Browsing by Subject "LESSONS"

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  • Haapasaari, Päivi; van Tatenhove, Jan P. M. (2022)
    The EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSPD) requires the member states (MS) to pursue Blue Growth while ensuring good environmental status (GES) of sea areas. An ecosystem-based approach (EBA) should be used for the integration of the aims. However, the MSPD does not specify how the MS should arrange their MSP governance, which has led to a variety of governance arrangements and solutions in addressing the aims. We analysed the implementation of the MSPD in Finland, to identify conditions that may enable or constrain the integration of Blue Growth and GES in the framework of EBA. MSP in Finland is an expert-driven regionalized approach with a legally non-binding status. The results suggest that this MSP framework supports the implementation of EBA in MSP. Yet, unpredictability induced by the non-binding status of MSP, ambiguity of the aims of MSP and of the concept of EBA, and the need to pursue economic viability in the coastal municipalities may threaten the consistency of MSP in both spatial and temporal terms. Developing MSP towards a future-oriented adaptive and collaborative approach striving for social learning could improve the legitimacy of MSP and its capacity to combine Blue Growth and GES. The analysis indicates, that in the delivery of successful MSP adhering to the principles of EBA should permeate all levels of governance. The study turns attention to the legal status of MSP as a binding or non-binding planning instrument and the role the legal status plays in facilitating or constraining predictability and adaptability required in MSP.
  • Engen, Sigrid; Hausner, Vera Helene; Gurney, Georgina G.; Broderstad, Else Grete; Keller, Rose; Lundberg, Aase Kristine; Murguzur, Francisco Javier Ancin; Salminen, Emma; Raymond, Christopher M.; Falk-Andersson, Jannike; Fauchald, Per (2021)
    Ocean-based economic development arising from an increasing interest in the 'blue economy' is placing ecosystems and small-scale fisheries under pressure. The dominant policy response for dealing with multiple uses is the allocation of coastal space through coastal zone planning (CZP). Recent studies have shown that the rush to develop the blue economy and regulate coastal activity can result in social injustices and the exclusion of less powerful and unrecognized groups (e.g., small-scale fishers, women, Indigenous peoples and youth). To achieve a primary goal of the 2030 sustainable development agenda to "leave no one behind", it is important to understand the implications of coastal planning and development for these groups. Here, we present a social survey protocol for examining perceptions of justice related to small-scale fisheries (SSF) in the context of the blue economy in coastal areas. Specifically, we designed the survey instrument and sampling protocol to assess whether decisions about the use of the coastal zone over the last five years have i) followed principles of good governance, ii) recognized fishers' knowledge, culture and rights and iii) been attentive to impacts of changed coastal zone use on fisheries. The survey will engage coastal planners (N = app. 120) and fishers (N = app. 4300) in all the coastal municipalities (N = 81) in Northern-Norway. The sampling protocol is designed to ensure representation of different sectors of society, including those defined by gender, age, ethnicity and occupation (e.g., small-scale fishers, large-scale fishers, coastal planners).
  • Jylänki, Pinja; Mbay, Theo Chidiebere Ismael; Byman, Anni Elina; Hakkarainen, Airi; Sääkslahti, Arja; Aunio, Pirjo (2022)
    This systematic review aimed to investigate the methodological quality and the effects of fundamental motor skills and physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic skills in 3- to 7-year-old children with special educational needs. The review was reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA 2020) statement. A literature search was carried out in April 2020 (updated in January 2022) using seven electronic databases, including ERIC, Scopus, Web of Science, PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, and SPORTDiscus. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed with Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) Quality Assessment Tool. Cohen's d effect sizes and post-hoc power analyses were conducted for the included studies. Altogether 22 studies (1883 children) met the inclusion criteria, representing children at-risk for learning difficulties, due to family background (n(studies) = 8), children with learning difficulties (n(studies) = 7), learning disabilities (n(studies) = 5), and physical disabilities (n(studies) = 2). Two of the included 22 studies displayed strong, one moderate, and 19 studies weak methodological quality. The intervention effects appeared to be somewhat dependent on the severity of the learning difficulty; in cognitive and language skills, the effects were largest in children at-risk due to family background, whereas in executive functions the effects were largest in children with learning disabilities. However, due to the vast heterogeneity of the included studies, and a rather low methodological quality, it is challenging to summarize the findings in a generalizable manner. Thus, additional high-quality research is required to determine the effectiveness of the interventions.
  • Autio, Antti; Johansson, Tino; Motaroki, Lilian; Minoia, Paola; Pellikka, Petri (2021)
    CONTEXT: Climate uncertainty challenges the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Awareness of climate-smart agricultural (CSA) practices and access to climate-smart technologies are key factors in determining the utilization of farm and land management practices that may simultaneously decrease greenhouse gas emissions, increase the adaptive capacity of farmers, and improve food security. OBJECTIVE: Understanding how biophysical and socio-economic constraints affect the adoption of CSA practices and technologies plays an essential role in policy and intervention planning. Our objective was to identify these constraints among smallholder farmers in Taita Taveta County of Southeast Kenya across varying agro-ecological zones. METHODS: We conducted a Climate-Smart Agriculture Rapid Appraisal that consisted of four mostly genderdisaggregated smallholder farmer workshops (102 participants), a household survey (65 participants), key informant interviews (16 informants), and four transect walks. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate a dissonance in the perceived awareness of CSA practices and utilization of CSA technologies between state actors and farmers. State actors emphasize lack of awareness as a barrier to adoption, while farmers express knowledgeability regarding environmental change and climate-smart practices but are confined by limitations and restrictions posed by e.g. market mechanisms, land tenure issues,and lack of resources. These restrictions include e.g. uncertainty in product prices, lack of land ownership, scarcity of arable land, and simply lack of capital or willingness to invest. Farmers are further challenged by the emergence of new pests and human-wildlife conflicts. Our research findings are based on the contextual settings of Taita Taveta County, but the results indicate that adopting CSA practices and utilizing technologies, especially in sub-Saharan regions that are heavily based on subsistence agriculture with heterogenous agro-ecological zones, require localized and gender-responsive solutions in policy formation and planning of both agricultural extension services and development interventions that take into account the agency of the farmers. SIGNIFICANCE: This study contributes to existing climate change adaptation research by increasing our un- derstanding of how physical and socio-economic constraints can affect the adoption of new farm and land management practices, and how CSA-based intervention strategies could be restructured by local stakeholders to be more inclusive.
  • Di Minin, Enrico; 't Sas Rolfes, Michael; Selier, Jeanetta; Louis, Maxi; Bradshaw, Corey J.A. (2022)
    Persistent poaching fuelled by demand for elephant ivory and rhino horn continues to threaten these species. Despite international trade restrictions operating since the 1970s, limiting poaching has remained a substantial challenge over the last decade. The poaching economy of such storable goods is driven by a combination of persistent consumer demand and market speculation, and enabled by weak governance, lack of adequate resources for species protection, and alienation of local people who pay the costs of living alongside these species. We argue that restricting the legal supply of such wildlife products has created ideal conditions for the poaching economy - `poachernomics' - to thrive. Strategies that move toward empowering local communities with stronger property rights over wildlife and delivering more benefits to them, including via carefully regulated legal trade, are underused elements in the current fight against the onslaught of the international illegal wildlife trade.
  • Borssen, Magnus; Nordlund, Jessica; Haider, Zahra; Landfors, Mattias; Larsson, Par; Kanerva, Jukka; Schmiegelow, Kjeld; Flaegstad, Trond; Jonsson, Olafur Gisli; Frost, Britt-Marie; Palle, Josefine; Forestier, Erik; Heyman, Mats; Hultdin, Magnus; Lonnerholm, Gudmar; Degerman, Sofie (2018)
    Background: Few biological markers are associated with survival after relapse of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). In pediatric T-cell ALL, we have identified promoter-associated methylation alterations that correlate with prognosis. Here, the prognostic relevance of CpG island methylation phenotype (CIMP) classification was investigated in pediatric BCP-ALL patients. Methods: Six hundred and one BCP-ALL samples from Nordic pediatric patients (age 1-18) were CIMP classified at initial diagnosis and analyzed in relation to clinical data. Results: Among the 137 patients that later relapsed, patients with a CIMP-profile (n = 42) at initial diagnosis had an inferior overall survival (pOS(5years) 33%) compared to CIMP+ patients (n = 95, pOS(5years) 65%) (p = 0.001), which remained significant in a Cox proportional hazards model including previously defined risk factors. Conclusion: CIMP classification is a strong candidate for improved risk stratification of relapsed BCP-ALL.
  • Nie, Peixin; Wang, Cuicui; Rong, Guang; Du, Bin; Lu, Jing; Li, Shuting; Putkinen, Vesa; Tao, Sha; Tervaniemi, Mari (2022)
    Music expertise is known to be beneficial for cognitive function and development. In this study, we conducted 1-year music training for school children (n = 123; 7–11 years of age before training) in China. The children were assigned to music or second-language after-class training groups. A passive control group was included. We aimed to investigate whether music training could facilitate working memory (WM) development compared to second-language training and no training. Before and after the training, auditory WM was measured via a digit span (DS) task, together with the vocabulary and block tests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Child IV (WISC-IV). The results of the DS task revealed superior development in the music group compared to the other groups. However, further analysis of DS forward and backward tasks indicated that the performance of the three training/non-training groups only differed significantly in DS backward scores, but not in the DS forward scores. We conclude that music training may benefit the central executive system of WM, as reflected by the DS backward task.
  • Saari, Viivi; Laakso, Saila; Tiitinen, Aila; Mäkitie, Outi; Holopainen, Elina (2021)
    ObjectiveIn autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) defects in the autoimmune regulator gene lead to impaired immunotolerance. We explored the effects of immunodeficiency and endocrinopathies on gynecologic health in patients with APECED. DesignCross-sectional cohort study combined with longitudinal follow-up data. MethodsWe carried out a gynecologic evaluation, pelvic ultrasound, and laboratory and microbiologic assessment in 19 women with APECED. Retrospective data were collected from previous study visits and hospital records. ResultsThe study subjects' median age was 42.6 years (range, 16.7-65.5). Sixteen patients (84%) had premature ovarian insufficiency, diagnosed at the median age of 16.5 years; 75% of them used currently either combined contraception or hormonal replacement therapy. In 76% of women, the morphology and size of the uterus were determined normal for age, menopausal status, and current hormonal therapy. Fifteen patients (79%) had primary adrenal insufficiency; three of them used dehydroepiandrosterone substitution. All androgen concentrations were under the detection limit in 11 patients (58%). Genital infections were detected in nine patients (47%); most of them were asymptomatic. Gynecologic C. albicans infection was detected in four patients (21%); one of the strains was resistant to azoles. Five patients (26%) had human papillomavirus infection, three of which were high-risk subtypes. Cervical cell atypia was detected in one patient. No correlation between genital infections and anti-cytokine autoantibodies was found. ConclusionsOvarian and adrenal insufficiencies manifested with very low androgen levels in over half of the patients. Asymptomatic genital infections, but not cervical cell atypia, were common in female patients with APECED.
  • Hiilamo, Heikki; Glantz, Stanton (2022)
    Introduction The world’s first global health treaty, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) aims to reduce tobacco product demand by focusing on tobacco taxes, smoking bans, health warning labels, and tobacco advertising bans. Previous studies almost unanimously suggest that FCTC has prompted countries to implement more effective tobacco demand reduction policies. Aims and Methods By taking into account the pre-FCTC status, country income level, and state capacity we studied if ratifying FCTC was associated with tobacco demand reduction measures in 2018/2019. We used logistic regression to assess the association of FCTC ratification with adoption demand reduction measures, accounting for years since ratification, baseline status, and other covariates. Results Except for taxes, state of tobacco policy implementation before FCTC ratification did not predict adoption of FCTC policies. Time since FCTC ratification was associated with implementing smoking bans and pictorial HWLs. In contrast, while the tax rate prior to FCTC ratification was positively associated with increased taxes after FCTC ratification, time since FCTC ratification was marginally negatively associated with increases in tobacco taxes. Conclusions While the FCTC was followed by implementation of compliant demand reduction policies, there are still many parties that have not implemented the FCTC, particularly increasing taxes and ending tobacco advertising and promotions. Implications We assessed changes in tobacco demand reductions measures over 22 years in 193 countries. By using internal tobacco industry documents, we were able establish a baseline before the FCTC negotiations. Unlike previous studies, we included four tobacco demand reductions measures: tobacco taxes, smoking bans, health warning labels, and tobacco advertising ban. The limitation of the study is that we do not have data to describe if demand reduction measures are actually enforced or what their effect on tobacco consumption is.
  • Saarikoski, Heli; Primmer, Eeva; Saarela, Sanna-Riikka; Antunes, Paula; Aszalos, Reka; Baro, Francesc; Berry, Pam; Garcia Blanko, Gemma; Gomez-Baggethun, Erik; Carvalho, Laurence; Dick, Jan; Dunford, Robert; Hanzu, Mihail; Harrison, Paula A.; Izakovicova, Zita; Kertesz, Miklos; Kopperoinen, Leena; Kohler, Berit; Langemeyer, Johannes; Lapola, David; Liquete, Camino; Luque, Sandra; Mederly, Peter; Niemelä, Jari; Palomo, Ignacio; Martinez Pastur, Guillermo; Luis Peri, Pablo; Preda, Elena; Priess, Joerg A.; Santos, Rui; Schleyer, Christian; Turkelboom, Francis; Vadineanu, Angheluta; Verheyden, Wim; Vikstrom, Suvi; Young, Juliette (2018)
    The promise that ecosystem service assessments will contribute to better decision-making is not yet proven. We analyse how knowledge on ecosystem services is actually used to inform land and water management in 22 case studies covering different social-ecological systems in European and Latin American countries. None of the case studies reported instrumental use of knowledge in a sense that ecosystem service knowledge would have served as an impartial arbiter between policy options. Yet, in most cases, there was some evidence of conceptual learning as a result of close interaction between researchers, practitioners and stakeholders. We observed several factors that constrained knowledge uptake, including competing interests and political agendas, scientific disputes, professional norms and competencies, and lack of vertical and horizontal integration. Ecosystem knowledge played a small role particularly in those planning and policy-making situations where it challenged established interests and the current distribution of benefits from ecosystems. The factors that facilitated knowledge use included application of transparent participatory methods, social capital, policy champions and clear synergies between ecosystem services and human well-being. The results are aligned with previous studies which have emphasized the importance of building local capacity, ownership and trust for the long-term success of ecosystem service research. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Willamo, R.; Helenius, L.; Holmström, C.; Haapanen, L.; Sandström, V.; Huotari, E.; Kaarre, K.; Värre, U.; Nuotiomäki, A.; Happonen, J.; Kolehmainen, L. (2018)
    Sustainability challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty and rapid urbanization are complex and strongly interrelated. In order to successfully deal with these challenges, we need comprehensive approaches that integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines and perspectives and emphasize interconnections. In short, they aid in observing matters in a wider perspective without losing an understanding of the details. In order to teach and learn a comprehensive approach, we need to better understand what comprehensive thinking actually is. In this paper, we present a conceptual framework for a comprehensive approach, termed the GHH framework. The framework comprises three dimensions: generalism, holism, and holarchism. It contributes to the academic community's understanding of comprehensive thinking and it can be used for integrating comprehensive thinking into education. Also, practical examples of the application of the framework in university teaching are presented. We argue that an ideal approach to sustainability challenges and complexity in general is a balanced, dialectical combination of comprehensive and differentiative approaches. The current dominance of specialization, or the differentiative approach, in university education calls for a stronger emphasis on comprehensive thinking skills. Comprehensiveness should not be considered as a flawed approach, but should instead be considered as important an aspect in education as specialized and differentiative skills. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Aaltonen, Sari; Latvala, Antti; Rose, Richard J.; Kujala, Urho M.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Silventoinen, Karri (2016)
    Physical activity and academic performance are positively associated, but the direction of the association is poorly understood. This longitudinal study examined the direction and magnitude of the associations between leisure-time physical activity and academic performance throughout adolescence and young adulthood. The participants were Finnish twins (from 2,859 to 4,190 individuals/study wave) and their families. In a cross-lagged path model, higher academic performance at ages 12, 14 and 17 predicted higher leisure-time physical activity at subsequent time-points (standardized path coefficient at age 14: 0.07 (p <0.001), age 17: 0.12 (p <0.001) and age 24: 0.06 (p <0.05)), whereas physical activity did not predict future academic performance. A cross-lagged model of co-twin differences suggested that academic performance and subsequent physical activity were not associated due to the environmental factors shared by co-twins. Our findings suggest that better academic performance in adolescence modestly predicts more frequent leisure-time physical activity in late adolescence and young adulthood.
  • Cole, Robert; Brockhaus, Maria; Wong, Grace Yee; Kallio, Maarit Helena; Moeliono, Moira (2019)
    Themes of inclusion, empowerment, and participation are recurrent in development discourse and interventions, implying enablement of agency on the part of communities and individuals to inform and influence how policies that affect them are enacted. This article aims to contribute to debates on participation in rural development and environmental conservation, by applying a structure-agency lens to examine experiences of marginal farm households in three distinct systems of resource allocation in Lao PDR’s northern uplands—in other words, three institutional or (in)formal structures. These comprise livelihood development and poverty reduction projects, maize contract farming, and a national protected area. Drawing on qualitative data from focus group discussions and household surveys, the article explores the degree to which farmers may shape their engagement with the different systems, and ways in which agency may be enabled or disabled by this engagement. Our findings show that although some development interventions provide consultative channels for expressing needs, these are often within limited options set from afar. The market-based maize system, while in some ways agency-enabling, also entailed narrow choices and heavy dependence on external actors. The direct regulation of the protected area system meanwhile risked separating policy decisions from existing local knowledge. Our analytical approach moves beyond notions of agency commonly focused on decision-making and/or resistance, and instead revisits the structure-agency dichotomy to build a nuanced understanding of people’s lived experiences of interventions. This allows for fresh perspectives on the everyday enablement or disablement of agency, aiming to support policy that is better grounded in local realities. Keywords: agency, participation, rural development, forests, conservation, Lao PDR
  • Linnavalli, Tanja; Putkinen, Vesa; Lipsanen, Jari; Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2018)
    Several studies have suggested that intensive musical training enhances children’s linguistic skills. Such training, however, is not available to all children. We studied in a community setting whether a low-cost, weekly music playschool provided to 5–6-year-old children in kindergartens could already affect their linguistic abilities. Children (N = 66) were tested four times over two school-years with Phoneme processing and Vocabulary subtests, along with tests for Perceptual reasoning skills and Inhibitory control. We compared the development of music playschool children to their peers either attending to similarly organized dance lessons or not attending to either activity. Music playschool significantly improved the development of children’s phoneme processing and vocabulary skills. No such improvements on children’s scores for non-verbal reasoning and inhibition were obtained. Our data suggest that even playful group music activities – if attended to for several years – have a positive effect on pre-schoolers’ linguistic skills. Therefore we promote the concept of implementing regular music playschool lessons given by professional teachers in early childhood education.
  • Wong, Grace Yee; Luttrell, Cecilia; Loft, Lasse; Yang, Anastasia; Thuy Thu Pham; Naito, Daisuke; Assembe-Mvondo, Samuel; Brockhaus, Maria (2019)
    REDD+ was designed globally as a results-based instrument to incentivize emissions reduction from deforestation and forest degradation. Over 50 countries have developed strategies for REDD+, implemented pilot activities and/or set up forest monitoring and reporting structures, safeguard systems and benefit sharing mechanisms (BSMs), offering lessons on how particular ideas guide policy design. The implementation of REDD+ at national, sub-national and local levels required payments to filter through multiple governance structures and priorities. REDD+ was variously interpreted by different actors in different contexts to create legitimacy for certain policy agendas. Using an adapted 3E (effectiveness, efficiency, equity and legitimacy) lens, we examine four common narratives underlying REDD+ BSMs: (1) that results-based payment (RBP) is an effective and transparent approach to reducing deforestation and forest degradation; (2) that emphasis on co-benefits risks diluting carbon outcomes; (3) that directing REDD+ benefits predominantly to poor smallholders, forest communities and marginalized groups helps address equity; and (4) that social equity and gender concerns can be addressed by well-designed safeguards. This paper presents a structured examination of eleven BSMs from within and beyond the forest sector and analyses the evidence to variably support and challenge these narratives and their underlying assumptions to provide lessons for REDD+ BSM design. Our findings suggest that contextualizing the design of BSMs, and a reflexive approach to examining the underlying narratives justifying particular design features, is critical for achieving effectiveness, equity and legitimacy. Key policy insights A results-based payment approach does not guarantee an effective REDD+; the contexts in which results are defined and agreed, along with conditions enabling social and political acceptance, are critical. A flexible and reflexive approach to designing a benefit-sharing mechanism that delivers emissions reductions at the same time as co-benefits can increase perceptions of equity and participation. Targeting REDD+ to smallholder communities is not by default equitable, if wider rights and responsibilities are not taken into account Safeguards cannot protect communities or society without addressing underlying power and gendered relations. The narratives and their underlying generic assumptions, if not critically examined, can lead to repeated failure of REDD+ policies and practices.
  • Verbrugge, Laura N. H.; Bjarnason, Gunnar; Fagerholm, Nora; Magnussen, Eyofinn; Mortensen, Lis; Olsen, Erla; Plieninger, Tobias; Raymond, Christopher M.; Olafsson, Anton Stahl (2022)
    Long-term livestock grazing has shaped landscapes, biodiversity, societies, cultures, and economies in the North Atlantic over time. However, overgrazing has become a major environmental sustainability challenge for this region, covering the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Scotland. The objective of this study was to elicit narratives and spatial patterns of local people's management preferences for sheep grazing in the Faroe Islands through a socio-cultural lens. We collected data via a Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) survey with an open question about hopes and concerns for sheep management in the Faroe Islands and a mapping exercise for expressing spatial preferences for sheep management. Four distinct narratives emerged from a qualitative analysis of responses to the open question (n = 184): (1) Sustainable sheep management, (2) Nature without sheep, (3) Sheep as part of Faroese culture, and (4) Sheep as nuisance. Visual inspection of narrative-specific maps with locations where either no or fewer sheep were preferred indicated that sheep management is not simply a 'sheep vs. no sheep' issue but embedded in a more nuanced consideration of the place of sheep in the landscape and society. For example, for some residents sheep-farming is not a commercial enterprise but a social activity and local source of food. Our combined methodological approach using qualitative and spatial data can help researchers in other fields identify the interplay between place-specific areas of grazing management concern and socio-cultural values, enabling more targeted land-use management policies or plans.
  • Ojanen, Maria; Brockhaus, Maria; Korhonen-Kurki, Kaisa; Petrokofsky, Gillian (2021)
    There is growing interest – and need – among researchers and research organizations to contribute societally relevant work as well as to demonstrate the policy impact of their research. Diverse science-policy interfaces (SPIs) aim for scientifically informed policymaking by connecting scientists with policymakers. Effective SPIs need to be grounded in credibility, relevance and legitimacy; at the same time, however, they become part of the complex, politicised web of public policymaking. In this article we examine how forest researchers who participate in diverse SPIs in the context of the Global South navigate this complexity. We apply the concepts of credibility, relevance and legitimacy to explore the tensions researchers experience, as well as the strategies that researchers apply when responding to them. The research is based on in-depth interviews with 23 forest researchers and highlights (i) the tensions related to ensuring both policy and political relevance particularly in the context of research led SPIs; and (ii) tensions arising from the need to maintain credibility in the face of contestation and pressure to omit research critical of existing policies and practice and also the legitimacy of ‘experts’ operating within the SPI. Ensuring SPI effectiveness (research impact) also emerged as an additional source of tension. While multiple response strategies were identified, including knowledge co-production and strategic engagement with key policy actors, some of the tensions led to compromises, which we discuss. We conclude by highlighting the need to understand power relations in terms of both planning but also evaluating effective SPIs.
  • Criscuolo, Antonio; Bonetti, Leonardo; Särkämö, Teppo; Kliuchko, Marina; Brattico, Elvira (2019)
    Converging evidence has demonstrated that musical training is associated with improved perceptual and cognitive skills, including executive functions and general intelligence, particularly in childhood. In contrast, in adults the relationship between cognitive performance and musicianship is less clear and seems to be modulated by a number of background factors, such as personality and socio-economic status. Aiming to shed new light on this topic, we administered the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III (WAIS-III), the Wechsler Memory Scale III (WMS-III), and the Stroop Test to 101 Finnish healthy adults grouped according to their musical expertise (non-musicians, amateurs, and musicians). After being matched for socio-economic status, personality traits and other demographic variables, adult musicians exhibited higher cognitive performance than non-musicians in all the mentioned measures. Moreover, linear regression models showed significant positive relationships between executive functions (working memory and attention) and the duration of musical practice, even after controlling for intelligence and background variables, such as personality traits. Hence, our study offers further support for the association between cognitive abilities and musical training, even in adulthood.
  • Nielsen, Kare N.; Baudron, Alan R.; Fallon, Niall G.; Fernandes, Paul G.; Rahikainen, Mika; Aschan, Michaela (2019)
    Mixed fisheries and the marine ecosystems that sustain them are complex entities and involve multiple and potentially conflicting management objectives and stakeholder interests. The presence of multiple trade-offs complicates the identification of strategies that satisfy various policy requirements while being acceptable to affected stakeholder groups. This creates a demand for tools and processes that support learning, cooperation and planning. We report on the application of decision support methodology used in combination with a co-creation approach to scenario based planning for the demersal fisheries of the West coast of Scotland. These fisheries face significant challenges, such as the depletion of key stocks and increased predation by seals. In collaboration with stakeholders we identified generic management alternatives and indicators to evaluate their performance in a structured evaluation using Multi Criteria Analysis. We identify the potential and limitations of this approach and suggest how it can contribute to Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM). This approach does not provide tactical management advice, but stimulates learning and creates an opportunity for stakeholders to search for strategic and policy relevant solutions in an EBFM context.
  • Gronow, Antti; Brockhaus, Maria; Di Gregorio, Monica; Karimo, Aasa; Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas (2021)
    Policy learning can alter the perceptions of both the seriousness and the causes of a policy problem, thus also altering the perceived need to do something about the problem. This then allows for the informed weighing of different policy options. Taking a social network perspective, we argue that the role of social influence as a driver of policy learning has been overlooked in the literature. Network research has shown that normatively laden belief change is likely to occur through complex contagion-a process in which an actor receives social reinforcement from more than one contact in its social network. We test the applicability of this idea to policy learning using node-level network regression models on a unique longitudinal policy network survey dataset concerning the Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam. We find that network connections explain policy learning in Indonesia and Vietnam, where the policy subsystems are collaborative, but not in Brazil, where the level of conflict is higher and the subsystem is more established. The results suggest that policy learning is more likely to result from social influence and complex contagion in collaborative than in conflictual settings.