Matching Items (10)

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Green Charcoal: Case of Innovation Ecosystem in Nepal’s Renewable Energy System

Description

There is an increasing need to understand and develop clean cooking technologies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The provision of clean energy where modern energy is not available is

There is an increasing need to understand and develop clean cooking technologies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The provision of clean energy where modern energy is not available is important in advancing the 17 sustainable development goals as set by the United Nations. Green charcoal is a cooking fuel technology made from ground and compressed biochar, an organic material made from heating a feedstock (biomass, forest residues, agriculture waste, invasive species, etc.) in an oxygen deprived environment to high temperatures. Green charcoal behaves similarly to wood charcoal or coal but is different from these energy products in that it is produced from biomass, not from wood or fossil fuels. Green charcoal has gained prominence as a cooking fuel technology in South-East Asia recently. Within the context of Nepal, green charcoal is currently being produced using lantana camara, an invasive species in Nepal, as a feedstock in order to commoditize the otherwise destructive plant. The purpose of this study was to understand the innovation ecosystem of green charcoal within the context of Nepal’s renewable energy sector. An innovation ecosystem is all of the actors, users and conditions that contribute to the success of a particular method of value creation. Through a series of field interviews, it was determined that the main actors of the green charcoal innovation ecosystem are forest resources governance agencies, biochar producers, boundary organizations, briquette producers, distributors/vendors, the political economy of energy, and the food culture of individuals. The end user (user segment) of this innovation ecosystem is restaurants. Each actor was further analyzed based on the Ecosystem Pie Model methodology as created by Talmar, et al. using the actor’s individual resources, activities, value addition, value capture, dependence on green charcoal and the associated risk as the building blocks for analysis. Based on ecosystem analysis, suggestions were made on how to strengthen the green charcoal innovation ecosystem in Nepal’s renewable energy sector based on actor-actor and actor-green charcoal interactions, associated risks and dependence, and existing knowledge and technology gaps. It was determined that simply deploying a clean cooking technology does not guarantee success of the technology. Rather, there are a multitude of factors that contribute to the success of the clean cooking technology that deserve equal amounts of attention in order to successfully implement the technology.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Exploitation of Labor in Qatar: How Nepali Laborers are Victimized in Preparation for the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup

Description

This paper aims to effectively portray the stories of migrant laborers who have fallen victim to a system of powerful and exploitative institutions and governments that provide labor for the

This paper aims to effectively portray the stories of migrant laborers who have fallen victim to a system of powerful and exploitative institutions and governments that provide labor for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The purpose of this case study, therefore, is to both uncover the causes and magnitude of the crisis and to understand the relationship between the victimized laborers and the perpetrators. Through this study, I present the complex dynamics of a mass geopolitical operation that leads to the victimization of Nepali workers. I specifically outline why this issue is complicated and what the proper interventions may be to resolve it.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Resilience and Disaster-Affected Youth: A Case Study on Our Global Family, Ama Ghar

Description

Using the case of a children's home in Nepal, Ama Ghar, this study utilizes concepts of resiliency and community service to assess children's ability to react and recover from disaster.

Using the case of a children's home in Nepal, Ama Ghar, this study utilizes concepts of resiliency and community service to assess children's ability to react and recover from disaster. As earthquakes continues to strike rural and urban populations \u2014 from Mexico to Italy \u2014 learning the recovery stories of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake from the Ama Ghar family may further understanding on how to promote resiliency for youth in a post-disaster stage. Although community service in many respects has been supported as a successful youth development tool in Western contexts, researchers call for a more extensive look that compares variables of community service through a global lens. Because of the research backing the benefits that community involvement has on promoting civic responsibility, citizenship, and human and societal well-being, this study proposes that facilitating an active role through community service is a positive way to generate resilience among a child. After conducting in-depth interviews on Ama Ghar caretakers and alumni, it was ultimately concluded that there is a positive relationship between community service and overall resilience of a child. It was found that different forms of discussions of disaster, community service, and resilience shows the complex interconnectedness among these attributes and how this relationship accounts for the building up of resiliency among children who have faced disaster such as the earthquake in Nepal. Learning about the nurturing of children within the blended Ama Ghar family and their vivid first-hand experiences may be scalable however more in-depth research should be conducted to fully understand the complex factors that contribute to the rebuilding of well-being for disaster-affected youth.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Variance in Perceptions of Suicide Within and Between Gender in Nepal

Description

Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death, and accounts for about 800,000 deaths per year worldwide (WHO, 2013). The majority of these deaths occur in low and middle-income

Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death, and accounts for about 800,000 deaths per year worldwide (WHO, 2013). The majority of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), yet the research and documentation of suicide is heavily skewed to higher income countries where more systematic reporting of suicide occurs, along with a larger existing evidence base. Nepal is one LMIC where the speculated burden of suicide is high, with a predicted suicide rate of 7th highest in the world. Using both public-health and ethnographic approaches, the current study contributes to the discussion about suicide in Nepal. The primary goal of this research study is to understand the similarities and differences in perceived drivers for suicide for men and women in Nepal. Interviews conducted in Kathmandu and Jumla, Nepal were transcribed, and free lists which described drivers for suicide for men and women were extracted from the narratives. Thematic codes were then created to classify narrative responses into a cultural domain. The most salient codes listed by males and females for drivers for male/female suicide were analyzed and further contextualized using interview dialogue. Findings reveal social and relational drivers of suicide as the most salient for both genders, suggesting that suicide is not an individual act, but something that is caused by the broader, social environment. Additionally, perceptions of the reasons for suicide vary between gender. Perceived drivers for suicide for males are more often correlated with financial burden and the responsibilities tied to being the source of income and prosperity in a highly patriarchal society. Violence and inequality are perceived to be among the main drivers for female suicide. Findings contribute to the ethnographic research of suicide and the suicide literature in Nepal, and generate a better understanding of how reasons for suicide differ among males and females.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Biochar production methods and its use for water filtration in less developed settings

Description

After visiting Nepal and seeing the problem of potable drinking water, there needed to be a solution to purify it. Simultaneously, local national forests have been overrun with two invasive

After visiting Nepal and seeing the problem of potable drinking water, there needed to be a solution to purify it. Simultaneously, local national forests have been overrun with two invasive plant species: Mikania micrantha and Lantana camara. Both a very fast-growing species and can be turned into biochar. If the resulting is made through an effective process, then the community would be able to work less making each batch of biochar and make more money per batch, whereby the market already exists. The community could grow their profits even further by activating the created charcoal, which fetches an even better price. Most Importantly, among other important uses, the activated charcoal could also be used in clean drinking water systems. The prospect of using activated charcoal as water purifying agents can be tested in a future design of experiments. This design of experiments would assess the effectiveness of the activated charcoal, to determine which pore size is the most cost effective at filtering out pollutants. This thesis focuses on researching different types of biochar kilns, clean drinking water systems, and the use of charcoal in clean drinking water systems.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Can Biochar Be Converted into Activated Carbon?

Description

In Nepal, a viable solution for environmental management, food and water security is the production of biochar, a carbon material made of plants burned in low oxygen conditions. Currently, the

In Nepal, a viable solution for environmental management, food and water security is the production of biochar, a carbon material made of plants burned in low oxygen conditions. Currently, the biochar is manufactured into charcoal briquettes and sold on the market for energy usage, however this may not provide the best value for community members who make less than a dollar a day and sell the biochar for as little as 16 cents per kilogram. This thesis seeks to improve the price of biochar and help their livelihoods as well as explore innovative solutions. One way to improve biochar while addressing water security problems is to create activated carbon, which uses its heightened porosity to adsorb contaminants from water or air. Activated carbon is also worth 100x the price of biochar. This thesis evaluates the mass content of biochar produced in Nepal, comparing it to literature values, and performed gravimetric and thermogravimetric analysis, comparing it to Activated Charcoal. Analysis of the biochar system used in Nepal reveals that the byproduct of biochar, biofuels, is highly underutilized. The higher heating value of biochar is 17.95 MJ/kg, which is much lower than other charcoals which burn around 30 MJ/kg. Low volatile content, less than 5% in biochar, provides a smokeless briquette, which is favorable on the market, however low heating value and misutilizations of biofuels in the solution indicate that creating a briquette is not the best use for biochar. Ash content is really high in this biochar, averaging around 12% and it may be due to the feedstock, a composite between Mikania and Lantana, which have 5.23% and 10.77% ash content respectively. This does not necessarily indicate a poor quality biochar, since ash values can vary widely between charcoals. Producing activated charcoal from this biochar is a favored solution; it will increase the price of the biochar, provide water security solutions, and be an appropriate process for this biochar, where heating value and underutilization of biofuel byproducts pose a problem.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Design and Optimization of Nepalese Biochar Furnaces

Description

This thesis sought to better understand the process of creating biochar in kilns representative of those used in current biochar processes in Chitwan National Park, Nepal and surrounding areas. The

This thesis sought to better understand the process of creating biochar in kilns representative of those used in current biochar processes in Chitwan National Park, Nepal and surrounding areas. The project had two main objectives: First, design and build a scale kiln representative of those in Nepal. This will allow a multitude of future projects to have access to a well-built kiln in which to run experiments, probe conditions and overall understand the process of pyrolysis. After approval of the plan and construction the second phase of the project began. Second, using the scaled kiln, pyrolyze quantities of biomass and capture the temperature profiles as the burn is started through until it is completed. Using qualitative methods the biochar was then analyzed and this quality compared against the temperature profiles captured. Using these profiles it was hoped that a relationship between how the temperature profiles behave and the quality of the biochar can be produced. The maximum temperature was also be analyzed to find useful correlations to the behavior of the process within the kiln. The project did not find any useful correlation between the maximum temperatures, but it did find useful correlations between temperature profiles and the resulting biochar. A description of how to analyze biochar in the field was also established to help researchers and farmers rate biochar quality while in the field. The kiln itself is housed on the Polytechnic Campus of Arizona State University in the Global Resolve outside storage area at the time of writing.

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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Measuring the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems: a multimethod approach

Description

This research assessed the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems in Nepal. The research was composed of three interrelated studies. The first study evaluated different approaches to protected area governance.

This research assessed the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems in Nepal. The research was composed of three interrelated studies. The first study evaluated different approaches to protected area governance. This was a multiple-case study research involving three protected areas in Nepal: the Annapurna Conservation Area, Chitwan National Park, and the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Data were collected from various published and unpublished sources and supplemented with 55 face-to-face interviews. Results revealed that outcomes pertaining to biodiversity conservation, community livelihoods, and sustainable tourism vary across these protected areas. The study concluded that there is no institutional panacea for managing protected areas. The second study diagnosed the sustainability of tourism in two destination communities: Ghandruk and Sauraha, which are located within the Annapurna Conservation Area and Chitwan National Park, respectively. A systemic, holistic approach--the social-ecological system framework--was used to analyze the structures, processes, and outcomes of tourism development. Data collection involved 45 face-to-face semi-structured interviews and a review of published and unpublished documents. Results revealed that tourism has several positive and a few negative sociocultural, economic, and ecological outcomes in both communities. Overall, tourism has progressed towards sustainability in these destinations. The third study examined tourism stakeholders' perspectives regarding sustainable tourism outcomes in protected areas. The study compared the responses of residents with residents, as well as tourists with tourists, across the Annapurna Conservation Area and Chitwan National Park. Tourism sustainability was evaluated with six tourism impact subscales measuring negative and positive ecological, economic, and social impacts. Data were collected using the survey method. Respondents included 230 residents and 205 tourists in Annapurna, and 220 residents and 210 tourists in Chitwan. The findings revealed that the residents across these protected areas perceived positive and negative impacts differently, as did the tourists, suggesting that the form of tourism development affects the sustainability outcomes in protected areas. Overall, this research concluded that protected areas and tourism are intricately related, and sustainable management of a protected area-based tourism system requires a polycentric adaptive approach that warrants a broad participation of relevant stakeholders.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Hidden death and social suffering: a critical investigation of suicide, death surveillance, and implications for addressing a complex health burden in Nepal

Description

Suicide is one of the fastest-growing and least-understood causes of death, particularly in low and middle income countries (LMIC). In low-income settings, where the technical capacity for death surveillance is

Suicide is one of the fastest-growing and least-understood causes of death, particularly in low and middle income countries (LMIC). In low-income settings, where the technical capacity for death surveillance is limited, suicides may constitute a significant portion of early deaths, but disappear as they are filtered through reporting systems shaped by social, cultural, and political institutions. These deaths become unknown and unaddressed. This dissertation illuminates how suicide is perceived, contested, experienced, and interpreted in institutions ranging from the local (i.e., family, community) to the professional (i.e., medical, law enforcement) in Nepal, a country purported to have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Drawing on a critical medical anthropology approach, I bridge public health and anthropological perspectives to better situate the problem of suicide within a greater social-political context. I argue that these complex, contestable deaths, become falsely homogenized, or lost. During 18 months of fieldwork in Nepal, qualitative, data tracing, and psychological autopsy methodologies were conducted. Findings are shared through three lenses: (1) health policy and world systems; (2) epidemiology and (3) socio-cultural. The first investigates how actors representing familial, legal, and medical institutions perceive, contest, and negotiate suicide documentation, ultimately failing to accurately capture a leading cause of death. Using epidemiologic perspectives, surveillance data from medical and legal agencies are analyzed and pragmatic approaches to better detect and prevent suicidal death in the Nepali context are recommended. The third lens provides perceived explanatory models for suicide. These narratives offer important insights into the material, social, and cultural factors that shape suicidal acts in Nepal. Findings are triangulated to inform policy, prevention, and intervention approaches to reduce suicidal behavior and improve health system capabilities to monitor violent deaths. These approaches go beyond typical psychological investigations of suicide by situating self-inflicted death within broader familial, social, and political contexts. Findings contribute to cultural anthropological theories related to suicide and knowledge production, while informing public health solutions. Looking from the margins towards centers of power, this dissertation explicates how varying institutional numbers can obfuscate and invalidate suffering experienced at local levels.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Adapting to climate change: a sensitivity analysis of national adaptation programmes of action towards women

Description

The most recent decision of the 2012 Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes that in order to create climate policies

The most recent decision of the 2012 Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes that in order to create climate policies that respond to the different needs of men and women a more balanced representation of women from developed and developing countries is needed. National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to “identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to respond to impending threats from climate change.” Since 1997, the United Nations has agreed to gender mainstreaming- a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality by ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities in the all UN systems.

Due to the gender division of labor climate change will affect men and women differently. Policies and programs that do not take into account the needs and capacities of both men and women will fail to be effective and may worsen preexisting conditions that historically favor men. My research investigates the UN’s commitment towards gender mainstreaming. More specifically my objective is to understand how and to what extent the NAPAs from 49 countries integrate a gender dimension into their national climate adaptation policy. For the purpose of this research, I consider three interrelated issues: whether gender-specific needs and vulnerabilities were identified by the NAPA; if these needs and vulnerabilities were addressed by proposed adaptation projects; and in what forms women participated in the formulation of the NAPA. The scope of this research begins with an overview assessment of 49 NAPAs followed by a comparative assessment of NAPAs from four countries- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Niger, and an in-depth analysis of Nepal’s NAPA, which incorporates field study. Nepal was chosen as a focus country due to its identification as being both inclusive and gender sensitive.

The method of inquiry consists of both quantitative and qualitative analysis, utilizing the quantitative measures of HDI and GII and the qualitative methods of content analysis and case study. The findings suggest that the response to the gender dimensions of climate change found in adaptation policies vary widely among the LDCs and the level of response is dependent upon social, cultural, economic, and political contexts within each LDC. Additionally, I find that gender mainstreaming techniques have not been fully integrated into the NAPA policy and processes, and have not been effective at promoting gender equality through adaptation strategies. Recommendations are provided in order to help mainstream gender in NAPAs as they continue to be developed, revised, and implemented.

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Date Created
  • 2015