energy to be transferred into internal energy. Most of the converted energy is used in direct heating of the surrounding plasma, and only about 3% is converted into kinetic energy, causing a perturbation in the magnetic field and the plasma which propagates away from the null at the local fast magnetoacoustic speed. The propagating pulses show a complex structure due to the highly non-uniform initial state. It is shown that this perturbation carries no net current as it propagates away from the null. The fact that, under the assumptions taken in this paper, most of the magnetic energy released in the reconnection converts internal energy of the plasma, may be highly important for the chromospheric and coronal heating problem

    A framework to include the (inter)dependencies of Disaster Risk Reduction measures in coastal risk assessment

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    Effective coastal risk management often involves the selection and appraisal of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) measures. Such measures, however, are rarely implemented in isolation and their (inter)dependencies need to be considered to assess the overall contribution to risk reduction. This paper presents a framework that utilises a pathway-based approach to consider such (inter)dependencies. The framework identifies measures that have the potential to directly influence risk reduction (primary measures) at the individual/household level and how these relate to the implementation of other measures (non-primary). These two types of measures are linked using intermediate pathway factors, which aggregate to the effective uptake and/or operation of primary measure(s) and subsequently represent the direct influence on risk reduction when included in a risk assessment. The approach is demonstrated utilising two coastal risk examples. The case of Varna Bay, Bulgaria highlights a pathway, which explores how developing a coastal Early Warning System (EWS), can enable assets to be moved and saved prior to an event. The Praia de Faro, Portuguese application provides an example of how local risk awareness meetings can support the uptake of property raising to protect against erosion. Past experience, poor trust in authorities, house type/ feasibility, transient population and strong community networks are identified as key influencing variables across both cases. The process of considering the (inter)dependencies between measures has potential to lead to improved decision-making and strategy building. The framework developed is flexible in nature and can be applied in many different situations; however, it is one step towards accounting for these (inter)dependencies at the individual/household level. Ex-ante or ex-post survey data, expert judgement and literature have been used to estimate these factors. However, in many cases this good quality data is not available, and is something that national level monitoring strategies, along with the research community, must address
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