Housing & Community Development

Disaster Forensics: Leveraging Crisis Information Systems for Social Science

Disaster Forensics: Leveraging Crisis Information Systems for Social Science
Proceedings of the Third International ISCRAM Conference edited by R Van De Walle and M Turroff. Newark Institute of Technology, May

Moss, M. & Townsend, A.
05/01/2006

This paper contributes to the literature on information systems in crisis management by providing an overview of
emerging technologies for sensing and recording sociological data about disasters. These technologies are transforming our capacity to gather data about what happens during disasters, and our ability to reconstruct the social dynamics of affected communities. Our approach takes a broad review of disaster research literature, current research efforts and new reports from recent disasters, especially Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami. We forecast that sensor networks will revolutionize conceptual and empirical approaches to research in the social sciences, by providing unprecedented volumes of high-quality data on movements, communication and response activities by both formal and informal actors. We conclude with a set of recommendations to designers of crisis management information systems to design systems that can support social science research, and argue for the inclusion of post-disaster social research as a design consideration in such systems.

Growing Older in World Cities: New York, Paris, London and Tokyo

Growing Older in World Cities: New York, Paris, London and Tokyo
Edited with Michael Gusmano. Nashville Tn: Vanderbuilt University Press,

Rodwin, V.G.
02/01/2006

Population aging often provokes fears of impending social security deficits, uncontrollable medical expenditures, and transformations in living arrangements, but public policy could also stimulate social innovations. These issues are typically studied at the national level; yet they must be resolved where most people live—in diverse neighborhoods in cities. New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo are the four largest cities among the wealthiest, most developed nations of the world. The essays commissioned for this volume compare what it is like to grow older in these cities with respect to health care, quality of life, housing, and long-term care. The contributors look beyond aggregate national data to highlight the importance of how local authorities implement policies.

Training Psychiatrists for Public Sector Care: A Survey of Residency Directors on Current Priorities and Preparation

Training Psychiatrists for Public Sector Care: A Survey of Residency Directors on Current Priorities and Preparation
Psychiatric Services. 57:238-243, February

Yedidia, M.J., Gillespie, C.C. & Berstein, C.A.
02/01/2006

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed how resident psychiatrists are being prepared to deliver effective public-sector care.

METHODS: Ten leaders in psychiatric education and practice were interviewed about which tasks they consider to be essential for effective public-sector care. The leaders identified 16 tasks. Directors of all general psychiatry residency programs in the United States were then surveyed to determine how they rate the importance of these tasks for delivery of care and how their training program prepares residents to perform each task.

RESULTS: A total of 114 of 150 residency directors (76 percent) responded to the survey. Factor analysis divided 14 of the tasks into three categories characterized by the extent to which their performance requires integration of services: within the mental health system (for example, lead a multidisciplinary team), across social service systems (for example, interact with staff of supportive housing programs), and across institutions with different missions (for example, distinguish behavioral problems from underlying psychiatric disorders among prisoners). Preparation for tasks that involved integration of services across institutions was rated as least important, was least likely to be required, and was covered by less intensive teaching modalities. Tasks entailing integration within the mental health system were rated as most important, preparation was most likely to be required, and they were covered most intensively. Midway between these two categories, but significantly different from each, were tasks relying on integration across social service systems.

CONCLUSIONS: Tasks that involved integrating services across institutions with different missions were consistently downplayed in training. Yet the importance of such tasks is underscored by the assessments of the psychiatric leaders who were interviewed, the high valuation placed on this type of integration by a substantial subset of training directors, and the extent of mental illness among populations who are institutionalized in nonpsychiatric settings.

Efforts to Improve Public Policy and Programs Through Improved "Data Practice": Experiences in Fifteen Distressed American Cities"

Efforts to Improve Public Policy and Programs Through Improved "Data Practice": Experiences in Fifteen Distressed American Cities"
Public Administration Review Vol. 66 No. 3

Weitzman, B.C., Silver, D. & Brazill, C.
01/01/2006

Philanthropies and government agencies interested in children's issues are encouraging localities to improve the process of collecting, linking, and sharing microdata and aggregated summary statistics. An implicit assumption of these efforts is that outcomes will improve as a result of the new approaches. However, there has been little systematic study of these efforts. In this article, we examine efforts to improve data practice in 15 distressed American cities. Interviews conducted in these cities revealed variation in the types of information collected, dissemination, and intended audiences. We identify significant challenges to these efforts, including adequate resources, turf battles, technical problems, access to information sources, inconsistent leadership, and absence of political will. We find that little is known about the impact of these initiatives on decision making. Assumptions that improved data practice will lead to improved policy making have not yet been realized in these cities.

Financing Pro-poor Governance in Africa

Financing Pro-poor Governance in Africa
in Karen Millet, Dele Olowu and Robert Cameron (eds), Local Governance and Poverty Reduction in Africa (Tunis: Joint Africa Institute of the African Development Bank)

Smoke, P.
01/01/2006

Defines key lessons on financing pro-poor governance based on cases from Latin America, Asia and Africa (Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya and Uganda). The starting point for pro-poor fiscal decentralisation is that its major goals should be improved governance and performance, specifically, higher efficiency and equity in service delivery, economic development, and poverty alleviation. The enabling environment for fiscal decentralisation involves first the functions and the resources that might normally be allocated to local governments. Second, it can include alternative models and mechanisms to finance local governments, including intergovernmental transfers, markets, capital and donor financing.

Fostering Organizational Change Through a Community-Based Initiative

Fostering Organizational Change Through a Community-Based Initiative
Health Promotion Practice 2006; 7:1-10.

Kaplan S.A., Calman N.S., Golub M., Ruddock C. & Billings J.
01/01/2006

Program funders and managers are increasingly interested in fostering changes in the policies, practices, and procedures of organizations participating in community-based initiatives. But little is know about what factors contribute to the institutionalization of change. In this study, we assess whether the organizational members of the Bronx Health REACH Coalition have begun to change their functioning and role with regard to their clients, their staff, and in the broader community, apart from their implementation of the funded programs for which they are responsible. The study identifies factors that seemed to contribute to or hinder such institutional change, and suggests several strategies for coalitions and funders that are seeking to promote and sustain organizational change.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health: A View from the South Bronx

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health: A View from the South Bronx
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2006; 17:116-127.

Kaplan S.A., Calman N.S., Golub M., Davis J.H. & Billings J.
01/01/2006

This study seeks to understand the perspective of Black and Hispanic/Latino residents of the South Bronx, New York, on the causes of persistent racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes. In particular, it focuses on how people who live in this community perceive and interact with the health care system. Findings from 9 focus groups with 110 participants revealed a deep and pervasive distrust of the health care system and a sense of being disrespected, exacerbated by difficulties that patients experience in communicating with their providers. The paper suggests how health care institutions might respond to these perceptions.

Separate and Unequal Care in New York City

Separate and Unequal Care in New York City
Journal of Health Care Law & Policy, Vol. 9, Number 1. 

Calman, N.S., Golub, M., Ruddock, C., Le, L. & Kaplan, S.A.
01/01/2006

Bronx Health REACH, a coalition of community- and faith-based groups, health care providers, and an academic institution, recently examined the causes of racial and ethnic health disparities in the southwest Bronx and identified separate systems of care for uninsured and publicly insured patients, who are predominantly people of color, and those with private insurance. We found evidence that patients are sorted into segregated pathways of care, a system of medical apartheid in which differential care contributes to disparities in health care and health outcomes.

The Role of Faith-Based Institutions in Providing Health Education and Promoting Equal Access to Care: A Case Study of an Initiative in the Southwest Bronx

The Role of Faith-Based Institutions in Providing Health Education and Promoting Equal Access to Care: A Case Study of an Initiative in the Southwest Bronx
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2006; 17.2: 9-19.

Kaplan S.A., Calman, N.S., Golub M., Davis J.H. & Billings, J.
01/01/2006

Although many public health initiatives have been implemented through collaborations with faith-based institutions, little is known about best practices for developing such programs. Using a community-based participatory approach, this case study examines the implementation of an initiative in the Bronx, New York, that is designed to educate community members about health promotion and disease management and to mobilize church members to seek equal access to health care services. The study used qualitative methods, including the collaborative development of a logic model for the initiative, focus groups, interviews, analysis of program reports, and participant observation. The paper examines three key aspects of the initiative’s implementation: (1) the engagement of the church leadership; (2) the use of church structures as venues for education and intervention; and (3) changes in church policies. Key findings include the importance of pre-existing relationships within the community and the prominent agenda-setting role played by key pastors, and the strength of the Coalition’s dual focus on health behaviors and health disparities. Given the churches’ demonstrated ability to pull people together, to motivate and to inspire, there is great potential for faith-based interventions, and models developed through such interventions, to address health disparities.

The Tides of Reform Revisited: Making Government Word, 1945-2002

The Tides of Reform Revisited: Making Government Word, 1945-2002
Public Administration Review 2006, Vol. 66, No. 1, pp. 6-19.

Light, P.C.
01/01/2006

The past six decades have witnessed acceleration in both the number and variety of major administrative reform statutes enacted by Congress. This increase can be explained partly by the increased involvement of Congress, a parallel decrease in activity and resistance by the presidency, and heightened public distrust toward government. At least part of the variation in the tides or philosophies of reform involves a "field of dreams" effect in which the creation of new governmental structure during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s generated increased interest in process reforms. However, part of the acceleration and variety of reform appears to be related to the lack of hard evidence of what actually works in improving government performance. Measured by federal employees' perceptions of organizational performance, what matters most is not whether organizations were reformed in the past, but whether organizations need reform in the future and can provide essential resources for achieving their mission.

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