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World, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2023) – 12 articles

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22 pages, 1824 KiB  
Systematic Review
Social Impact Measurement: A Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Directions
by Leah Feor, Amelia Clarke and Ilona Dougherty
World 2023, 4(4), 816-837; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040051 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2543
Abstract
This paper explores the current state of the social impact measurement (SIM) field to better understand common practices in measuring the post-intervention social impact of a program or project and to identify strategies to improve measurement in practice. This study employed a systematic [...] Read more.
This paper explores the current state of the social impact measurement (SIM) field to better understand common practices in measuring the post-intervention social impact of a program or project and to identify strategies to improve measurement in practice. This study employed a systematic literature review. Articles were manually coded deductively and inductively in NVivo to complete a descriptive and thematic analysis of the literature. The thematic analysis provided an in-depth understanding of the SIM field. We found that similarities existed across the definitions of social impact (e.g., environmental impact is part of social impact). Additionally, social return on investment (SROI) is the most common measurement model and theory of change was identified as a core concept across SIM literature. Strategies are presented for practitioners to consider when measuring social impact, including: (i) engage stakeholders throughout the process, (ii) mobilize existing operational data, (iii) increase measurement capacity, and (iv) use both qualitative and quantitative data. This study reveals the nuances of SIM based on academic literature published across the globe over the span of a decade. It places emphasis on the post-intervention stage and identifies strategies to improve the application of measurement models in practice. Lastly, it outlines future research directions. Full article
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21 pages, 3238 KiB  
Article
Preferences for Alternative Fuel Trucks among International Transport Companies
by Tannaz Jahaniaghdam, Amir Reza Mamdoohi, Salman Aghidi Kheyrabadi, Mehdi Mehryar and Francesco Ciari
World 2023, 4(4), 795-815; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040050 - 23 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 938
Abstract
Fossil-fuel consumption in land freight is over 19%. Alternative fuel trucks (AFTs) help decrease greenhouse gas emissions. However, AFT preferences in international land transit have received little attention due to passing through various countries with different financial and regulation plans. This variety affects [...] Read more.
Fossil-fuel consumption in land freight is over 19%. Alternative fuel trucks (AFTs) help decrease greenhouse gas emissions. However, AFT preferences in international land transit have received little attention due to passing through various countries with different financial and regulation plans. This variety affects AFTs’ market share. This study analyzes factors influencing AFT preferences in international land transit. A questionnaire (designed in four sections) was distributed among international transport companies in Iran and Europe. A principal component analysis helped extract principal components composed of cognitive, environmental, policy, practical, and economic variables. The multinomial logit models include 26 meaningful variables. The marginal effect analysis shows that the service quality of the manufacturer, importance of greenhouse gas mitigation, and social responsibility do not significantly elevate AFT preferences. In addition, cargo type influences AFT choice. The results of this study help to identify the barriers affecting AFTs’ market share, which can positively impact air pollution. Full article
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19 pages, 3770 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Climate Change on the Hydropower Potential in the Kunhar River Watershed, Pakistan
by Haseeb Akbar, Pariyapat Nilsalab, Thapat Silalertruksa and Shabbir H. Gheewala
World 2023, 4(4), 776-794; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040049 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Climate change plays a vital role in the hydrology of any river basin, which may have multidimensional consequences. There is a need to conduct climate change impact assessment studies with updated models and scenarios. This study aimed to assess the impact of climate [...] Read more.
Climate change plays a vital role in the hydrology of any river basin, which may have multidimensional consequences. There is a need to conduct climate change impact assessment studies with updated models and scenarios. This study aimed to assess the impact of climate change on the streamflow and hydropower in Pakistan’s Kunhar River basin. Three general circulation models (GCMs), under two Shared Socioeconomic Pathway scenarios (SSPs 2–45 and 5–85), the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, and the flow duration curve were used to project the change in climatic parameters, streamflow, and hydropower potential, respectively. The findings indicated that in the 2080s, the precipitation, maximum, and minimum temperatures are projected to increase by 10%, 2.0 °C, and 3.0 °C under the SSP 2–45 scenario and are projected to increase by 8%, 3.7 °C, and 4.4 °C under the SSP 5–85 scenario, respectively. The annual streamflow may increase by 15 to 11%, and the seasonal fluctuations are more likely to be dominant compared with the annual fluctuations. The hydropower potential will probably increase by 24 to 16% under the SSP 2–45 and 5–85 scenarios in the 2080s. However, seasonal changes in streamflow and hydropower may impact the hydropower plant operation in the basin. The Kunhar River’s hydrology may change from snow-fed to a rainfall–runoff river. Full article
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18 pages, 422 KiB  
Article
Documenting the Perspectives of Sub-Saharan African Policy Makers, Researchers, and Activists on the Reproductive Rights, Population Dynamics, and Environmental Sustainability Nexus
by Céline Delacroix and Nkechi S. Owoo
World 2023, 4(4), 758-775; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040048 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1330
Abstract
While high fertility levels in sub-Saharan Africa pose multiple challenges for economic, social, and environmental prospects, the perspectives of actors from this region have not been well documented. We offer a selection of viewpoints from 42 countries in sub-Saharan Africa along four main [...] Read more.
While high fertility levels in sub-Saharan Africa pose multiple challenges for economic, social, and environmental prospects, the perspectives of actors from this region have not been well documented. We offer a selection of viewpoints from 42 countries in sub-Saharan Africa along four main dimensions: perceptions of the role of population growth for broader societal implications; the representation of sub-Saharan Africa in discussions of population growth; the integration of population dynamics and reproductive health and rights in environmental considerations and instruments; and the sensitive nature of the topic of population growth. A mixed-methods qualitative project was conducted, using an online survey of 402 participants followed by 18 in-depth interviews, to collect the views of policy makers, researchers, and activists in sub-Saharan Africa. We find overwhelming agreement that population growth has negative implications for environmental sustainability and other social welfare outcomes. We find broad support for the integration of population dynamics and reproductive health and rights dimensions at international environmental meetings and in environmental sustainability instruments. Participants also stressed the under-representation of sub-Saharan Africa in discussions of population dynamics and in international environmental governance. Overall, this paper contributes to a better understanding of sub-Saharan African perspectives and attitudes on the interconnectedness of reproductive health, population dynamics, and environmental sustainability. Full article
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13 pages, 4814 KiB  
Article
Social Capital of Banjarese for Peatland Fire Mitigation: Combining of Local Wisdom and Environment
by Deasy Arisanty, Ismi Rajiani, Mutiani Mutiani, Karunia Puji Hastuti, Ersis Warmansyah Abbas, Dedi Rosadi and Muhammad Muhaimin
World 2023, 4(4), 745-757; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040047 - 10 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 765
Abstract
Repeated fires cause peatlands to degrade. Fire management has been carried out, but fires continue to occur, especially during the dry season. Through social capital that exists in the community based on the local wisdom of the Banjar people in environmental management, it [...] Read more.
Repeated fires cause peatlands to degrade. Fire management has been carried out, but fires continue to occur, especially during the dry season. Through social capital that exists in the community based on the local wisdom of the Banjar people in environmental management, it is hoped that peatland fires can be overcome in this area. This research aims to analyze the social capital of the Banjar people in mitigating land fires based on local wisdom and the environment. The sample in this study was 250 people who live in an area prone to fires on peatlands in Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan, Indonesia. There are three variables in this study, namely Trust (T), Network (N), and Norm (N). There are 33 Likert scale questions (1–4, strongly agree-strongly disagree). We also conducted interviews with 20 members of the Fire Care Community (MPA) to obtain information about the social capital of the Banjar community in mitigating land fires. The analysis used is Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The study results show norms have the greatest influence on disaster mitigation of peatland fires compared to trust and social networks. Norms in the community in the form of values from peatlands, rules, norms, and sanctions regulate the community more to deal with the problem of peatland fires than trust and social networks Full article
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19 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
The Digital Authoritarian: On the Evolution and Spread of Toxic Leadership
by Brian L. Ott and Carrisa S. Hoelscher
World 2023, 4(4), 726-744; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040046 - 07 Nov 2023
Viewed by 5286
Abstract
Employing a critical approach typical of humanities-based research, this article investigates the changing nature of toxic leadership in our digital world. Drawing on the perspective of media ecology, which asserts that the prevailing communication technologies at a given moment create the social conditions [...] Read more.
Employing a critical approach typical of humanities-based research, this article investigates the changing nature of toxic leadership in our digital world. Drawing on the perspective of media ecology, which asserts that the prevailing communication technologies at a given moment create the social conditions that, in turn, condition us, the authors illustrate how the digital logics of publicity, intransigence, impertinence, and impulsivity remake the contours of leadership. Based on a critical case study of Elon Musk’s public management of Twitter, which has subsequently been rebranded as “X”, it is argued that the four digital logics transform toxic leadership into digital authoritarianism, an unabashed form of authoritarian rule. A concluding section of the essay explores the implications of this evolution for traditional categories of leadership; the importance of attending to communication technologies in leadership research; and the individual, institutional, and social harms of digital authoritarianism. Full article
17 pages, 2101 KiB  
Article
Agricultural Bio-Inputs as an Innovative Area of Opportunity for Agro-Industrial Growth in Developing Countries: Lessons from Argentina
by Gabriel da Silva Medina, Rosana Rotondo and Gustavo Rubén Rodríguez
World 2023, 4(4), 709-725; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040045 - 30 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1896
Abstract
Technology-based innovations in the bio-economy are expected to provide new market opportunities for agro-industrial growth in developing countries. This study explores how domestic entrepreneurs have been benefiting from the growing global demand for sustainable agribusiness by establishing themselves in the agricultural bio-inputs sector. [...] Read more.
Technology-based innovations in the bio-economy are expected to provide new market opportunities for agro-industrial growth in developing countries. This study explores how domestic entrepreneurs have been benefiting from the growing global demand for sustainable agribusiness by establishing themselves in the agricultural bio-inputs sector. Aiming to explore how developing countries can build agro-industrial capabilities that go beyond farming, a case study was conducted in Argentina giving the country’s large domestic market for agricultural inputs. The assessment was based on official data and a survey conducted with a sample of 14 Argentinean companies. Results revealed a growing number of domestic companies in the bio-inputs market, which accounted for 74% of the total number of companies by 2022. Contextual aspects that favored domestic players include private investments by local entrepreneurs, the use of locally available technologies, support from public innovation centers and assertive market strategies. Principal component analysis revealed different business models, which include companies focusing on the development of new products, companies with professional industrial plants for large-scale production and companies with a strong marketing component reaching out to farmers. The global growth of sustainable bio-based agricultural production offers areas of opportunities for domestic investments in cleaner agro-industrial sectors that go beyond the primary production of commodities and can build industrial capabilities in developing countries. Full article
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11 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
Needs Analysis and Payback Models for Tractor Design Based on Field Data from Farmers in Sudan
by Hamza Ahmed and Erika E. Miller
World 2023, 4(4), 698-708; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040044 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 801
Abstract
The adoption of agricultural machinery in countries with a developing economy can have a significant impact on improving well-being and pro-poor growth. However, this requires farmers to buy into mechanized farming, which is more likely to happen if the machinery meets their needs. [...] Read more.
The adoption of agricultural machinery in countries with a developing economy can have a significant impact on improving well-being and pro-poor growth. However, this requires farmers to buy into mechanized farming, which is more likely to happen if the machinery meets their needs. The objective of this paper is to identify deciding factors for traditional farmers to adopt machinery and identify design requirements. Payback models were developed based on these design requirements, willingness to pay, and expected returns. Thirty-six farmers in Sudan were interviewed throughout 2019–2021. Six of these farmers were provided tractors during 2020 and 2021. Differences in net-profits between the 30 control and 6 treatment farms during the mechanized farming seasons were used in the models for expected profits. There were no significant differences in tractor design preferences between the treatment and control groups. Two cost models were estimated using a 95% confidence interval: entire Δ profit (entire additional profit from mechanized farming above nonmechanized) and percentage of total profit (percentage of total net-profits willing to spend). For the average farm size in this study (44.39 acres) and a market available tractor that satisfied all farmer needs, payback was 3.92 years [2.34, 8.54] and 4.57 years [3.39, 6.38] for the models, respectively. Full article
14 pages, 956 KiB  
Review
World Population Growth: A Once and Future Global Concern
by Karl-Erik Norrman
World 2023, 4(4), 684-697; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040043 - 24 Oct 2023
Viewed by 3182
Abstract
The challenge posed by global population growth has been clear to most scientists since at least the 1950s. In the 1970s, it became conventional wisdom that “the population explosion” constituted a threat to humanity and to sound social, economic and ecological development. This [...] Read more.
The challenge posed by global population growth has been clear to most scientists since at least the 1950s. In the 1970s, it became conventional wisdom that “the population explosion” constituted a threat to humanity and to sound social, economic and ecological development. This conviction was clearly demonstrated at UN conferences on the environment (1972) and population (1974). It was also confirmed in the important UN report Our Common Future, presented by the Brundtland Commission in 1987. Since the 1990s, international interest in population issues has decreased dramatically and has even become a taboo in certain academic and political discourses. This paper will try to analyze some of the reasons for these changes in attitudes and will present proposals on how to push the population issue back on to the international agenda. Full article
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14 pages, 797 KiB  
Article
A New Perspective on the Natural Resource Curse
by Thomas C. Kinnaman
World 2023, 4(4), 670-683; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040042 - 23 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Early papers found empirical support for a natural resource curse—the notion that exporting natural resources is detrimental to economic growth. Later papers, using reportedly improved econometric models and data, largely reversed these early findings by estimating that natural resources improve economic performance. However, [...] Read more.
Early papers found empirical support for a natural resource curse—the notion that exporting natural resources is detrimental to economic growth. Later papers, using reportedly improved econometric models and data, largely reversed these early findings by estimating that natural resources improve economic performance. However, this changing coefficient on natural resource dependence over time may not only be a function of model or data quality. Masked by this evolution in the economics literature is the possibility that the fundamental relationship between natural resources and economic performance has changed over the past several decades. This paper sheds a new perspective on the substantial resource curse literature by repeatedly estimating a single econometric model on data that evolve over time. The coefficient on natural resource dependence is estimated to steadily increases with the passage of time from a value that is negative and significant (for 1970, the basis for much of the early literature) to a positive and significant value a few decades later. Whatever natural resource estimated initially with data from 1970 seems to have evolved into a resource blessing over time. Full article
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17 pages, 5365 KiB  
Article
Spatial Analysis of Mountain and Lowland Anoa Habitat Potential Using the Maximum Entropy and Random Forest Algorithm
by Diah Ardiani, Lalu Muhamad Jaelani, Septianto Aldiansyah, Mangapul Parlindungan Tambunan, Mochamad Indrawan and Andri A. Wibowo
World 2023, 4(4), 653-669; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040041 - 03 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1492
Abstract
The Anoa is a wild animal endemic to Sulawesi that looks like a small cow. Anoa are categorized as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN red list. There are two species of Anoa, namely Lowland Anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) and Mountain Anoa [...] Read more.
The Anoa is a wild animal endemic to Sulawesi that looks like a small cow. Anoa are categorized as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN red list. There are two species of Anoa, namely Lowland Anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) and Mountain Anoa (Bubalus quarlesi). In this study, a comparison of potential habitat models for Anoa species was conducted using Machine Learning algorithms with the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) and Random Forest (RF) methods. This modeling uses eight environmental variables. Where based on the results of Bubalus quarlesi potential habitat modeling, the RF 75:25 model is the best algorithm with the highest variable contribution, namely humidity of 82.444% and a potential area of 5% of Sulawesi Island, with an Area Under Curve (AUC) of 0.987. Meanwhile, the best Bubalus depressicornis habitat potential model is the RF 70:30 algorithm, with the highest variable contribution, namely population of 88.891% and potential area of 36% of Sulawesi Island, with AUC 0.967. This indicates that Anoa extinction is very sensitive to the presence of humidity and human population levels. Full article
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16 pages, 4451 KiB  
Article
Effects of Restoration and Conservation of Riparian Vegetation on Sediment Retention in the Catchment Area of Corumbá IV Hydroelectric Power Plant, Brazil
by Natália Pezzi Fachinelli and Amaro Olímpio Pereira, Jr.
World 2023, 4(4), 637-652; https://doi.org/10.3390/world4040040 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Vegetation cover and land use are important factors related to the capacity of ecosystems to provide soil loss regulation and sediment retention services, which are highly relevant for sediment management in watersheds draining into reservoirs with multiple water uses. One way to ensure [...] Read more.
Vegetation cover and land use are important factors related to the capacity of ecosystems to provide soil loss regulation and sediment retention services, which are highly relevant for sediment management in watersheds draining into reservoirs with multiple water uses. One way to ensure the protection and recovery of vegetation by landowners in Brazil is the implementation of the federal Native Vegetation Protection Law (NVPL), which designates environmentally sensitive areas as Areas of Permanent Preservation (APPs), aiming to conserve water resources and prevent soil erosion. The benefits of riparian vegetation in the catchment of Corumbá IV Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), located in the Brazilian Cerrado, were analyzed considering landscape reconfigurations from a baseline condition (year 2011) in order to account for the recovery of riparian vegetation by the agricultural sector, as foreseen in the NVPL. The Sediment Delivery Ratio (SDR) model from the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs) package was used to map and quantify variations in sediment export and sediment retention throughout the catchment. The reduction in annual sediment export in the drainage basin of the Corumbá IV reservoir reached −27% in the scenario where the total deficit of riparian APPs occupied by pasture or agriculture in the baseline map (41.000 ha) are recovered. While 14% of riparian APP are occupied by crops versus 86% occupied by pasture in the drainage basin of the Corumbá IV HPP, the recovery of riparian zones occupied by agricultural activities resulted in the greatest benefits in sediment retention for the reservoir. The methodology employed in this study can support the prioritization of sectoral efforts for the restoration and conservation of native vegetation, considering the highest returns in benefits perceived by water users affected by sediment input in reservoirs. The study’s results reinforce the importance of conserving vegetation in riparian areas and their surroundings for sediment retention, highlighting the role of these areas as assets in providing water-related ecosystem services. For future developments, it is suggested to assess the interconnections among the energy, water, and food sectors to better understand the barriers and challenges to the maintenance and improvement of water-related ecosystem services in the catchment area of Corumbá IV HPP. Full article
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