• AQUACOLD: Aggregated Query Understanding and Construction Over Linked Data

      Collis, Nicholas (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021-08)
      Question Answering (QA) systems provide direct answers to natural language (NL) questions posed by humans. Linked data (LD) provides an ideal knowledge base for answering complex QA as the framework expresses structure and relationships between data which assist in parsing the question, also the open ‘web of data’ or knowledge graph formed by interlinking between LD nodes provides a vast and varied domain of knowledge to search over. Despite this, recent attempts at NL QA over LD struggle when faced with complex questions due to the challenges in automatically parsing natural language into a structured LD query language such as SPARQL, forcing end users to learn these languages which can be challenging without a technical background. There is a need for a system which returns accurate answers to complex natural language questions over linked data, improving the accessibility of linked data search by abstracting the complexity of SPARQL whilst retaining its expressivity. This thesis presents AQUACOLD (Aggregated Query Understanding And Construction Over Linked Data) a novel LD QA system which harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to meet this need. AquaCold uses query templates built by system users to answer questions, rather than an algorithmic solution, and as such can handle queries of significant complexity. AquaCold’s effectiveness as a NL LD QA answering system was evaluated using the standard IR metrics of precision, recall and f-score on the QALD-9 question set, a benchmark used by many comparable NL QA systems. 30 participants took part in the study, attempting to answer a subset of QALD-9 questions using AquaCold. Results were analysed and compared against published results for similar NL LD QA systems, for both the AquaCold system overall and with respect to the dimensions of user IT skill to evaluate the utility for non-technical users specifically and with respect to the different crowdsourced components of the system to evaluate the utility of each. AquaCold performed strongly in the QALD9 benchmark study, recording greater f-score and query coverage results than comparable systems. Non-technical users achieved better scores when all or part of the question was available to answer using a query template, but achieved worse scores when no template was available and answers had to be obtained using the query builder component instead. This indicates a viable workflow where technically skilled users create templates which less technically able users could use to answer questions.
    • The effect of breaking up sedentary time on cardiometabolic disease risk markers in South Asian adults

      Dey, Kamalesh Chandra (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-05)
      South Asians are at higher risk of developing cardiometabolic disease, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and Type 2 diabetes than any other ethnicities (e.g., Caucasians) in the UK. Engaging with a high sedentary behaviour could contribute to these diseases as sedentary behaviour is associated with developing CVD and Type 2 diabetes. The primary aim of this thesis was to investigate the effects of breaking up sedentary time on cardiometabolic disease risk markers and metabolic health in South Asians. This thesis presents four novel inter-related studies, included a systematic review and three acute experimental studies in controlled laboratory and free-living settings. In study one (chapter 4), a systematic review reported total sedentary time in South Asians. The key finding is that South Asians engage in a mean daily sedentary time of approximately 7 h (424 ± 8 min). Daily sedentary time appears to be higher by 111 min when measured using objective methods (527 ± 11 min) than self-report methods (416 ± 19 min). Study two (chapter 5) and three (chapter 6) employed a two-condition randomised cross-over design and identical methods in normal-weight and overweight/obese South Asians, respectively. In the normal-weight South Asians (study two), breaking up sedentary time with 5 min bouts of self-perceived light-intensity walking (LPA) every 30 min following a high glycaemic index (GI) breakfast and lunch only improved postprandial triglyceride (TAG) concentrations over 5 h when compared with prolonged sitting, whereas the overweight/obese South Asians (study three) benefited from attenuated postprandial glucose, TAG, and metabolic load index (MLI) over 5 h (but not the area under the curve (AUC)), and increased postprandial resting energy expenditure (REE), and overall fat and carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation. No effects were observed for plasma insulin, mean arterial pressure (MAP), and heart rate in either group. Data from studies two and three suggest that the cardiometabolic health benefit of breaking up sedentary time with LPA can be generalised to a wider range of cardiometabolic variables (e.g., postprandial glucose) in overweight/obese versus normal-weight South Asians, possibly due to having a higher percentage of body fat composition than normal-weight South Asians. Study four (chapter 7) findings revealed that it was possible to manipulate overweight/obese South Asian adults’ sedentary time and physical activity (PA) levels in free-living conditions over 4 days, but continuously measured glucose responses were unaffected by such manipulations. To summarise, South Asians appear to engage in a high volume of sedentary time habitually, which could compromise their cardiometabolic health. Breaking up sedentary time with 5 min bouts of LPA every 30 min can acutely improve some cardiometabolic risk markers in normal-weight and overweight/obese South Asians in a controlled laboratory setting. In free-living settings, reducing and breaking up sedentary time does not appear to affect continuously measured glucose responses in overweight/obese South Asians. The studies within this thesis were novel due to the population; thus, this is the first time these findings have been reported. Reducing and breaking up sedentary time could play a crucial role in improving cardiometabolic health in this under-researched population in the short term. Further research should investigate the effectiveness of reducing and breaking up sedentary time in long-term interventions for improving cardiometabolic health in the South Asian population.
    • “Young girls like me – we just need some help to move forward” : a trauma-informed approach to supporting sexually abused children

      Christie, Eva Christine (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-12)
      The research question addressed in this thesis asked what the minimum requirements are within a supportive relationship which give it the potential to enable children who have been harmed through child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSA/E) in the UK to recover. The aim was to give local health and social care commissioners the confidence to commission CSA/E recovery services thereby reducing the scarcity of such therapeutic support in the UK; and, as part of this, to bridge a perceived gap between child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) and voluntary and community sector (VCS) CSA/E recovery services. The fieldwork methodology was qualitative and approached from the perspective of hermeneutic phenomenology. Preparation included a scoping exercise to identify the issues and the mainstream positions relating to CSA/E recovery services in the UK. It focused on: 1) the prevalence of CSA and CSE, the context of UK national CSA/E service provision and local strategies supporting the commissioning of CSA/E recovery services for children; 2) trauma, multiple trauma, CSA/E and the impact of CSA/E, and 3) the development of mainstream therapeutic approaches to recovery from trauma. Results from the latter were used to inform a conceptual framework of minimum requirements needed for a supportive relationship to be effective in helping children to recover following CSA/E. The requirements were deconstructed into practical activities which were then consulted on with 15 children, their specialist CSA/E service keyworkers and social workers; and their management/service commissioners (36 participants). The fieldwork was carried out with three local authorities and a commissioned VCS organisation. A post-fieldwork scoping exercise was then undertaken exploring VCS CSA/E service practice more generally, to understand whether the requirements identified in the fieldwork services, were replicated in the VCS sector. From the research findings four key themes emerged. The first of these was that the minimum requirements for a supportive relationship appear to be identifiable, effective and potentially generalizable. Furthermore, CSA/E recovery services could be commissioned from the VCS because they are based on the same established psychotherapeutic knowledge base as CAMHS (and the VCS CSA/E services are already supporting children with CAMHS Tiers 2 and in some cases Tier 3 levels of need). The second of the key themes was that to be optimally effective and sustainable social pedagogic and strengths-based CSA/E recovery services need a whole service/organisation and multi-agency approach – to support children’s recovery and avoid staff burnout. The third key theme was that CSA/E recovery services can only be successful if they recognise that service users may have multiple traumas; and look to respond to early childhood CSA to minimise revictimisation. The fourth key theme was that failure to maintain a child’s educational achievement following CSA/E is a serious concern, in view of the potential life changing consequences of becoming an adult without the basic academic qualifications which support access to the workplace and further training. Finally, the publication and prioritisation of a CSA strategy by senior management in local areas is needed, to assist promotion of an effective local response to CSA/E and address some of the gaps in local service provision, including in particular, those highlighted in the four key themes. These conclusions might be summarised by a Theory of Change; in which the stakeholders are the keyworker and the child. The change is from the state of trauma at point of referral to being ‘on the road to recovery’. The activity is: creating for the child the experience of ‘being in relationship’ and the experience of ‘achievement’. The principle enablers (resources) needed to achieve the change are: an appropriately skilled practitioner and a sufficient time period to consolidate the change. The intermediate output/outcome is: the establishment of a relationship of good quality and appropriate length. The final goal is: the positive relationship and achievement experiences which the child takes into her future – as the essential cornerstone on which a lifetime of recovery can be built. Prompted by the research findings listed above, and others, the five suggestions for further research are to explore: 1) the findings with a larger sample to enhance confidence in their generalisability; 2) how to ensure that children who are victims or survivors of CSA/E in their early (or pre-pubescent) childhoods are identified and provided with the appropriate support when the abuse occurs; 3) how to ensure that children who are victims/survivors of CSA/E are supported to complete their education; 4) ways of significantly improving victims/survivors’ sense of safety in their environments and associative lives; and 5) how services and organisations can better contain or support frontline staff in order to sustain high quality, effective CSA/E recovery services.
    • Torso muscle onset in response to an unexpected lower body perturbation in young adults, older adults and trained participants

      Barford, Cheryl (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-11)
      In older adults, risk of fall has been associated with poor muscle quality, dysfunction and reduced muscle thickness. Research has typically focussed on muscle quality through capacity tests and the identification of sarcopenia. However, little is understood about the quality of the torso muscle in older populations and particularly torso muscle onset when recovering from an unexpected perturbation. Recovery from unexpected perturbations like a slip, require fast and efficient motor control. However research that has focussed on torso muscle onset, have used tasks that are self-initiated which, if repeated, can lead to modulated motor control responses. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a test that would reveal torso muscle thickness and onset responses to an unexpected lower body perturbation event that mimicked a unilateral slip, in younger, trained and older participants. Developing a test that could identify deeper and superficial torso muscle onset simultaneously required the synchronisation of two methods of onset detection; a perturbation device and motion capture to orchestrate the synchronised timing. Reliability of Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging (RUSI) B-mode to capture muscle thickness revealed very good to excellent agreement for sonographer reliability (ICC, 0.796 to 0.995) and measurement method (0.995 to 0.9997). The perturbation device was monitored throughout testing to assess the factors that affect the force and velocity of the perturbation. RUSI M-mode was used simultaneously with sEMG to assess deeper and superficial torso muscles onset. Reliability of onset detection methods were assessed using erector spinae sEMG signals. The addition of a TKEO application within signal processing improved accuracy and reliability of computerised algorithm detection methods on the sEMG signals (ICC 0.8152 95% CI 0.723 to 0.875). In order to use RUSI to measure TrA and IO muscle onset, the agreement between EO tissue deformation via RUSI with EO onset via sEMG was determined using Bland Altman Limits of agreement (LOA). The LOA for RUSI and sEMG were calculated separately for older (4.45 ms, 95% CI; -7.25 to 16.15), younger (-9.65 ms 95% CI; -5.91 to - 13.38) and trained (– 7.87 ms, 95% CI; -23.26 to 7.52) participants and applied to muscle onset values for final comparison. Older participants revealed significantly later onset times than younger participants (p<0.05). Older adult muscle onset was not significantly different to trained participants. Older and younger individuals appeared to recruit torso muscles within a narrow window (44 ms and 24 ms), however trained participants revealed a wider timeframe with sequential recruitment (80 ms). Older males had significantly greater IO thickness than younger males (p<0.005) and trained participants had significantly greater LAW thickness than older and younger participants. TrA thickness in trained participants was significantly correlated with TrA and IO muscle onset (r=0.739, p<0.05) suggesting that Yoga and Pilates may yield positive results for torso muscle function, However, further study with larger sample sizes and matched controls is required to discern this. Using RUSI M-mode as a measure of muscle onset is a promising development and is worthy of further exploration particularly with in musculoskeletal assessment of older adults.
    • Islamic discourse on social media in Saudi Arabia

      Almdni, Anas Abdulrahman (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021-07)
      This thesis seeks to add to the contemporary debate concerning how clerics employ social media to influence young people and their religious perception of online Islamic doctrine discourse. It identifies neglected elements that have impeded the adoption of the internet and social media, considers the changing coalition of influential political and religious elites since 2011 and explains how social media has had an impact on the direction of Islamic discourse in Saudi Arabia. The research employs a mixed approach, using both a quantitative method (applied to the questionnaire responses of 248 participants) and a qualitative method (with interviews from two clerics and 25 university students who were recruited through quota sampling). In addition, discourse analysis of three clerics' Twitter accounts sheds light on how clerics have embraced the internet, by sharing controversial posts and debating with their followers, to gain an enormous youthful audience. While some young people have a negative perception of clerics who seek to engage in online controversy, other young people enjoy the greater acquaintance and sense of familiarity that arises through two-way communication on social media. The fact that many young people choose to engage with, and tweet responses to, clerics’ teaching in real-time illustrates how widely accepted social media has become an educational tool for sharing Islam while providing a new platform for clerics, especially non-official ones, to amass followers. The research is limited by its size (having been based on a small sample drawn from the university population and interviews with only two clerics), its data collection approach (which could not extend to individuals in remote locations) and the way in which government control of media influences respondents' opinions. Future research should embrace a larger population and investigate a wider range of social media platforms. The implication is that moderate clerics can now gain a better insight into how to disseminate religious teachings gauging from young individuals' responses and reduce Islam's stereotypical terrorism association.
    • Taking up a place at university: what do care experienced people say is important?

      Geoghegan, Luke (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021-02)
      While the educational attainment of looked after children has been the focus of a growing body of research, much less is known about those care experienced young people who secure a place at university. This research aimed to explore the importance of a university level of education for individuals; the significance of a university education for care experienced people in the context of the changing world of work; and sought to understand the background and circumstances of care experienced people who do secure a place at university with a view to understanding how their progress could be replicated. The research foregrounded listening attentively to the experiences and opinions of care experienced people who had secured a place at university. Using a small self-selecting sample of fifteen participants data was gathered through questionnaires and interviews to establish the attitudes, behaviours and activities that these individuals identified as important in successfully taking up a place at university. A theoretical framework based on Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, capital and field was used to explain and interpret the data. Key themes that re-occur throughout this research were the importance of a strengths-based approach, the value of proximity in the genesis, application and interpretation of research and research findings, and the worth of granularity – making specific recommendations for social work practice. An important lesson explored at a range of levels was the difference between ‘knowing that’ and ‘knowing how’, or the necessity of ‘propositional knowledge’ being translated into ‘applied knowledge’, thus helping bridge the gap between research and practice. The research makes ten recommendations for social workers on how children and young people who are looked after might be better supported to consider the option of university. Rather than simply focussing on care experienced people as victims, it is better to acknowledge some are in fact active creators of their own lives. Learning from their experiences and expertise it might be possible to better support other care experienced people to successfully take up a place at university.
    • Constructions of the child in care: generating alternative figurations of children and childhood in care that may be useful for multi-agency network practices

      Mills, Stephen (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-03)
      This thesis is about how the child in care in England is constructed in professional language and practice in use across the care system, a system which has been historically and, in the view of the thesis, remains dominated by modernist social theory, epistemology, and ontology. This modernist dominance remains largely invisible to those working within the system and those children and families involved in the system. This invisibility sustains a lack of critical awareness of the consequences of these modernist theoretical assumptions in the lives of children and families and on professional practice. The thesis proposes that opening up the system’s assumptions to greater critical debate will generate more finely attuned care practices, broaden the knowledge base available (creating an ecology of knowledges rather than a hierarchy), and create significant opportunities for mobilising collaborative practice between network members. As the study views it collaborative practice is inhibited by the system’s current adherence to modernist theory. The study proposes that the key site for this opening up is the interprofessional network of social workers, teachers, foster carers, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) clinicians (and others) around the child in care, which can be repurposed as a collaborative, critical, inter-personal, interprofessional networks. The study sees this as in line with the NHS/NICE recommendation that a consultancy service should be available to all teams of professionals around the child in care based upon the concept of reflective practice, which supports network members to manage differing and at times conflicting views about the best interests and needs of looked-after children. The study responds to three inter-related questions which are concerned with how children in care currently constructed, which alternative constructions emerge by diffracting modernist and postmodern theory through each other, and finally which novel ethical, theoretical, and practical perspectives arise in these processes which can be useful to interprofessional network members in creating collaborative interprofessional practices? The study research methods include radical reading and looking; noticing professional language; making mind maps, noticing and sensing of invisible presences (such as modernist assumptions about the child); diffracting modernist theoretical perspectives (such as, developmentalism, child-centred practice, individualism, diagnosis) and postmodern perspectives (such as, child as unbounded mangle, child and adult as fellow travellers) inspired by systemic, postcolonial, and critical feminist materialist posthuman social theory through each other; the child as a construction, and finally practical tools, which together unsettle taken-for-granted ways of seeing and thinking and practicing. Through these research methods the study offers five essays. The first essay illustrates the dominance of particular modernist ideas within the care system - developmentalism, child-centred practice, contemporary professional constructions of neglect and abuse, the persuasive (pervasive) use of neuroscientific-inspired ideas, particular thought styles, and constructions of diagnostic categories such as conduct disorders - assemble to construct children in care. The second essay identifies colonial assemblages of thought, epistemology, and ontology which act as invisible pillars upon which the everyday practices of the care system stand. Bringing these colonial assemblages to the collective awareness of those who work in the system the essay seeks to support more critical public debate, a more searching dialogue about what these ways of constructing social life may ‘do’ in the lives of children in care. Part I of the third essay explores dogmatic (modernist, positivist) practices in the care system, which means those elements of thought and practice which have a longstanding reliance on positivism and the empirical analytic mode which continues to influence much theory and practice in social work, education, and clinical work in children’s mental health. Dogmatic thinking-practices tend to assert that the system’s already established knowledge is undeniably true knowledge, made up of true commonsense facts about the world. Part II illustrates that the child may be thought, through postmodern theories, differently from those allowed by the narrow dogmatic vision of the child. Indeed, the child may take on many novel and lively forms inviting many novel and lively alternative forms of care. In these circumstances the dogmatic vision of the child can no longer hold as the one true child. Professionals and child are released from their dogmatic constructions of self, other, and care and enabled to construct abundant forms of care; a thousand tiny forms of care; from ‘the’ care to ‘this’ care. Essay four offers a series of theoretical and philosophical tools which when utilised in the practices of interprofessional networks have (i) the effect of making the modernist assumptions which undergird the system increasingly visible to network members, which leads to (ii) increased reflection upon and critique of modernist approaches, and (iii) this reflection and critique illustrates the ethical, relational, and affective limitations of modernist care practices. These postmodern philosophical tools (which include the Anthropocene and plantation ecologies) over time increasingly illuminate to network members that the child is not (only) the modernist child they are (usually) constructed to be(come) by the current dogmatic arrangements and that they can be reimagined (through postmodern concepts) as potentially taking many novel and lively forms. The child reimagined requires reimagined forms of care. Adding postmodern perspectives of child and care to established dogmatic visions of the child and their care breaks the dependence of the care system on its modernist shackles. Interprofessional network members freed from their reliance on the dogmatic vision of the child to stabilise their practices of care must learn to collaborate and debate with each other to uniquely construct the child and their practices of care. Out of this debate emerges an expansion of thinking, a collaborative and critical approach to interprofessional networking. The fifth essay identifies and illustrates an assemblage of practical tools which may be used to mobilise collaborative practices in interprofessional networks, which include - engaging in radical reading; noticing shift climates; questions; radical writing; working with parts of interprofessional networks; understanding problems as made within complex intra-acting systems; thinking about bodies as assemblage, and soil – as practical ways of coming to ‘see’ the child through different epistemological and ontological perspectives. The study has identified the interprofessional network as the key site within which a paradigm shift toward more collaborative, inter-personal, affective, thinking-practicing can occur and which can contribute to changing the currently modernist-dominated system from within. This study proposes that network members come to see themselves as agents of social change at the macro level of their own and their institutions epistemology and ontology rather than merely agents of change for others at the micro level of children and families. This focus on making the invisible presences of modernist social theory which underpin current practice more visible to oneself and other professionals both requires and generates an increasing openness to expansive learning which entails professionals openly articulating their differences and exploring alternative ethical possibilities. The study proposes that this expansion makes for more abundant possibilities for caring and more ethically attuned care.
    • An exploration of employee commitment and turnover intention: a case study of Nigeria's public sectors

      Akinsowon, Peter Akinwande (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-09-12)
      This thesis focuses on employee commitment and turnover intention in the public sector organisations in Nigeria. Turnover intention refers to the withdrawal process in which an employee begins to think about leaving their job. Notably, it is not the act of leaving a job but a key predictor of leaving. In principle, the intention to leave an organisation will result in actual turnover if managed poorly. As it is one of the key factors responsible for employee turnover, it is therefore imperative to understand the root causes of employee turnover intention in contemporary workplace. By achieving such understanding, employers can devise hiring and retention initiatives that can increase employee retention and reduce turnover intention and thus turnover in the modern workplace. The focus on turnover intention is especially significant in the public sector. While extant studies suggest that poor leadership and inadequate pay (issues prevalent in the public sector) may influence employee decision to leave an organisation this is not the case for public sectors, especially in the Nigerian context. Research evidence suggests that, irrespective of the challenges facing employees in the public sector, job turnover was high for private sector organisations in Nigeria compared to public sectors. A reason for this was that the public sector was more stable, and employees were assured of pay. However, evidence exists to suggest that while employees may not be leaving the public sectors, their turnover intention is high, and many are seeking greener pastures. Recent studies suggest that employee commitment is the backbone to reduce turnover intention among employees. The thesis set out to investigate the contextual meaning of employee commitment and turnover intention within the context of the Nigerian public sectors. Using a qualitative approach, data were collected from 21 participants using a semi structured interview technique and findings revealed the meaning of commitment within the Nigerian public sectors. This subsequently showed a lack of sense of ownership from the public sector employees in Nigeria. Overall, the thesis found that turnover intention in the Nigerian public sector was low and conditional on the continuation of the prevailing organisational, employment sector and national culture. Based on the above findings, the thesis contributes to the literature by developing a framework. Also, the study contributes to the knowledge of organisational culture and employee commitment turnover relationship in the public sector in Nigeria and a host of other contributions outlined in the main thesis. Thus, the implication of this study is that it highlights the challenges of fostering employee commitment in the Nigerian public organisations that will enable practitioners to develop interventions that will improve internal control. This paper makes the following recommendations for future studies. First, data could be collected in the western context to enable future comparative analysis. Secondly, the framework could be tested using a quantitative approach to test for the generalizability of the findings. Furthermore, Nigerians resident in Nigeria (unlike diaspora like myself) may endeavour to undertake similar studies in order to check whether the information and approaches of the participants will be different.
    • Internal branding framework based on brand perceptions of managers and employees of an airline company

      Al Ketbi, Saleh (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021-05)
      Internal branding is an ongoing process involving all agents within the company. As such, an exploration of internal branding will not only be limited to the formal understanding of internal stakeholders but will allow the subjective meanings of their understanding to be revealed as well. This investigated the perceived organizational factors, brand support behaviours, and views of managers and employees on the delivery of brand promise in an airline company case study and developed an internal branding framework based on the findings. Specifically, the research investigated how the managers and employees perceived the organizational climate and communication channels in their company; how they made sense of their brand knowledge, commitment, and citizenship; and how they viewed the delivery of their company brand promise. The consequent findings from the investigation served as the building blocks in the development of the internal branding framework in the study. The study used the qualitative design, adopted the constructivist/interpretivist philosophy; and utilized the inductive approach, with a focus on a single institution. The semi-structured interview was used to optimise data collection. A total of 30 individuals consisting of 10 managers and 20 employees participated in the study. The data was analysed using thematic analysis and phenomenological reduction and supported by sense-making tools. The study found that organizational factors contributed to the creation of a social space that allowed managers, employees, and other internal stakeholders to interrelate in various ways. It is within these social spaces where internal stakeholders re-framed their brand knowledge, commitment, and citizenship within the context of their lived experiences. As a corollary, the internal branding framework developed in the study demonstrated that the presence of a positive organizational climate and information-rich environment creates an enabling social environment that facilitates the interaction of internal stakeholders. This type of environment enables them to construct and reconstruct their knowledge about their company brand and allows them to make sense of their brand commitment and citizenship that sustain their perception of the delivery of the brand promise. The framework of internal branding developed in the study is the major contribution of this research. Furthermore, this study contributes insight into the dynamics of internal branding from detailed information derived from the perspectives of managers and employees which were used to edify the internal branding framework developed in the study. The framework demonstrates how companies can best leverage their physical and human resources to enhance their brand image through internal branding. The study also provides an analysis of a dataset on brand knowledge, commitment, and citizenship that contributes knowledge of internal branding in an economically dynamic and multi-cultural company context. Lastly, this study contributes to the growing efforts of investigating the internal branding process using a qualitative approach by demonstrating how qualitative studies can be used to explore branding concepts.
    • Corporate governance and triple bottom line performance of microfinance institutions: empirical evidence from South Asia

      Rasel, Md. Ali (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021-04)
      This thesis empirically investigates the impact of corporate governance mechanisms on the triple bottom line (TBL) performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) with particular reference to five South Asian developing economies – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Accordingly, the thesis at first conducts a systematic literature review on microfinance governance. It seeks to understand the extent to which research on microfinance governance has been done to date and how far it can go from here. From the review findings, there emerges, among others, a gap in the existing literature on the microfinance governance performance relationship. Specifically, the association between corporate governance mechanisms and TBL (financial, social and environmental) performance of MFIs is found non existent in the literature. The current study addresses this relationship through the lenses of agency, resource dependence and stakeholder theories. The study uses a sample of 127 MFIs from the selected five countries. These institutions are listed on the Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX) Market database, a World Bank group with publicly available data for a wide range of variables. The sampled MFIs are also registered with various network organisations in each country, such as the Microfinance Regulatory Authority (MRA) in Bangladesh, Sa-Dhan microfinance network in India, Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) in Pakistan, Lanka Microfinance Practitioners' Association (LMFPA) in Sri Lanka and Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) in Afghanistan. The study has collected data for governance, firm-level characteristics and MFI TBL performance from MIX Market, annual reports, rating agencies and, in some cases, websites of individual MFIs. The data period is eight years, starting from 2009 and ending in 2016. Using a dynamic panel data approach, namely the two-step system generalised method of moments (GMM), the study finds some evidence of the impact of corporate governance mechanisms on MFI TBL performance in the South Asian region. More specifically, the study reveals that different governance attributes, except board gender diversity, influence each TBL performance dimension differently. This means they can significantly explain either one or two performance dimensions, but not all. However, board independence and Big-4 auditor choice are relatively significant in predicting all performance variables of MFIs. These results stand for and against the three mainline theories and the findings of some past empirical studies. Based on the results, the study accepts and rejects various hypotheses developed from the selected theories and prior empirical findings. It also recommends some future research directions. This thesis contributes to the literature on microfinance governance by examining how different corporate governance mechanisms such as board characteristics, ownership types, audit quality and capital structure influence MFI TBL performance in the context of South Asian developing economies. It develops hypotheses from three theoretical lenses. Multiple theories have been used for this study as it can be argued that any single theory does not fully explain the hypothesised relationships. Furthermore, given the dynamic nature of corporate governance and the MFI performance variables, this thesis applies GMM to control for dynamic endogeneity, which has been neglected by most prior empirical studies in this field. It is expected that the findings of this research will be of particular relevance to microfinance stakeholders. Especially, the study results provide important information to the policymakers and regulators for considering various corporate governance mechanisms to scale up the sustainability level performance of MFIs.
    • Examining the implementation and engagement of reproductive and sexual health services for young people

      Adakpa, Itodo (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-01)
      Background and Rationale Young people are becoming more sexually active and are forming relationships during the early stages of their lives, sometimes engaging in sexual risk-taking, which contributes to high rates of conception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Findings from past studies have shown that young people, especially those at risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancy, are less likely to access reproductive and sexual health promotion programmes and services (RSHPPs) especially at mainstream clinics. This was attributed to concerns about judgemental attitudes of healthcare staff, confidentiality, fear of the unknown and worries about being seen entering venues providing RSHPPs. In the UK, the response to this is contained in the Government’s sexual health policy aimed at reducing the impact of poor reproductive and sexual health outcome in the population. There is the need to improve our understanding about how the voices of young people can be incorporated into the design and implementation of RSHPPs to better address their RSH needs. Study aim The aim of this research study is to examine the factors affecting the design, implementation, and engagement of RSHPPs for young people aged 16 - 25. Study design A mixed methods design was utilised to examine the design, implementation and engagement of RSHPPs for young people aged 16-25. Qualitative methods utilised two case studies involving four community-based organisations (CBOs) and two general practice surgeries (NHS-GP surgeries). Interviews and review of documentary evidence were utilised to explore the views and experiences of managers and health promotion workers (HPWs) regarding the design, implementation and engagement of RSHPPs for young people. A total of 25 managers and HPWs were interviewed across four community-based organisations and two GP surgeries. Qualitative data were analysed using the framework analysis. Similarly, quantitative methods utilised survey questionnaire involving 317 young people to examine their engagement with RSHPPs through six RSHPPs constructs, namely RSH knowledge, sexual behaviour, RSH seeking, attitude and expectation of RSHPPs, rating RSHPPs use and HPWs, barriers to accessing RSHPPs. SPSS was utilised to describe the data and to examine the association between the six RSHPPs constructs and demographic characteristics. Key findings The qualitative findings from the two case studies involving managers and HPWs indicate that RSHPPs afforded young people the opportunity to access RSE, chlamydia screenings and contraceptive services, especially within outreach settings as a first easy step to engaging with other RSHPPs. Quantitative findings from young people aged 16-25 indicate that the facilitators of RSHPPs include more frequent RSHPPs (35%), awareness of RSHPPs (31%) and the need for privacy (29%). Barriers to accessing RSHPPs include confidentiality (19.3%), embarrassment (19.1%) and was corroborated by managers and HPWs who reported that worries about confidentiality and embarrassment were the most cited barriers to accessing RSHPPs by young people. Implication for practice Addressing the local health priorities like reducing teenage pregnancies and STIs requires organisations to provide RSHPPs at both non-clinical and clinical settings to ensure that RSHPPs are accessible to young people. RSE should be tailored to meet the evolving RSH needs of young people before they initiate sexual activities to enable them to make informed decisions about their RSH. Embedding RSHPPs within youth related activities provide young people with some level of anonymity. Future evaluation of RSHPPs could explore the views and experiences of young people and service providers to understand how such collaboration could deliver better RSH outcomes for young people.
    • Changing sedentary behaviour in the workplace

      Brierley, Marsha Lynn (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-06)
      Sedentary behaviour is independently related to the development of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and their risk markers. The office workplace is a major contributor to daily sedentary behaviour (sitting); however, it also offers the opportunity to intervene with a large population. Desk-based police staff make up at least a third of UK police employees and experience poorer cardiometabolic health profiles than higher ranked police employees. The purpose of this thesis was to develop and assess the feasibility of delivering a tailored intervention to reduce prolonged sitting in police staff. The first aim of the thesis was to determine the effects of sedentary workplace interventions on cardiometabolic risk markers and ascertain the ‘active ingredients’ in promising studies (Study 1). The second aim was to gather qualitative insights into the acceptability of a theory-based workplace intervention using the APEASE framework (Study 2). The third aim was to interview police staff to understand their barriers and facilitators for reducing sedentary time (Study 3). The fourth aim was to assess the feasibility of conducting a multi-component intervention in police staff (Study 4). The systematic review (Study 1, Chapter 4) found that interventions show promise for improving cardiometabolic health. However, individual studies were at risk of allocation and performance bias. The behaviour change techniques of social comparison, problem solving, demonstration of the behaviour, goal setting, behaviour substitution, and habit reversal were frequently observed in promising interventions. In Study 2 (Chapter 5), a theory-derived sedentary behaviour office worker intervention comprising individual, organisational/social, and environmental modifications was acceptable and practicable. Productivity concerns and cost (of sit-stand desks) were barriers to organisational buy-in. Preference and work tasks influenced engagement with intervention resources. Police staff would benefit from a low cost intervention targeting social influences, education/skills training, and habit reinforcement (Study 3, Chapter 6). In Study 4 (Chapter 8), a tailored intervention was found to be feasible and acceptable for reducing prolonged sitting in police staff. This thesis provides a ‘roadmap’ for the development of interventions using the Behaviour Change Wheel. Findings from the feasibility trial identified key indicators of successful implementation regarding participant recruitment and retention, which should be considered should the intervention go to a full trial. Future research should investigate the long term behavioural and health effects of this intervention in police staff and other office-based occupations with the aim of improving public health.
    • The design of an innovative automatic computational method for generating geometric Islamic visual art with aesthetic beauty

      Ibrahim, Marwah Mohammed (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021)
      The demands for providing perfect and modern Islamic art patterns have increased, and Arab nations are unable to utilise Islamic art on the computer due to a lack of programs based on generating these patterns. Several studies address the topic of Islamic art from Arab regions and lack endeavoured to integrate computer software to develop or enhance Islamic art designs. With this gap in software to enhance and generate Islamic art, the Geometric Islamic Visual Art program (GIVA) package can support the development of innovative and automated algorithms for generating geometric Islamic patterns based upon pre-defined rules that guarantee the quality and involves key aesthetics metrics. Concurrently, the ‘Triangulation’ Mixed Methods Design is adapted by first developing a mathematical formula to generate Islamic art, determine a quantitative approach for a procedure of cross-sectional design, and follow a qualitative approach through semi-structured interviews. The software program development is based on a pre-existing mathematical algorithm and adjusted to create the Islamic art pattern of a star. The quantitative approach incorporated convenience sampling from 250 recruited Saudi adults categorised into groups of 50 from five locations. The response rate achieved for this study was 80%. The study adopts a pre-existing questionnaire from a previous study addressing the computerisation of Islamic art. A correlation is identified between previous use of graphical computer programs by the participants to create Islamic art and their intentions to use the new GIVA software. For the qualitative phase, nine experts from the College of Art, Design of King Abdul-Aziz University and Nawaf Company General Contracting were interviewed. They provided an evaluation of the patterns on several aesthetic themes including spaces between patterns, distances and sizes, colour grading, shape diversity, uniqueness, and complexity. The series of eight themes were obtained from qualitative data analysis using thematic analysis, by using Nvivo version 12 user requirements; spatial distance (in design), the eight themes are: distance and size; colour grading; shape diversity; uniqueness of pattern; complexity of pattern; and participant evaluation. With this quantitative and qualitative feedback, computerised generation of the perfect pattern is possible. This study can inform the Ministry of Culture, support the faculty of art and design throughout Saudi Arabia who work on the development of Islamic art using software and further enhance the Islamic art field to make it more popular. The study also suggests a variety of future studies including the use of an alternate formula to produce various Islamic art faster.
    • The relationship between attention and consciousness: evidence for phenomenal overflow

      Baldwin, Michael (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-03)
      There is an ongoing debate in the study of consciousness regarding the relationship between consciousness and attention. While it is widely accepted that attention and consciousness are two distinct processes, the debate is over the nature of the relationship, does consciousness overflow attention? Four experiments were carried out to investigate the relationship between consciousness and attention, using a modification of the visual search paradigm, searching for a target in a display of non-targets and pressing a key to indicate whether the target was present or not present. The same Methodology was used in all for experiments with eye tracking, to monitor the direction of the gaze. A gaze contingent display was used to disrupt the allocation of attention under two of the experimental conditions. Participants were instructed to search for a given target under three conditions, Constant, Variable and Moveable. In the Constant condition, the target remained when a fixation was made. In the Variable condition, the target changed to a non-target just prior to fixation, changing back to the target when the gaze moved away. In the third, Moveable condition, the target moved to another part of the display when an attempt was made at fixation, with further relocations on subsequent attempts at fixation. It was hypothesised that under the Variable and Moveable conditions increased levels of cognitive engagement as measured by fixation and fixation durations would indicate awareness of the target while still resulting in a failure to report. Study One, involved a feature search, searching for a target that differed from the background by colour, looking for a light red block in a display of dark red blocks. Participants failed to report the presence of the target on around 50% of the trials. The results suggested that participants were making more effort to determine that the target was not present than correctly reporting the presence of the target. Study Two involved s second feature search for orientation. The target was an angled bar in a display of vertical bars. Findings were consistent with Study One, failure to report occurring on around 50% of the trials. Again, failure to report was accompanied by more fixations on the target than correct report, indicating that participants were aware of the target, but were unable to focus attention. Study Three involved a search for higher order properties in terms of shape or form. In this case, looking for an oval in a display of circles. The findings supported those of the first two studies. Failure to report on around 50% of the trials, with a failure to report being accompanied by more fixations of the target than correct report Study four employed a conjunction search, looking for a green circle in a display of yellow circles and green squares. While there were less failures to report than the previous studies, overall findings were the same. Participants were fixating on the target more times before deciding it was not there than correct report. Overall, the findings from all four experiments were broadly similar. Increased levels of engagement in the Variable and Moveable conditions than the Constant condition, for both correct and incorrect report. Further, incorrect report was associated with higher levels of engagement than correct report. This was interpreted as evidence that awareness can occur outside of focal attention, supporting the consciousness first position. Further, that a failure to report does not necessarily been a lack of awareness. This interpretation is open to possible alternative explanations, which are discussed.
    • Exploring mental health nurses’ experiences of a patient suicide in the community

      Makaza, Melsina (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021-05)
      The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of mental health nurses after a patient dies by suicide in a community setting within the context of UK mental health services. It utilised the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore the experiences of ten community mental health nurses who had experienced a patient suicide between 2002 and 2018. The study was divided into two main types of fieldwork, a pilot study and a main study. Using IPA, the ten interviews were analysed descriptively, conceptually and linguistically, which produced rich narratives reflecting their lived experience of patient suicide. Findings from this study produced three superordinate themes which capture mental health nurses’ experiences after a patient suicide: The experiential significance of a therapeutic relationship ending unexpectedly for the mental health nurse; searching for meaning of the patient suicide in the face of public scrutiny; and, after the suicide, the experience of intense grieving, learning, growing and moving on. Their stories revealed that the experience of suicide-loss survivorship as a community mental health nurse creates conflict as well as ongoing tensions between existentialism and personal ontologies. The implications of the findings suggest that although the memory of the patient who has died by suicide never leaves their psychological caseload, the community mental health nurse can be secure in knowing that they fully lived up to their part in the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship.
    • A study of the prevention of child sexual exploitation and the exploration of social workers’ perception of child sexual exploitation: a case study of Harare (Zimbabwe) and London (UK).

      Jera, Nathan Togara (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-07-30)
      The purpose of this research was to explore how Harare (Zimbabwe) and London (United Kingdom, UK) social workers understand and interpret ‘child sexual exploitation’ (CSE), and how they apply CSE policies and legislation to practice, including addressing the barriers they encounter when trying to protect children. Recognising that individual social workers interpret CSE legislation and policies differently, this thesis contributes new knowledge and shows gaps in practice within a ‘developing’ (Zimbabwe) and a ‘developed’ (UK) country. I decided to adopt a qualitative phenomenological approach with elements of a comparative study between Harare and London which provided an opportunity to make an in-depth study of the phenomena. I have chosen these two cities as both are experiencing increased identification of cases of sexually exploited children. More so, the two countries, Zimbabwe, and the UK, share a common history in that the former was once a British colony. A review of existing literature on CSE and professionals’ experiences was utilised in order to shed light on the results. To deepen my knowledge of this context, and prepare for interviews with social workers, I first piloted my semi-structured interview questions with three work colleagues who had knowledge of CSE. The study is primarily based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with fifteen social workers from Harare and fifteen social workers from London who had experience of working with children at risk of CSE. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach, allowing me to inductively extract complex issues from my data, which was important to my topic using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The main findings of this research concluded that despite CSE being a subject that has attracted attention in both Harare and London, social workers still require more conscientisation, training and knowledge if their practice is to be more effective in reducing rates of CSE. The study noted that individual social workers give different interpretations of CSE and legislations and policies that guide practice, regardless of different geographical spatial locations. Although in London the study noted that some social workers still looked at CSE from a gender perspective towards girls, in Harare findings showed that customary law was legitimising gendered notions of CSE, posing challenges to social work intervention. In conclusion, the recommendations within this study, if adopted, have the potential to articulate and resolve some of the problems that social workers face during practice.
    • History assisted energy efficient spectrum sensing In cognitive radio networks

      Syed, Tazeen Shabana (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-11)
      The ever-increasing wireless applications and services has generated a huge demand for the RF spectrum. The strict and rigid policy of spectrum management by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rendered spectrum a valuable resource. The disproportion in the usage of spectrum between the licensed primary users (PUs) and the enormous unlicensed secondary users (SUs) in the band has created spectrum scarcity. This imbalance can be alleviated by the Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) based on Cognitive Radio Network (CRN) paradigm by significantly improving the efficiency of spectrum utilisation of the wireless networking systems. DSA enables unlicensed secondary users (SUs) also known as cognitive radios (CRs) to sense the spectral environment and access the licensed spectrum opportunistically without causing any interference to the licensed primary users (PUs). Spectrum sensing is the most prominent capability of CRs to effectively detect the presence or absence of licensed primary users (PUs) in the band. Sensing provides protection to primary users (PUs) from interference and creates opportunities of spectrum access to secondary users (SUs). However, scanning the spectrum continuously is critical and power intensive. The high-power consumption in battery operated CR devices reduces device lifetime thereby affecting the network performance. Research is being carried out to improve energy efficiency and offer viable solutions for extending lifetime for wireless devices. In this thesis, the work focuses on the energy efficient spectrum sensing of CR networks. The main aim is to reduce the percentage of energy consumption in the CR system in possible ways. Primarily, the conventional energy detection (ED) and the cyclostationary feature detection (CFD) spectrum sensing mechanisms were employed to sense the spectrum. Aiming on energy efficiency, a novel history assisted spectrum sensing scheme has been proposed which utilises an analytical engine database (AED). It generates a rich data set of spectrum usage history that can be used by CRs to make efficient sensing decisions modelled using Markov chain model. The usage of sensing history in decision making, results in decreasing the frequency of spectrum scanning by the CRs thereby reducing the processing cost and the sensing related energy consumption. It shows 17% improvement in energy saving compared to the conventional sensing scheme. The key performance parameters such as probability of miss detection (PMD), probability of false alarm (PF) and probability of detection (PD) were investigated using ROC curves. Extensive performance analysis is carried out by implementing two traditional sensing schemes ED and CFD in terms of computational cost and energy consumption and shows 50% improvement in effective energy saved by using history assisted spectrum sensing mechanism. Further, to address the high energy consumption during communication between CRs / stations (STAs) and the base station (BS), a novel energy efficient Group Control Slot allocation (GCSA) mac protocol has been proposed. Publish/Subscribe (PUB-SUB) and point-to-point messaging models have been implemented for data communication between BS, STAs and AED. The proposed mac protocol increases the number of STAs to enter in to sleep mode thereby conserving the energy consumed during idle state. Furthermore, cluster based co-operative spectrum sensing (CSS) is considered for reducing the energy utilised for data communication between CRs and BS by electing a cluster head (CH) using fuzzy logic-based clustering algorithm. The cluster head (CH) collects, aggregates data from cluster members and it is only the CHs that communicate to the BS. Thus, there is no communication between individual non-CH CRs and BS, thereby significantly reducing the energy consumption and improving the network lifetime of the CR system. Extensive simulations were performed in MATLAB and results are presented for all the proposed schemes.
    • Hybrid energy-storage system for mobile RF energy harvesting wireless sensors

      Munir, Bilal (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-07)
      This thesis discusses the impact of the supercapacitor size on the performance of the mobile battery-less RF energy harvesting system. The choice of supercapacitor is crucial in mobile systems. The small supercapacitor can charge quickly and activate the sensor in a few seconds in the low-energy area but cannot provide a significant amount of energy to the sensor to do heavy energy tasks such as programming or communication with the base station. On the other hand, large supercapacitors have a sensor node for heavy energy tasks in a high-energy zone but may not be able to activate in a low energy zone. The proposed hybrid energy-storage system contains two supercapacitors of different sizes and a switching circuit. An adaptive-learning switching algorithm controls the switching circuit. This algorithm predicts the available source energy and the period that the sensor node will remain in the high-energy area. The algorithm dynamically switches between the supercapacitors according to available ambient RF energy. Extensive simulation and experiments evaluated the proposed method. The proposed system showed 40% and 80% efficiency over single supercapacitor system in terms of the amount of harvested energy and sensor coverage.
    • Feature learning for EEG-based person identification

      Nyah, Ndifreke Okon (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-04)
      Evoked potentials recorded on a multielectrode EEG device are known to be a ected by volume conductance and functional connectivity while a task is performed by a person. Modelling functional connectivity represents neural interactions between electrodes which are distinguishable and genetically identical. However, the representations that are caused by volume conductance are not distinguishable because of unwanted correlations of the signal. Orthogonalisation using autoregressive modelling minimises the conductance component, and the connectivity features can be then extracted from the residuals. The proposed method shows it is possible to reduce the multidimensionality of the predicted AR model coe cients by modelling the residual from the EEG electrode channel baseline, which makes an important contribution to the functional connectivity. The results show that the required models can be learnt by Machine Learning techniques which are capable of providing the maximal performance in the case of multidimensional EEG data. The proposed method was able to learn accurate identification with few EEG recording channels, especially when the channel that is used has a functional connectivity with the interactive task. The study, which has been conducted on a EEG benchmark including 109 participants, shows a signi cant improvement of the identi cation accuracy.
    • Social work and poverty: an exploration of social workers’ attitudes and understanding

      Nyamtowo, Milton (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-05)
      The context of this study is the dilemma that most service users of social interventions and practice are poor and yet poverty is marginalised within social work practice. The study therefore set out to explore social work practitioners’ understanding of poverty, attitudes towards poverty and social work and poverty relationship. A qualitative methodology was adopted, involving five focus group discussions and twenty-eight semi-structured interviews within three Local Authorities referred to as research sites. This was more than the originally anticipated sample. A narrative literature review undertaken concluded that social work definitions are contested and this, coupled with regulation of social work, limits social work effectiveness in addressing poverty as it is not one of its major remits. The review identified that poverty is a significant issue affecting most service users and associated with most social problems involved in social work interventions and practice. The review discovered that social work practice pathologizes poverty and generally attributes causation of poverty to service users’ lack of capacity to take advantage of opportunities within the market and provided by the state and a lack of motivation to overcome their problems at the expense of structural factors that either cause or exacerbate poverty. This resonates with individualistic social work frameworks which are risk-averse, reactive, punitive, authoritative, and ineffective given the scale and impact of poverty which seems to be increasing. This is aggravated by the neo-liberal socio-political environment and managerialist social work environment characterised by low morale, high caseloads, paucity of much needed resource for social work interventions. The literature review established that social workers’ attitudes towards poor service users are largely ambivalent and negative. The research data reveals that poverty is a significant and prevalent issue amongst most service users and associated with most social problems handled by social workers. Research participants expressed that there is no shared understanding of poverty, that definition of poverty is important in how it is understood and influencing how poverty is addressed. It emerged that poverty is marginalised in social work education and practice. Research data revealed that poverty is taken as background music and normal. It emerged that poverty is not viewed as a risk factor on its own. Participants revealed that social work lacks capacity, knowledge, and skills to address poverty. Social work education and training does not equip social workers with functional knowledge and skills to address poverty in practice. The research revealed social work professionals’ attitudes are generally negative, stereotypical, and judgemental towards service users. Government policies aggravate service users’ experiences and circumstances. The participants expressed an understanding that thresholds of social work interventions are high and therefore act as barriers. Participants expressed that poverty is an uncomfortable subject to discuss with service users given stigmatisation associated with being poor. This therefore results in service users hiding their financial struggles. It emerged that service users who are poor are discriminated against and punished to experiencing poverty and that this goes against main social work values. The findings echo findings undertaken by many academics and researchers in social work poverty and therefore add to the body of knowledge in social work and poverty The study recommends that that consideration should be made that poverty is taught as a main course in social work education and as a post-graduate course for social work in practice. It is also recommended that social work should promote poverty discourse at the policy level with a view to influencing structural change. It is also recommended that adequate funding be provided for poverty practice, family support and early intervention and prevention. It is also recommended that that government policies that impact negatively on service users be evaluated. Service users should play an integral role in all these recommendations.