Open Access Publications
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Open access publications by faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the Biden School of Public Policy & Administration.
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- ItemElectric vehicle adoption in small island economies: Review from a technology transition perspective(Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, 2022-02-15) Shah, Kalim U.; Awojobi, Mohammed; Soomauroo, ZakiaSmall Island States present features, such as compact road networks, low commuter distances, and often large tourism service sectors, that could make the adoption of electric vehicles for transportation which is an attractive way to reduce their costly dependence on imported fossil fuel and their greenhouse gas emissions. Through the transition theory lens, we review the national policy measures and broad clean transportation targets that small island countries are implementing to encourage electric mobility deployment. From information compiled for 18 small island countries, we find a growing trend in electric vehicle and infrastructure development incentives among broader clean transportation transformation policies and nationally determined contribution targets; and large country-to-country variations in enabling conditions to smoothen EV transition. Small island countries are not uniform but instead are very dispersed across the transition S-curve. The review, therefore, finds that the mobility transition requires island-specific approaches and solutions that will accentuate critical policy and management elements for fostering transitions.
- ItemRegional county-level housing inventory predictions and the effects on hurricane risk(Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 2022-03-30) Williams, Caroline J.; Davidson, Rachel A.; Nozick, Linda K.; Trainor, Joseph E.; Millea, Meghan; Kruse, Jamie L.Regional hurricane risk is often assessed assuming a static housing inventory, yet a region's housing inventory changes continually. Failing to include changes in the built environment in hurricane risk modeling can substantially underestimate expected losses. This study uses publicly available data and a long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network model to forecast the annual number of housing units for each of 1000 individual counties in the southeastern United States over the next 20 years. When evaluated using testing data, the estimated number of housing units was almost always (97.3 % of the time), no more than 1 percentage point different than the observed number, predictive errors that are acceptable for most practical purposes. Comparisons suggest the LSTM outperforms the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and simpler linear trend models. The housing unit projections can help facilitate a quantification of changes in future expected losses and other impacts caused by hurricanes. For example, this study finds that if a hurricane with characteristics similar to Hurricane Harvey were to impact southeastern Texas in 20 years, the residential property and flood losses would be nearly USD 4 billion (38 %) greater due to the expected increase of 1.3 million new housing units (41 %) in the region.
- ItemManaging disaster risk associated with critical infrastructure systems: a system-level conceptual framework for research and policy guidance(Civil Engineering and Environmental Systems, 2022-04-25) Davidson, Rachel A.; Kendra, James; Ewing, Bradley; Nozick, Linda K.; Starbird, Kate; Cox, Zachary; Leon-Corwin, MaggieThis paper presents a new conceptual framework of the disaster risk of critical infrastructure systems in terms of societal impacts. Much research on infrastructure reliability focuses on specific issues related to the technical system or human coping. Focusing on the end goal of infrastructure services – societal functioning – this framework offers a new way to understand how those more focused research areas connect and the current thinking in each. Following an overview of the framework, each component is discussed in turn, including the initial buildout of physical systems; event occurrence; service interruptions; service provider response; user adaptations to preserve or create needed services; and the ending deficit in societal function. Possible uses of the framework include catalysing and guiding a systematic research agenda that could ultimately lead to a computational framework and stimulating discussion on resilience within utility and emergency management organisations and the larger community.
- ItemTemporal search persistence, certainty, and source preference in dentistry: Results from the National Dental PBRN(PLOS ONE, 2022-05-17) Isett, Kimberley R.; Doshi, Ameet M.; Rosenblum, Simone; Eller, Warren; Hicks, Diana; Melkers, Julia; the National Dental PBRN Collaborative GroupObjectives: The primary goal of this paper was to investigate an old question in a new way: what are the search patterns that professionals demonstrate when faced with a specific knowledge gap? Methods: We examine data from a cascading survey question design that captures details about searching for information to answer a self-nominated clinical question from 1027 dental professionals enrolled in the National Dental Practice Based Research Network. Descriptive and conditional logistical regression analysis techniques were used. Results: 61% of professionals in our sample choose informal sources of information, with only about 11% looking to formal peer reviewed evidence. The numbers of professionals turning to general internet searches is more than twice as high as any other information source other than professional colleagues. Dentists with advanced training and specialists are significantly more likely to consult peer-reviewed sources, and women in the sample were more likely than men to continue searching past a first source. Conclusions: Speed/availability of information may be just as, or in some cases, more important than credibility for professionals’ search behavior. Additionally, our findings suggest that more insights are needed into how various categories of professionals within a profession seek information differently.
- ItemAre LARC Users Less Likely to Use Condoms? An Analysis of U.S. Women Initiating LARC in 2008–2018(Women's Health Issues, 2022-06-21) Eeckhaut, Mieke C. W.; Fitzpatrick, KatieIntroduction: Public health professionals have raised concern that increased use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) could raise women's risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), because LARC's superior pregnancy protection may decrease women's motivation to use a barrier method for supplemental pregnancy prevention. This study uses population-based data to examine whether condom use is lower, particularly among young women who are at increased STI risk, after initiating LARC versus moderately effective methods. Methods: With the 2011–2019 data files of the National Survey of Family Growth, we examine the percent of sexually active months with condom use in the year after LARC or moderately effective method initiation for a nationally representative sample of 2,018 women aged 15–44 years. Multinomial logistic models regressed condom use on method type and age group, as well as their interaction, while adjusting for key confounders. Results: The unadjusted likelihood of any condom use is substantially lower among women who initiated LARC versus moderately effective methods (12% vs. 37%), and this difference is greater among younger versus older women. After accounting for differences in women's reproductive and sociodemographic profiles, however, a statistically significant difference in condom use by method initiated remains only for those aged 20–34 years. Conclusions: Crude estimates suggest that condom use is lower after initiating LARC versus moderately effective methods, especially among young women. After accounting for the confounding effects of LARC users’ distinct profiles—particularly in terms of parity and teenage childbearing—the difference is decreased overall and no longer significant for adolescent women. Overall results indicate a need for new STI prevention strategies and policies that emphasize the importance of dual prevention for LARC users at risk of STIs.
- ItemEditors’ Essay: Questioning Our Past, Moving into the Future(Perspectives on Public Management and Governance, 2022-07-19) Isett, Kimberley; Sowa, JessicaAs we take the helm of Perspectives on Public Management and Governance (PPMG), we want to take this opportunity to communicate our direction and ideas for the future of the journal. This starts with considering theory and its role in public management. The role of theory is to help us make sense of the world around us—to take stock of what we know and attempt to bring order out of chaos. Across academic fields and disciplines, peer-reviewed journals that focus on the development and advancement of theory are the home for that kind of knowledge. PPMG, as such a journal, has an obligation to cast a wide net to capture how knowledge and important relationships shift over time in public management. Good theory is enduring. Scholars who develop theory have an obligation to remain open to questioning their fundamental assumptions and biases—and we all have them—so that these underlying currents are surfaced and explored to determine how they affect how we view the world and how those currents change over time.
- ItemPrior Evictions Among People Experiencing Homelessness in Delaware(Delaware Journal of Public Health, 2022-08) Metraux, Stephen; Mwangi, Olivia; McGuire, JamesEviction is frequently a precursor to homelessness. This is an exploratory study that looks at a group of homeless adults who stayed in Delaware homeless shelters in 2019 and the extent by which their homelessness is preceded by an eviction filing. Specifically, we match records of homeless shelter use with records from a court-based database of eviction filings, both in Delaware, to determine the frequency and correlates of prior eviction among adults staying in Delaware shelter and/or transitional housing facilities in 2019. Results show that 21 percent of the people in the study group had records of eviction filings in the 2-year period prior to initial homeless services use. Recent history of eviction filings was much more prevalent among study group members who were homeless with their children (i.e., with families), who were Black, and/or who were female. These findings are consistent with prior research and demonstrate the potential of interventions designed to mitigate eviction to also reduce homelessness, especially among families with children.
- ItemUtilizing an Equity, Place-Based Approach to Guide Our Collaborative Work on Health Equity in Delaware(Delaware Journal of Public Health, 2022-08) McDonough, KalynWhen it comes to a healthy community, the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities (PHC) understands that place matters. Through the culmination of lived experiences and empirical research, there is a well-established understanding that there are healthy communities and less healthy communities and that this is a result of varying conditions in these communities, conditions referred to as the social determinants of health (SDoH). These varying conditions have been produced and reproduced through political systems, economic and social policies, and social norms, and resulted in persistent health inequities. PHC utilizes this knowledge and evidence to inform the collaborations and investments with communities that have the most to gain in the state of Delaware. Through a description of its four strategic partnerships, we outline how an equity, place-based approach guides our collaborative work to achieve health equity in our state.
- ItemAmbiguity among Partners: Understanding Power and Perception Under Conditions of Mutuality(Perspectives on Public Management and Governance, 2022-10-05) Islett, Kimberley R.; Bryan, Tara K.; St Clair-Sims, Rebekah L.Power is a construct that is relevant anytime two actors come together. Typically power examinations have been focused on assessments among actors with asymmetrical power profiles. We argue existing characterizations of power are insufficient to understand perceptions of relationship quality when partners have a more balanced power profile. This is the case with an important class of partnerships—those between governments and philanthropic Foundations. We assessed power mutuality and its effects on relationship quality with a mixed methods approach, relying heavily on fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis techniques and interview data. Our findings point to new insights into those power relationships typically examined in the extant literature, those with asymmetry, as well as under condition of mutuality. With regard to asymmetrical power, we point to needed investigation into the role of intangible resources, such as knowledge and legitimacy, to achieve goals, rather than the predominant focus on financial and other tangible resources. With regard to conditions of mutuality, we illustrate that mutuality yields relational ambiguity in the relationship and results in partner tension. Furthermore, our study finds that under conditions of mutuality, resource contributions from the benefactor need to address instrumental organizational needs, not just needs that contribute to mission outcomes.
- ItemInvestigating the Role of Neighborhood Development Offices (NDOs) in the Resilience of Deteriorated Urban Neighborhoods against the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Empirical Study of Tehran, Using a Hybrid Balanced-Based Assessment Framework(Urban Science, 2022-11-02) Tayebi, Safiyeh; Esfandi, Saeed; Bahraini Moqadam, Sajedeh; Sharifi, AyyoobThis study aimed to develop a balanced-based assessment framework to evaluate the effectiveness of Neighborhood Development Offices’ (NDOs) actions in improving the resilience of Tehran’s deteriorated neighborhoods against the COVID-19 pandemic. For this purpose, considering the main missions of NDOs, 20 indicators were extracted from the literature and delivered to the offices and residents of target neighborhoods to prioritize them. Next, using a combination of the K-means clustering method and the balance-based conceptual model, the degree of balance between the measures taken by NDOs and residents’ needs in each neighborhood was determined. Finally, short-term actions (such as teaching health protocols, providing neighborhood services, and providing walking and cycling infrastructures) and long-term actions (developing public spaces, facilitating access to healthcare, and reducing social inequality) are suggested, which simultaneously promote balanced resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic and possible future pandemics in all aspects of NDOs’ missions. The framework presented in this research can also be used to evaluate and boost the resilience of other deteriorated neighborhoods with similar conditions.
- ItemCritical facility accessibility and road criticality assessment considering flood-induced partial failure(Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, 2022-11-25) Gangwal, Utkarsh; Siders, A. R.; Horney, Jennifer; Michael, Holly A.; Dong, ShangjiaThis paper examines communities’ accessibility to critical facilities such as hospitals, emergency medical services, and emergency shelters when facing flooding. We use travel speed reduction to account for flood-induced partial road failure. A modified betweenness centrality metric is also introduced to calculate the criticality of roads for connecting communities to critical facilities. The proposed model and metric are applied to the Delaware road network under 100-year floods. This model highlights the severe critical facility access loss risk due to flood isolation of facilities. The mapped post-flooding accessibility suggests a significant travel time increase to critical facilities and reveals disparities among communities, especially for vulnerable groups such as long-term care facility residents. We also identified critical roads that are vital for post-flooding access to critical facilities. The results of this research can help inform targeted infrastructure investment decisions and hazard mitigation strategies that contribute to equitable community resilience enhancement.
- ItemA Neighborhood-Based Urban Water Carrying Capacity Assessment: Analysis of the Relationship between Spatial-Demographic Factors and Water Consumption Patterns in Tehran, Iran(Land, 2022-12-05) Tayebi, Safiyeh; Feizizadeh, Bakhtiar; Esfandi, Saeed; Aliabbasi, Banafsheh; Ali Alavi, Seyed; Shamsipour, AliakbarThe upward trajectory of urbanization, coupled with the ever-growing demand for more water resources, has led to increased pressure on limited water resources, particularly in cities with dry climates such as Tehran. Since the balance of Tehran’s water ecosystems has been disturbed, and the quality and quantity of water resources have been affected in recent years, conducting an assessment of water environment carrying capacity (WECC) seemed vital for this city. WECC was used as the basis of water supply sustainability evaluation concerning Tehran’s land use and demographic characteristics on a neighborhood scale. Therefore, the effect size and correlation of 12 types of land use and six variables derived from the literature with water consumption patterns were examined in warm and cold seasons. The results show that land use, population density, percentage of deteriorated area, percentage of buildings over 30 years old, residential–commercial land use, and green spaces correlate significantly with water consumption. The percentage of deteriorated areas and buildings over 30 years old has a negative, and the rest has a positive impact on water consumption. It is also recommended to use the research findings to improve Tehran’s water environment carrying capacity and apply the proposed evaluation procedure to other cities. The results of this research can be used in planning large and densely populated cities with a neighborhood-oriented approach, in which local institutions play an essential role in attracting people’s participation and inclusive urban planning.
- ItemAnswering the call: Offering and analyzing civil discourse opportunities in undergraduate public affairs education(Journal of Public Affairs Education, 2022-12-06) Barnes, Philip; Morris, Michael P.; Pierce, Andrea L.; Shaffer, Timothy J.The widening cracks in the foundations of American democracy are leading to appeals for higher educational institutions generally, and public affairs programs specifically, to offer more courses on civil discourse. In this paper, we conduct a curriculum scan to evaluate the extent to which public affairs programs have answered these calls at the undergraduate level. The findings indicate that civil discourse-themed courses are essentially absent in the largest undergraduate public affairs programs, leaving the calls woefully unanswered. Then, analyzing students’ pre-post survey responses from a new course that offered content on the intersection of civil discourse and public policy making, we find that a civil discourse-themed course can simultaneously answer the calls and ensure that students meet the objectives of baccalaureate public affairs education recommended by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The results are encouraging for public affairs education and democratic governance alike.
- ItemPrevalence of Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Among Medicaid Enrollees Treated With Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in 11 States, 2016–2019(Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2023-01-23) Ahrens, Katherine; Sharbaugh, Michael; Jarlenski, Marian P.; Tang, Lu; Allen, Lindsay; Austin, Anna E.; Barnes, Andrew J.; Burns, Marguerite E.; Clark, Sarah; Zivin, Kara; Mack, Aimee; Liu, Gilbert; Mohamoud, Shamis; McDuffie, Mary Joan; Hammerslag, Lindsey; Gordon, Adam J.; Donohue, Julie M.; The Writing Committee for Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research NetworkBackground: Limited information exists about testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Medicaid enrollees after starting medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), despite guidelines recommending such testing. Our objectives were to estimate testing prevalence and trends for HIV, HBV, and HCV among Medicaid enrollees initiating MOUD and examine enrollee characteristics associated with testing. Methods: We conducted a serial cross-sectional study of 505 440 initiations of MOUD from 2016 to 2019 among 361 537 Medicaid enrollees in 11 states. Measures of MOUD initiation; HIV, HBV, and HCV testing; comorbidities; and demographics were based on enrollment and claims data. Each state used Poisson regression to estimate associations between enrollee characteristics and testing prevalence within 90 days of MOUD initiation. We pooled state-level estimates to generate global estimates using random effects meta-analyses. Results: From 2016 to 2019, testing increased from 20% to 25% for HIV, from 22% to 25% for HBV, from 24% to 27% for HCV, and from 15% to 19% for all 3 conditions. Adjusted rates of testing for all 3 conditions were lower among enrollees who were male (vs nonpregnant females), living in a rural area (vs urban area), and initiating methadone or naltrexone (vs buprenorphine). Associations between enrollee characteristics and testing varied across states. Conclusions: Among Medicaid enrollees in 11 US states who initiated medications for opioid use disorder, testing for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and all 3 conditions increased between 2016 and 2019 but the majority were not tested.
- ItemPromoting Spatial Coordination in Flood Buyouts in the United States: Four Strategies and Four Challenges from the Economics of Land Preservation Literature(Natural Hazards Review, 2023-02-01) Dineva, Polina K.; McGranaghan, Christina; Messer, Kent D.; Palm-Forster, Leah H.; Paul, Laura A.; Siders, A. R.Managed retreat in the form of voluntary flood-buyout programs provides homeowners with an alternative to repairing and rebuilding residences that have sustained severe flood damage. Buyout programs are most economically efficient when groups of neighboring properties are acquired because they can then create unfragmented flood control areas and reduce the cost of providing local services. However, buyout programs in the United States often fail to acquire such efficient, unfragmented spaces, for various reasons, including long administrative timelines, the way in which buyout offers are made, desires for community cohesion, and attachments to place. Buyout programs have relied primarily on posted price mechanisms involving offers that are accepted or rejected by homeowners with little or no negotiation. In this paper, we describe four alternative strategies that have been used successfully in land-preservation agricultural–environmental contexts to increase acceptance rates and decrease fragmentation: agglomeration bonuses, reverse auctions, target constraints, and hybrid approaches. We discuss challenges that may arise during their implementation in the buyout context—transaction costs, equity and distributional impacts, unintended consequences, and social pressure—and recommend further research into the efficiency and equity of applying these strategies to residential buyout programs with the explicit goal of promoting spatial coordination.
- ItemEvaluation of Land Use Efficiency in Tehran’s Expansion between 1986 and 2021: Developing an Assessment Framework Using DEMATEL and Interpretive Structural Modeling Methods(Sustainability, 2023-02-20) Tayebi, Safiyeh; Alavi, Seyed Ali; Esfandi, Saeed; Meshkani, Leyla; Shamsipour, AliakbarThis paper aims to reveal the shortcomings of the land use efficiency assessment formula presented in SDG 11.3.1 Indicator and develop a framework that can provide urban planners with a more accurate understanding of the variables influencing and/or influenced by urban expansion. Based on the mentioned formula, Tehran never experienced urban shrinkage between 1986 and 2021, as shown by the relationship between land consumption and population growth. However, the research findings indicate that land allocation patterns have not only decreased most urban services per capita, but have also undermined ecosystem services during this period. In this paper, we propose a new assessment framework by which a dual aspect of urban planning is addressed, namely providing sustainable urban services while protecting natural resources, and using ecosystem services sustainably to support cost–beneficial urbanization. For this purpose, a total of ten mainly repeated contributing variables were collected in the categories of environmental, physical-spatial, and economic–social effects of urban expansion. A questionnaire based on these variables was prepared, and 14 urban planning experts collaborated to classify the variables and identify causal relationships between them. In the following, data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed using DEMATEL and Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) methods to determine which variables influence and/or are influenced by urban expansion (and to what extent). Third-level variables that directly influence urban expansion include transportation (A6), infill development (A7), and entrepreneurship (A10). Spatial justice (A8) and housing and population attraction (A9) were identified as middle-level variables that both affect and are affected by urban expansion. Finally, land surface temperature (A1), air pollution (A2), sewage and waste (A3), water resources (A4), and vegetation (A5) were identified as first-level variables that are mainly affected by urban expansion.