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Why the South African NQF failed: lessons for countries wanting to introduce national qualifications frameworks
(Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2007) Allais, Stephanie Matseleng
This article examines the South African National Qualifications Framework as a case study of a particular approach to the design of qualifications frameworks, which revolves around the specification of learning outcomes separate from educational institutions or programmes. It shows how an outcomes-led qualifications framework was seen as a desirable policy intervention by educationalists and reformers across the political spectrum, as outcomes were thought to be a mechanism for improving the quality and quantity of education as well as its relevance to the economy and society, for increasing access to education, and for democratising education. All these claims are based on the idea that outcomes statements are transparent. The article demonstrates that outcomes-based qualifications cannot provide the clear, unambiguous, and explicit statements of competence that would be required for everyone to know what it is that the bearer of a qualification can do. This lack of transparency leads to a further specification of outcomes. This in turn leads to a downward spiral of specification, which never reaches transparency, and an upward spiral of regulations, which is also caught in the logical problem of the downward spiral of specification. This model is not just unnecessary, but could in fact undermine the provision of education. The article suggests that while this type of model appears attractive particularly to poor countries, it is in these countries that it is likely to do the most damage.
Labour market outcomes of national qualifications frameworks in six countries
(Taylor and Francis Group, 2017) Allais, Stephanie
This article presents the major findings of an international study that attempted to investigate the labour market outcomes of qualifications frameworks in six countries – Belize, France, Ireland, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia, as well as the regional framework in the Caribbean. It finds limited evidence of success, but fairly strong support for the frameworks. The continued popularity of qualifications frameworks as a reform mechanism seems to be symptomatic of the ways in which transitions from education to work are in flux in many countries, coupled with the fragmented and complex systems of vocational provision in some of the countries. Even where such systems are not overly complex they have weak and possibly weakening relationships with work. Insufficient differentiation of different types of frameworks by policy makers obscures these factors, leading to misleading ideas about what frameworks can do in general. Extending existing typologies for the analysis of qualifications frameworks the paper argues that the French framework, where labour markets were the most regulated and collective bargaining had the widest reach, had the clearest relationships between qualifications and work. However, the qualifications framework did not seem to be the cause, but rather the effect of such relationships
Using narratives to inform the development of a digital health intervention related to COVID-19 vaccination in Black young adults in Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama
(2022-11-15) Marie C D Stoner; David Tweedy; Maria G Leonora Comello; Christina Toval; Audrey E Pettifor; Margo Adams Larsen; Alejandro Baez; Allysha C Maragh-Bass; Elizabeth E Tolley; Erica N Browne; LaRisa Anderson; Kathryn E Muessig; Henna Budhwani; Lisa B Hightow-Weidman
Interactive stories are a relatively newer form of storytelling with great potential to correct misinformation while increasing self-efficacy, which is crucial to vaccine acceptance. To address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and medical mistrust in young Black adults (BYA), we sought to adapt a pre-existing application ("app"; Tough Talks) designed to address HIV disclosure decision-making through choose-your-own adventure (CYOA) narratives and other activities. The adapted app (Tough Talks - COVID) uses a similar approach to situate COVID-19 vaccination decision-making within social contexts and to encourage greater deliberation about decisions. To inform content for the CYOA narratives, we conducted an online survey that was used to elicit the behavioral, cognitive, and environmental determinants influencing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among 150 BYA (ages 18-29) in Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina. The survey included scenario questions that were developed with input from a youth advisory board to understand responses to peer and family influences. In two scenarios that involved discussions with family and friends about vaccination status, most respondents chose to be honest about their vaccination status. However, vaccinated individuals perceived more social pressure and stigma about not being vaccinated than unvaccinated respondents who were not as motivated by social pressure. Personal choice/agency in the face of perceived vaccine risks was a more common theme for unvaccinated respondents. Results suggest that relying on changing social norms alone may not impact barriers to vaccination in unvaccinated young adults without also addressing other barriers to vaccination such as concerns about autonomy and vaccine safety. Based on these findings, CYOA narratives in the app were adapted to include discussions with family and friends but also to touch on themes of personal choice as well as other topics that influence behaviors besides norms such as safety, side effects, and risk of COVID-19 in an evolving pandemic.
Exploring Motivations for COVID-19 Vaccination Among Black Young Adults in 3 Southern US States: Cross-sectional Study
(2022-09-02) Marie Cd Stoner; Erica N Browne; David Tweedy; Audrey E Pettifor; Allysha C Maragh-Bass; Christina Toval; Elizabeth E Tolley; Maria Leonora G Comello; Kathryn E Muessig; Henna Budhwani; Lisa B Hightow-Weidman
Background: Few studies have focused on attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination among Black or African American young adults (BYA) in the Southern United States, despite high levels of infection in this population. Objective: To understand this gap, we conducted an online survey to explore beliefs and experiences related to COVID-19 vaccination among BYA (aged 18-29 years) in 3 southern states. Methods: We recruited 150 BYA to participate in an online survey as formative research for an intervention to address vaccine hesitancy in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina from September 22, 2021, to November 18, 2021. Participants were recruited through social media ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Additionally, we distributed information about the survey through organizations working with BYA in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina; our community partners; and network collaborations. We used measures that had been used and were previously validated in prior surveys, adapting them to the context of this study. Results: Roughly 28 (19%) of the participants had not received any doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Half of the unvaccinated respondents (n=14, 50%) reported they wanted to wait longer before getting vaccinated. Motivators to get vaccinated were similar between unvaccinated and vaccinated respondents (eg, if required, to protect the health of others), but the main motivator for those vaccinated was to protect one's own health. Among unvaccinated individuals, reasons for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine included concern about vaccine side effects (n=15, 54%) and mistrust of vaccine safety (n=13, 46%), of effectiveness (n=12, 43%), and of the government's involvement with vaccines (n=12, 43%). Experiences of discrimination (n=60, 40%) and mistrust of vaccines (n=54, 36%) were common overall. Among all respondents, those who said they would be motivated to get vaccinated if it was required for school, work, or travel were more likely to endorse negative beliefs about vaccines compared to those motivated for other reasons. Conclusions: Mistrust in COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy is common among BYA in the Southern United States, irrespective of vaccination status. Other motivators, such as safety of family and community and vaccination requirements, may be able to tip the scales toward a decision to be vaccinated among those who are initially hesitant. However, it is unclear how vaccine requirements among BYA in the South affect trust in the government or health care in the long term. Interventions that include BYA in vaccination messaging and programs may more proactively build feelings of trust and combat misinformation.
Intimate partner violence among pregnant women in Kenya: forms, perpetrators and associations
(2022) Mariella Stiller; Till Bärnighausen; Michael Lowery Wilson
Background: Intimate Partner violence (IPV) among pregnant women is a signifcant problem of public health importance. Nevertheless, there are relatively few studies which have examined the phenomenon in sub-Saharan settings. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the prevalence, perpetrators, and associated factors of IPV during pregnancy in Kenya. Methods: We were making use of the 2014 Kenyan Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) data and included women and girls of reproductive age (15–49 years) who have ever been pregnant (n = 4331). A weighted sample of respondents who have experienced violence during pregnancy (n = 397) were selected for further bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses in order to examine the association between IPV and socio-demographic factors. Results: The prevalence of violence among pregnant women in Kenya was 9.2%, perpetrated mostly by the current husband or partner (47.6%), followed by the former husband or partner (31.5%). Physical violence was the most common (78.6%), followed by emotional (67.8%) and sexual (34.8%). Having one or two children (aOR = 0.68; CI = 0.53−0.88), having secondary or higher education (aOR = 0.53; CI = 0.40−0.69) and being 18 years and above at frst cohabitation (aOR = 0.75; CI = 0.60−0.94) and at sexual debut (aOR = 0.65; CI = 0.53−0.80) were signifcantly associated with fewer reports of violence during pregnancy. Pregnant women who were divorced, separated or widowed (aOR = 1.91; CI = 1.47−2.47), who were employed (aOR = 1.34; CI = 1.06−1.70), who had witnessed their fathers beat their mothers (aOR = 1.59; CI = 1.28−1.97) and who had primary education (aOR = 1.53; CI = 1.11−2.14) were signifcantly more likely to experience violence. Conclusions: To prevent violence among pregnant women in Kenya, training health care providers should go hand in hand with interventions sensitising and mobilising community members, both addressing the socio-demographic drivers of IPV during pregnancy and directing a particular attention to the most vulnerable ones.