Who are Customers?

Relevant customers are those who are interested in products or services produced by an organization. A customer is relevant if they have interest and desire, access to the products, and income to purchase the products. All firms have relevant customers and customers who are not relevant. This applies to both profit and non-profit companies (Kaplan, 2010).
For-profit companies, the relevant customers are those that support the organization. For instance, the Coca Cola Company has relevant customers who purchase the products that the company offers and, in so doing, support company operations. Non-profit making companies like the Red Cross society also have relevant customers like war victims, which the organization directly supports. Non relevant customers are basically investors mainly because a company does not directly impact them. Without relevant customers, there would be no company as all companies work to meet the needs of the relevant customers.
A Balanced Scorecard is a performance management system that organizations use to align their mission and vision with daily operations and customer requirements. The scorecard allows a business to measure operations, organizational capacity and financial and customer results. Balance Scorecard systems are applicable to all companies, including public, private, profit-making and non-profit making companies (Kaplan, 2010).
Organizations that have all parts of the Balanced Scorecard operate equally are able to view three dimensions of organization performance which include Operations, Capacity, and results (both financial and customer). Such a company is different from a company without relevant customers because a balanced scorecard enables a company to assess customer satisfaction and whether it has achieved its vision. Companies without relevant customers cannot use the balanced scorecard because the three dimensions of organizational performance cannot be measured.

Border security activities and programs in protecting America- Securing the border: How to do it, why it needs to be done, and impacts on Homeland Security of not securing the border

Key issue 

The research paper for the capstone research project will discuss and analyze the topic of Border security activities and programs in protecting America. The US shares a 7,000 miles of land border with Mexico to the south and Canada to the north. The US border is also made up of rivers, lakes, and even coastal waters. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, US borders are vital economic gateways that bring in trillions of dollars every year in terms of trade and travel. Since there is a lot of movement and activities in these borders, the US can be exposed to harmful activities like illegal movement of weapons, contrabands, and people. It is therefore necessary to protect these borders and promote lawful entry and exit of goods and people. 

Purpose of the research

The purpose of this research is to discuss and analyze the issue of border security, the programs and activities used for securing the border and their impact. The project will involve a comprehensive analysis of border security programs that are mainly conducted by the US Department of Homeland security. In order to prepare for the project, a literature review will be conducted to understand the US borders, the activities that take place in these borders, the security concerns, and addressing these concerns. The research will collect data from various reports, case studies, and other contents that address border security and programs that facilitate border security in the US. This research will help in providing valuable information on the issue of security, how border affect national security and ways of securing borders. 

Research questions

  1. Why is border security an issue for the US?
  2. How to secure the US border. What programs has the department of Homeland Security used to secure the border.
  3. Why securing the US border is important. What are the benefits of securing the US border? 
  4. How does not securing the US border impact Homeland Security? What are the disadvantages of not securing the border?

Hypotheses

The most fundamental concept while discussing the topic of Border security programs and activities is the cross-border flow which involves the movement of people or goods across the border. In order to address the question of securing the US borders in terms of how to do it, why it needs to be done, and impacts on Homeland Security of not securing the border, the research paper will research and analyze two hypotheses. 

Hypothesis 1: increasing border patrol will increase the probability of deterring illegal entries, which would otherwise compromise the US security.

Hypothesis 2: if the Department of Homeland Security shares information and work collaboratively with other agencies, it would be easier to deter and interdict illegal border crossing, which would in turn keep criminals and terrorists away from the US. 

Hypothesis 1 will attempt to discuss the objectives and success of the Border Patrol that the DHS uses to keep US borders safe. Border patrol agents help in preventing criminals and terrorists together with their weapons from getting into the country while seizing contrabands and preventing illegal entry into the US. Since its inception in 1924, Border Patrol has helped in preventing the entry of illegal aliens into the US. After the 9/11 attacks and the increased global security threats, it is critical for the DHS to increase border patrol activities and resources. The research paper will analyze the border patrol program, its benefits, and what more can be done.

Hypothesis 2 will shed more light on how collaboration and sharing of intelligence can help DHS and other federal agencies to secure the US borders. According to the DHS, border points can put the US security at risk as this is the point at which terrorists or criminals get into the country. Without networked intelligence, individuals who are vaguely suspicious but cannot be arrested at the border might enter the country just the way it happened in 9/11. Hypothesis 2 will therefore attempt to analyze how sharing intelligence across local and federal agencies will secure the US borders while still promoting lawful entry and exit.

Research variables

In order to evaluate the two hypotheses, the research will involve a number of variables. The research paper will use both dependent and independent variables to evaluate the two hypotheses. Variables for hypothesis 1 will include border patrol activities and programs including border patrol agents, border patrol operations, budget and resources for border patrol, and surveillance assets used in border patrol. The research paper will discuss how increasing the number of border patrol agents will promote security. In addition, it will be critical to discuss the duties, responsibilities and mandate of border patrol agents in promoting border security. 

Border patrol agents engage in a number of operational activities that aim at protecting the security of the US. Addressing these border patrol operations will shed more light on how border patrol affects border security. The Border patrol Program is also influenced by budget and resources allocated to the program. Over the past three decades, border security and enforcement has become a priority with the border enforcement budget increasing every year. This variable shall be discussed to analyze how budgetary allocations for border patrol will affect the issue of border security. Another variable to use in evaluating the hypothesis is surveillance assets used by border patrol agents and activities. Border patrol uses a number of security assets, facilities, and technology to carry out operations and activities. Addressing these security assets will evaluate the need for increasing border patrol as proposed by hypothesis 1.

While evaluating hypothesis 2, the research paper will assess the type and level of sharing intelligence and reinforcement resources between the US agencies. The paper will discuss how sharing of information across different government agencies can help in ensuring the security of US borders. The research paper will also identify how DHS components are sharing information with law enforcement agencies and other parties in the broader intelligence community. In order to better evaluate hypothesis 2, the research paper will discuss the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBET) program, its components and its contributions in sharing intelligence and reinforcement resources between the US and Canadian agencies. The research paper will discuss the importance of sharing information across different agencies, how to share it and the impacts of Homeland Security.

The type of research to be conducted will be exploratory as this will help in providing support and finding explanations to the hypothesis proposed. This type of research will help in providing explanations to the different variables under the topic of Border security activities and programs in protecting America. However, exploratory research requires the information to be unbiased, reliable, and valid, as well as provide a basis for inferring causations between the different variables. 

Validity and reliability issues

A variable is valid if it assesses or measures what it was intended to measure and achieve the main purpose it was intended for. Before conducting a research, a researcher must always ensure that the variable used would result inaccurate conclusions. According to Brians, Willnat, Manheim, and Rich (2011), validity can be improved by using a wide range of content and focus on the important information. In order to ensure that the data presented in the research is valid and representative of the population or theory being examined, I would use a number of resources related to the topic of study. Most of these resources will be reports and articles prepared by or for the US Department of Homeland Security. Most of the information will be derived from the DHS website and other reliable resources. Another way of validating the data will be construct validation which involves establishing relationships between different indicators of the same or different concepts in the topic of Border security activities and programs in protecting America.

Reliability involves the consistency of the data collected in a research. Unlike validity, reliability does not need to be addressed. However, by conducting a literature review and analyzing numerous reports and primary data sources that attempt to answer the research questions, the data collected in the research project is likely to be consistent.

Literature review

The literature review to address the topic of study will involve a number of primary resources. A total of eight references will be used to provide the information needed to answer the homeland security question and hypothesis.

Haddal, C. (2010). Border Security: The Role of the US Border Patrol. Congressional Research Service 7-5700. 

This CRS report discusses the role of the United States Border Patrol (USBP) in protecting the country against illegal immigrants. According to the report, the primary mission of the USBP is to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists and weapons, and also prevent the unauthorized entry of aliens into the US. The report discusses the mandate and duties of the Border Patrol before and after the 9/11 security landscape. The report also addresses the importance of sharing intelligence across different agencies and some of the challenges that border patrol faces. 

Willis, H., Predd, J., Davis, P., & Brown, W. (2010). Measuring the Effectiveness of Border Security Between Ports-of-Entry. RAND Corporation.

This RAND report discusses Border Security as a function of DHS. The report discusses the missions and operations of the DHS with a key focus on border security. DHS ensures border security by interdiction, deterrence and networked intelligence. The report also discusses the contributions of border security in drug control, counterterrorism, and illegal migration. There are also recommendations on how border control can do better in controlling drugs, illegal migrants, and counterterrorism. While the DHS has done a lot to ensure border security, a lot more can be done to ensure that the US borders are safe.

Rosenblum, M., Bjelopera, J., & Finklea, C. (2013). Border Security: Understanding Threats at US Borders. Congressional Research Service 7-5700.

This report discusses the wide array of threats found in US borders ranging from illegal migrants, terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, criminals smuggling drugs and counterfeit products, and human trafficking. These threats pose a number of challenges that have adverse consequences. The report analyzes the framework used by the DHS to assess and understand these border threats. The report is important as it discusses border security and programs used to address border security. It also provides vital information on the issue of border security and how it affects the DHS.

Lake, J. (2007). Border Security: The Complexity of the Challenge. CRS Report For Congress. Congressional Research Service RL32839.

This CRS report discusses the vital function of Border security in protecting US citizens from terrorism and their activities of destruction. The report provides a framework that can help policy makers to understand the whole issue of border security. The report provides facts on the role of border security in Homeland security and how terrorists can be interdicted at the border. In order to enhance border security, policy makers will need to focus on the movement of goods from place to place, the movement of custody, and the movement of information and documents across the US borders. 

Haddal, C. (2010). People Crossing Borders: An Analysis of US Border Protection Policies. Congressional Research Service 7-5700

According to this report, the US border has been the main focus of policy discussions in the US since the 1980s. The report discusses the composition of the current border protection framework, its usefulness, and what more can be done to achieve effective border protection. The current border protection framework is made up of a mission, three goals and about five strategic elements. However, the framework is vague considering the current nature of the threats and activities in the US borders. The report also provides recommendations on the short term and long term options for more effective border protection. 

US Customs and Border Protection. (2012). 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan. The Mission: Protect America. US Border Patrol.

This report discusses a risk bases strategic plan that will run between 2012 and 2013 with the aim of securing the border. The report also discusses ways of enhancing capabilities against the highest threats and rapid response along the border. There are a number of objectives and programs that will use information, intelligence, and quick response to develop and use better tactics of achieving Border Patrol objectives. According to the report, integrating all the components of Customs and Border Protection (CPB) is critical in unifying efforts such as intelligence collaboration and corridor campaigns to facilitate border security operations.

Steinmetz, T. (2011). Mitigating the Exploitation of US Borders by Jihadists and Criminal Organizations. Journal of Strategic Security, 4(3) 29-48.

According to this journal article, the US government started to improve security in areas in areas of large population after the 9/11 attacks. The DHS was established to enhance airport security and custom enforcement in order to ensure border security. However, there has been a growing threat of security in US borders, particularly the southwest border. Some of these threats include organized crime and terrorist infiltration. This article discusses the successes of and deficiencies of border security in the US and what the DHS can do to enhance border security. The recommendations suggested in the article include enhancing border patrol and sharing intelligence across federal agencies. 

Border Network for Human Rights. (2008). U.S.-Mexico Border Policy Report. Border Network for Human Rights.

According to this report, the US-Mexico border is largely a militarized zone that seeks to deter any efforts of illegal border crossing. The report discusses the impacts of intensified border enforcement and militarization of the US-Mexico border. According to the article, the border patrol activities have led to smugglers, vigilantes, federal enforcement violations and avoidable deaths. The report provides recommendations on more effective ways of ensuring the security of the US borders, including reviews of border operations and technologies, accountability of border enforcement, establish ports of entry, remove border walls and fencing and diluting law enforcement resources. 

 

Business law

Delilah, does not return with wood pulp, but brings back three contracts. Acting within the scope of her authority, she contracted with Evon, who knew your identity at the time; Felipe, who knew that Delilah was acting on behalf of someone but not whom; and Giorgio, who did not know that Delilah was acting on anyone’s behalf. For which contracts, if any, are you liable? For which contracts, if any, is Delilah liable? Explain.

From this scenario, Delilah is acting on behalf of the company so she is an agent. According to the agency law, an agent is a person who acts in the name of or on behalf of a person or an entity with authority to do so. In would therefore be liable of all the three contracts that Delilah came in with. According to the agency law, an agency relationship occurs when an individual or entity contracts another person to conduct activities on behalf of the entity. An agency relationship can be created by an agreement or operation of law. In this case, I sent Delilah to secure wood pulp sources on my behalf. 

As the principal, I owe Delilah duties in contract and tort. In the contract with Evon, I am liable because Evon knew that Delilah was acting on my behalf to seek would pulp sources. I am liable for the contract as Evon knows that they are entering into an agreement with me or my company. A principle that holds me accountable for the Felipe and Giorgio contract is the doctrine of undisclosed principles. An undisclosed principal is a person who is not known in by the third party and so the third party knows the agent as the principal. Even though the Felipe and Giorgio contracts are not aware that Delilah is not the principle, I have the duty and obligation to honor these contracts as Delilah was acting on behalf of me. 

However, Delilah has the duty to always act in the interest of the principal, avoid self-dealing and preserve confidential information. As a principal, I am obliged to pay accounts of monies due to the agents and contracts because Delilah was acting on my behalf. 

 

Aboriginal People in Contemporary Australian Society

Working on Country: Indigenous Protected Areas and Aboriginal Rangers

Introduction

Working on Country is a program established by the Australian government that recognizes that protecting and conserving the environment is a shared responsibility between the government and the Indigenous people. The Indigenous people of Australia have always had long-held cultural and traditional responsibility to protect their environment. The Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) in Australia is a concept that was developed by the Australian government together with the Indigenous landowners. IPAs are areas on land and sea that are owned by the indigenous people whereby the indigenous people have entered into an agreement with the Australian government to promote biodiversity and cultural conservation (Kennett, Jackson, Morrison, & Kitchens, 2010). Under the Working on Country initiative, there is an Indigenous ranger program involving Indigenous rangers whose main duty is to protect and conserve the environment. This paper explores the Working on Country Initiative while focusing in the Indigenous Protected Areas and Indigenous Rangers.

Background

Australia is a continent in the southern hemisphere that is made up of the mainland, the large island of Tasmania, and a number of smaller islands located around the mainland coast. Before the British arrived in the mainland in the 18th century, the whole of Australia was dominated by Indigenous inhabitants for more than 50,000 years. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have had a deep connection with the land and sea environments, which make a huge part of their culture, beliefs, spirituality, practices, and economy of each Indigenous group (Adams, 2008).

Europeans started visiting Australia in the 17th and 18th century and it was not until 1788 that the first British settlement was established in Sidney. Later, six separate British colonies were established, and they became one nation of Australia in 1901. Currently, Australia is a constitutional monarch with a federation of six states and two territories. As of 2013, there were 23 million people living in Australia, mostly from the British, Irish and European migration that started happening 200 years ago (Smyth, & Grant, 2012).

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were about 575,000 Indigenous people in 2012. The Indigenous people are Aboriginal people coming from the mainland Australia, the island of Tasmania or the inshore coastal islands, and the Torres Strait Islander coming from the islands of Torres Strait. Aboriginal people are descendants of the first people to settle in Australia in years dating back to tens of thousands of years, while Torres Strait Islanders are descendants of the Melanesian peoples that lived in the western pacific thousands of years ago (Smyth, & Grant, 2012).

The Indigenous people of Australia have a cultural relationship with Australia that dates back to tens of thousands of years. The Indigenous peoples managed the terrestrial and marine environment in Australia through a mosaic of clan estates. There were cultural rules and laws about how environmental resources should be used, and there were even sacred areas that had very little or no access. However, the British colonists did not understand or recognize the clan estates and sacred areas established by the Indigenous people. The first Australian national parks under the Australian government were established in the second half of the 19th century and most of these parks laid on land that the Indigenous people once lived on (Smyth, 2007). 

Until 1975, national parks, heritage sites, and other protected areas were managed and conserved mainly because of their biodiversity and scenic values, which included Indigenous paintings and engravings. However, the Indigenous people were excluded from these areas and were not allowed to play any role in managing and conserving these areas (Adams, 2008).

Since 1975, the Australian government and the larger Australian community started recognizing the cultural and economic relationship between the Indigenous people and the Australian environment and biodiversity. As a result, the government of Australia started involving the Indigenous Australians in managing these protected area. The Australian government also started transferring ownership of some of the national parts to the Indigenous communities. The increased involvement of the aboriginal communities in managing and conserving the environment has occurred in various jurisdictions at different rates. While legislation provides roles of the Indigenous people in the conservation efforts, the implementation of such legislation remain partial (Smyth, 2007).

Indigenous Protection Areas

In 1990, the government of Australia established the IPA program, which enabled the Indigenous people to look after their traditional terrestrial land and sea country with the support and recognition from the Australian government. The Australian government defines IPA as an area of land or sea that the Indigenous traditional landowners or custodians have entered into an agreement with the Australian government, to voluntarily promote diversity and conserve cultural resources (Walsh, Davies, & Hill, 2010). 

There has to be an agreement with the Australian government in order for IPA to get the support from the Australian government. The IPAs are based on the initiatives of the Indigenous people and their traditional responsibility for their country. In 1997, the Indigenous delegates established the definition of IPAs as areas governed by the continued responsibility of the Australian Indigenous peoples to care for and protect lands for the present and future generations (Walsh, Davies, & Hill, 2010).

The IPAs may include areas of land and waters under the custodianship of the Indigenous people, which are to be managed and conserved for their cultural biodiversity while permitting sustainable resource use. The IPAs are declared under voluntary agreement between the Australian government and the Indigenous people (Smyth, & Grant, 2012).

The first IPA in Australia is at Nantawarrina in South Australia and it was established in 1998. Since then, the IPA program has extended rapidly to other parts of Australia, and by 2013, there were more than 60 IPAs managed by the Indigenous communities and covering an area of over 48 m hectares. The largest declared IPA is the Southern Tanami which is located in the Northern Territory and covers 10.16 million hectares, while the smallest IPA is Pulu Islet, located in the Torres Strait and covers around 15 hectares.

Even though IPA refers to both land and sea areas, the formal declaration of IPAs has mostly been focusing on indigenously owned land. This mainly because managing Indigenous land is easier and less contested than the management of marine areas. The problems in the inclusion of marine areas have been mainly due to the lack of indigenous tenure and exclusive authority of the sea area. However, the Dhimurru IPA located in northeastern Arnhem Land has managed to include the costal land and marine areas (Smyth, 2007).

The main objectives of IPAs are to:

  • Support the interests of the Indigenous communities in developing cooperative management arrangements with the Australian government in managing protected areas
  • Support Indigenous landowners to develop and manage IPAs on the lands in which they live as part of Australia
  • Support the integration of the cultural and ecological knowledge of the Indigenous community with the protected area management practices (Angas Downs IPA, 2009).

Working on Country

One effort to engage the Indigenous people in conserving and managing the environment is the Working on Country program which is an initiative established by the Australian government that recognizes shared responsibility with the indigenous people when it comes to conserving and protecting the environment. The Indigenous people of Australia have been known to protect their land and sea. They own about 20 per cent of the Australian continent, and most of this land has rich cultural and spiritual meaning. Working on Country enables the Australian government to invest in the Indigenous traditional knowledge in protecting and managing the land and sea (Australian Government Department of the Environment, 2013).

Indigenous rangers

One program under the Working on Country Indigenous initiative is the ranger program that has been a successful in achieving environmental benefits when it comes to managing and conserving the environment. Under the Indigenous ranger program, the Australian government recognizes the strong will and relationship of the Indigenous people to manage their land and sea and get paid for their work. There are a number of ranger programs across Australia. For instance, the Kimberly region found in Western Australia is known for its natural beauty and significance. Indigenous people make up almost half of the area population, and they have diverse cultures and traditions. There is more than ten Working on Country ranger groups that assist in managing the culturally significant sites in the area. The Indigenous people care for large areas of Australia through managing cultural sites, conservation of heritage values, biodiversity, flora and fauna, and protect the land from land disturbance, pollution, and climate change effects (Kennett, Jackson, Morrison, & Kitchens, 2010).

Through the Indigenous rangers program, Working on Country enables the indigenous community to provide service to their country, care for the environment and get gainful employment. The Australian government provides funding to Indigenous and non-indigenous organizations under the Working on Country program that employ Indigenous rangers to manage and conserve the environment (Australian Government Department of the Environment, 2013).

The main objectives of the indigenous rangers programs are to:

  • Support the Indigenous efforts and aspirations to care for their land
  • Support the opportunities and efforts of the Indigenous communities in providing services meant to protect and manage the environment, cultural and heritage values of Australia,
  • Provide training and support career pathways of the Indigenous people in managing and conserving their land and sea in partnership with others. 
  • Assist the partnership between the Indigenous people and the non-indigenous people and the government in delivering environmental outcomes (Australian Government Department of the Environment, 2012).

Working on Country program began in 2007, and by 2013, it had employed more than 680 Indigenous aboriginal rangers in about 95 ranger teams in Australia to help in delivering environmental outcomes. The Australian Government has remained committed to the Working on Country program offering real job positions for rangers which are long term jobs that offer more economic certainty to individuals, families, and communities of the Indigenous people. The Australian government provided over $244 million to run the program between 2007 and 2013 (Australian Government Department of the Environment, 2013). From July 2013, the Australian government set aside $320 million over a five year period to support Indigenous rangers. Apart from serving the environmental conservation outcomes, the Working on Country program has helped in closing the gap on the Indigenous disadvantage (Smyth, 2011).

Benefits of the IPA and Indigenous rangers program

The IPA and Indigenous rangers programs have led to various benefits that include environmental and cultural benefits, economic benefits, employment benefits, health and social benefits, among other benefits.

  1. Environmental and cultural benefits

The IPA and Indigenous ranger teams have managed to lead management and conservation efforts of over 1.5 million square kilometers of terrestrial land and marine land across Australia. The Australian government provides the needed training and science while the Indigenous communities use their native knowledge to engage in the conservation efforts. All the environmental projects managed by the Indigenous rangers are of National Environmental Significance as specified by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. About 91 of the conservation efforts involve managing threatening processes to the environment like invasive grasses, marine debris, and feral pigs (Moritz, Ens, & Altman, 2015).

A good number of the projects (61%) under the IPA and rangers programs are associated with managing threatened fauna species like the Flatback Turtle, Gouldian Finch and Greater Bilby. Other projects include those of tackling Weeds of National Significance like the Lantana, Mimosa, Olive Hymenachne and Parkinsonia. 78% of the conservation projects like those found in Kimberly involve managing and conserving cultural and heritage sites. Since the Indigenous people are the ones conducting the conservation efforts, there is a lot of transfer of cultural conservation knowledge between the elders and younger people among the Indigenous communities. For instance, there are country trips, field trips, talks, and junior ranger programs that are carried using the Indigenous cultures and languages (Angas Downs IPA, 2009).

  1. Economic and employment benefits

For a long time, the Indigenous communities in Australia were economically and socially disadvantaged. Years of marginalization of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders took a toll on the economic and social wellbeing of the Indigenous communities. However, the IPA and Working on Country programs have managed to provide employment and training opportunities to the Indigenous people who have been the most remote and economically marginalized. The Working on Country program provided over 730 job positions by June 2015. 

The program has allowed for both full time and part time employment and this provides opportunities even for the community elders and women. By the end of 2012, more than a quarter of the Indigenous people working under the program were women. Apart from the part time and full time jobs, the program has provided an opportunity for the Indigenous people to work on a casual basis, say a few days or a season. The job retention under this program has been quite high at 80% for the year 2012. The employment benefits also extend to the Australian government as the government is now spending less on welfare payments as more Indigenous people have gotten into gainful employment (Australian Government Department of the Environment, 2012).

  1. Health and social benefits

Participating in the IPA and Working on Country programs has also yielded numerous health and social benefits to the Indigenous people. As the community is increasingly engaging in natural and cultural resource conservation and management, the people are more physically active, and this lowers rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and renal disease. The Indigenous people now have something to do for their country, and this has boosted their confidence, self-esteem, and hope as citizens of Australia (Australian Government Department of the Environment, 2012).

  1. Boosting knowledge

The Indigenous communities and ranger groups involved in the conservation efforts have to take some form of training so as to take up the position of rangers and conservationists. Most of the Indigenous ranger groups have attained certificate level of Conservation and Land Management. In addition, the Indigenous rangers are collaborating with scientists in order to gain more knowledge and understanding of the biodiversity in remote Australia. This can boost both conservation efforts and socio-economic development. For instance, the Yugul Mangi Rangers in the Southeast Arnhem Land have been working with the Atlas of Living Australia, the Macquarie University, and the Australian National University to survey and understand biodiversity in the most remote parts of Australia. The Djelk Rangers have also worked with scientists to identify about 25 species of tarantula in Australia (Moritz, Ens, & Altman, 2015).

Future opportunities

There is a range of future directions for the development of Working on Country and IPA programs all centered on continued management of the environment by the Indigenous people of Australia. These future opportunities include:

  • Landscape planning and management under the IPA and other Working on Country programs.
  • Economic development opportunities based on the IPA and Working on Country programs. These opportunities include tourism, sustainable fisheries, feral animal management, and other land and sea use associated with environment conservation.
  • Greater support directed at surveying and monitoring environmental outcomes and management effectiveness.
  • New funding models to ensure sustainability and long term resourcing of the IPA and Work on Country programs (Smyth, 2011).

Conclusion

The IPAs represent a large and increasingly growing part of the national reserve system in Australia. While the concept of IPA started in 1990, there are more than 60 IPAs in Australia, and more areas are being proposed for new IPAs to be established. The IPAs have played a significant role in bringing the Australian government and the Indigenous communities to work together to manage and conserve the environment. The Working on Country program has been instrumental in providing an opportunity for the Indigenous communities to engage in environment conservation efforts and get paid in the process. The ranger programs particularly provide economic value and culturally meaningful employment opportunities to the Indigenous people who are also able to conserve and manage Australia’s ecosystems. 

 

Building self-esteem to alleviate a psychological disorder

Building self-esteem to alleviate a psychological disorder

According to the National Association for Self-Esteem, self-esteem refers to the feeling of one being capable of meeting life’s challenges and being worthy of happiness (2010). A positive self-esteem enables one to meet life problems and not feel victimized, take responsibility for their words or actions, and making conscious decisions about one’s life. People with psychological disorders often have poor physical health and have problems with self-esteem. Building self-esteem can help in alleviating a psychological disorder.

Self-esteem is affected by various factors, including ill health, negative life events like losing a loved one, losing a job, or frustrating relationships. A negative self-esteem could also be as a result of deeply rooted circumstances like traumatic childhood experiences. Psychological disorders refer to any mental conditions that affect thinking and behavior of people. Some of the common psychological disorders include anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders, feeding and eating disorders, mood disorders, substance and addiction related disorders, among other disorders (Carr, 2012).

Studies show that self-esteem is an important psychological factor that contributes to health and life quality (Mann, Hosman, Schaalma, & Vries, 2004). A subjective well-being is associated with high self-esteem, which is also associated with mental wellbeing and happiness. While negative self-esteem leads to instability, positive self-esteem contributes to good mental health. Psychological disorders are similar to low self-esteem as individuals are not able to handle challenges and see the world as a hostile place. As a result, such individuals might have problems expressing or asserting themselves, and they end up feeling helpless in most occasions. A positive self-esteem enables one to meet life’s daily challenges and can help to alleviate psychological disorders, as well as help individuals to change unhealthy thoughts, words, and actions (Carr, 2012).

Building self-esteem can involve doing a number of simple things including:

  • Thinking positively about oneself- people with psychological disorders need to think positively about themselves to improve their positive self-esteem and even overestimate themselves. People with psychological disorders tend to have feelings and behaviors that undermine their quality of life. For instance, a person who suffers from anxiety may feel extremely anxious in social situations and get overwhelmed with negative emotions. When such a person learns to think positively about themselves, they can have more control of their thoughts and overcome the disorder (National Association for Self-Esteem, 2010).
  • Pay special attention to personal hygiene- personal hygiene like getting cleaned up, or styling hair can contribute a lot to the self-esteem of a person. Most people with psychological disorders tend to neglect their personal wellbeing, and this affects how they deal with social situations. Paying attention to personal wellbeing can help in addressing self-esteem issues and this in turn alleviates mental problems.
  • Eat good food- some people with psychological disorders are not able to eat or feed well mainly because their thoughts and behaviors are altered. Food also affects one’s mood, and when one eats good food, they will also feel good. Eating good food and a well-balanced diet would provide one with the needed energy and nutrients to perform daily tasks, and this improves self-esteem while addressing some symptoms of mental disorders (Mann, Hosman, Schaalma, & Vries, 2004).
  • Positive self-evaluations- having positive evaluations, exaggerated self-control and unrealistic optimism are normal for human beings. Those with psychological disorders do not have the capacity to distort the reality in a way that enhances their self-esteem. Having positive self-evaluations can promote self-esteem, which in turn promotes wellbeing by protecting internal balance.
  • Strong social support- people with a strong social support tend to have high self-esteem and are able to handle challenges better. People with psychological disorders are not able to handle life situations and having a strong social support made up of friends, family or mentors can help in improving self-esteem which can help the person address life problems which he would not have addressed before (Mann, Hosman, Schaalma, & Vries, 2004).
  • Accept reality- some of the people with psychological disorders tend to have discrepancies between the real-life and the ideal self. People with low self-esteem also have such discrepancies. By accepting reality, a person will be able to handle daily life situations, and this will alleviate psychological disorders and their symptoms. Meditation can also help one to accept reality by allowing someone to experience calmness, peace, and confidence (National Association for Self-Esteem, 2010).
  • Valuing positive opinions- most of the times, people with psychological disorders are in their own worlds. They also repel other people and do not value the opinions of their friends and family. Internalizing positive opinions will help one to value other people and in turn feel valued. This increases self-esteem and alleviates symptoms of psychological disorders.
  • Making your living space more attractive- living space has a significant impact on the way a person values themselves and how they address life challenges. Having a clean, attractive and comfortable living space can help someone think about positive things and people, and this increases self-esteem.
  • Getting involved in activities- research shows that people who get involved in positive activities like painting, poetry, sports, or even music are able to express themselves better and interact with other people. People with psychological disorders are not able to express themselves well, and getting involved in positive activities will enhance their self-esteem and general wellbeing (Carr, 2012).
  • Getting others involved- talking to friends and family about what one is going through and seeking their advice is important in addressing life challenges which in turn boosts self-esteem.
  • Avoid negative situations- negative settings, places, institutions, or people can make people feel anxious, feel bad about themselves and this might lower self-esteem. Avoiding these situations can help one to be more assertive, and this can help alleviate psychological disorders (National Association for Self-Esteem, 2010).

In summary, psychological disorders are like low self-esteem mainly because one feels victimized, is not able to meet life’s challenges, and one cannot make choices to support themselves. Building on self-esteem can therefore be helpful in alleviating psychological disorders. One can build self-esteem by thinking positively, having positive evaluations, accepting reality, accepting positive opinion, making living space more attractive, avoiding negative situations, and involving others, engaging in positive activities. These activities help one to address life’s challenges, take control of thoughts, words, and actions, and make better decisions to support oneself.

 

BSN nursing/ Identifying a Problem

The setting and/or context

One problem facing a clinical environment in which I recently worked is staffing. I recently worked as caregiver at a nursing home that was facing a major problem in nursing. Nursing homes are facilities whereby patients who do not need to be in hospital and cannot receive care at home receive care. Nursing homes provide basic care to patients while others are set up like hospitals whereby patients receive medical care, or even physical, occupation and speech therapy. Some nursing homes have special care units for patients with serious medical problems like memory loss (Seblega, Zhang, Unruh, Breen, Peak, & Wan, 2010).

While most people receiving care in nursing homes are elderly, other people requiring 24 hour care can also receive this care in nursing homes. The demand for nursing homes in America has been increasing mainly due to the rise in the elderly population and the extended life expectancy. While nursing homes are receiving more patients every day, nurse staffing has remained the same, and it is common to find nursing homes with insufficient caregivers, use of temporary workers, and inadequate mix of professional staff.
Detailed description of the problem

The problem of staffing is one of the key challenges facing nursing homes. Staffing problems occur when a nursing home does not have the number of nurses required to provide quality care to all patients in a nursing home. Nursing homes need nurse aides (NAS) to provide direct care services like helping residents with daily living activities such as dressing, eating, going to the toilet, walking, or even taking medication. Other than nurse aides, nursing homes require registered nurses (RNs) to assess and observe the symptoms and progress of patients or residents, as well as collaborate with physicians in administering medication or developing care plans. Staffing problems can occur when there are not enough NAs or RNs to provide these services when they are required (Seblega, Zhang, Unruh, Breen, Peak, & Wan, 2010).

Staffing problems also occur when there are inadequate proportions of these nursing professionals or when there are temporary workers who cannot meet all the needs of patients. In the nursing home that I was working in, there were only three RNs to serve a total of 50 patients at any given time. While the nursing home tried to employ temporary nurses to meet the growing demand of services, the available nurses were overwhelmed, and it was very difficult to meet all the care needs of the patients.

Impact of the problem

The main impact of the staffing problem at the nursing home is that the few nursing professionals were overwhelmed and were not able to provide services as needed. There was also poor quality of care as the RNs were very few and the NAS could not provide services that RNs could provide. The quality of care was a key challenge considering that most of the residents at the nursing home were old and had frail health. Research shows that most nursing homes do not have the capacity to deliver quality care to patients mainly because of inadequate staff (Ouslander, Lamb, Perloe, Givens, Kluge, Rutland, Atherly, & Saliba, 2010). Most of the patients are therefore likely to experience a decline in their health if they are not able to get adequate personal treatment or care. The nursing home also had some cases of patient dissatisfaction and some NAs worked longer hours causing staff dissatisfaction.

Gravity of the problem

The staffing problem really affects the quality of care and health of patients. If patients are not able to get the needed care, most of them will end up getting frequently hospitalized or re-hospitalized. The majority of these hospitalizations can be avoidable only if nursing homes have an adequate number of qualified personnel. As more patients get hospitalized, there will be more workloads causing nurses to work overtime, and this can be overwhelming to nurses who already have a lot of patients to take care of. Another effect of staffing problems in nursing homes is that it increases healthcare costs. According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), avoidable hospital readmissions cost the Medicare program more than $12 billion annually (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, 2010).
Proposed solution

In order to address the staffing problem, it is important for nursing homes to ensure adequate staffing levels. Nursing homes should recruit more RNs and nursing aids to counter the increasing number of residents in nursing homes. Increasing the number of qualified personnel at the nursing home will lead to improved patient outcomes, improved patient satisfaction, reduced nurse fatigue, and improved nurse retention and job satisfaction.

Research shows that increased use of RNs in nursing home is associated with reduced patient complication and better patient outcomes (Seblega, Zhang, Unruh, Breen, Peak, & Wan, 2010). The nursing home had a severe shortage of RNS and so it can start by employing more RNs to attend to the residents. Ensuring adequate staffing levels in nursing home can effectively address the problem of staffing and its impact in nursing.

Nursing competencies and theory

Nursing competencies and theory

The essentials of baccalaureate and master’s education in nursing are used to specify the curricular elements and framework for building the nursing curriculum for both baccalaureate and master’s education. There are a number of competencies that reflect the use of theory and knowledge in the two education programs.

According to the AACN documents, the baccalaureate has the knowledge and skills to practice with patients that include individuals, families, groups, communities and populations. The baccalaureate nurse should be able to practice with these patients across lifespans and within different healthcare environments. The baccalaureate nurse is prepared to understand and respect the differences in care giving, the increased competencies, as well as the increased use of health care resources essential for patient care.

On the other hand, the competencies that reflect the use of theory and knowledge in master’s education should reflect what the individual can build on and expand on baccalaureate nursing practice. Individuals with master’s degrees in nursing are prepared with extensive knowledge and practice expertise that builds on the entry level nursing practice or even BSN. This enables the master’s nurse to have a wider understanding of nursing so as to engage in higher levels of nursing practice or even leadership. The nurse should be able to practice this theory and knowledge in a variety of settings and remain committed to lifetime learning.

Both baccalaureate and master nurses are prepared to understand the discipline of nursing and practice nursing or patient care in variety of settings. There are various differences between the competencies for baccalaureate and master. While baccalaureate nurse are prepared to practice with patients in a continuum of healthcare environments, master’s nurses are prepared to expand their baccalaureate practice. In addition, master’s nurses can engage in higher practice and leadership while baccalaureate nurses cannot.

Accounting II

Accounting II

A cash flow statement reports on the cash generated or used during a particular period. A cash flow statement is primarily linked to the income statement and balance sheet because it explains any changes in cash and cash equivalents in the beginning and at the end of a financial reporting period. Cash flow statements explain changes in the balance sheet components, including assets, liabilities and reserves. Income statements report on any decrease or increase in net assets accrued during a financial period and these net assets are then recorded in the balance sheet. The profit and loss from the income statement are incorporated into cash flow statements as cash flows from operations (Robinson, & Cope, 2015).

A cash flow states reflects any increase or decrease in cash arising from operating, investing and financing activities. Operating activities are those involving production, sales, purchase of raw materials, inventory and other activities used in delivery productions. Investing activities involve the purchase or sales of assets, while financing activities involves the inflows and outflows of cash (Jury, 2012).

Cash flow statement can be prepared using a direct method or an indirect method. Direct cash flow statements include operating activities such as cash from customers and cash paid to suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. The direct cash statement reconciles the net income with the cash provided by operating activities. A direct cash flow will also report on cash paid for income tax and interests. Indirect cash flow statements show net income before adjusting the net income to convert it to a cash basis from operating activities. One will need to add back non-cash costs and expenses like depreciation and losses from a fixed asset. GAAP allows the use of both the direct and indirect method of preparing cash flow statements. However, GAAP encourages the indirect method, but the net income should always be reconciled with net cash flows from operating activities (Walton, & Aerts, 2006).

Technical Communication

Part A: Email/Text Problems

Emails and texts are used for personal or workplace communication. However, poorly written or hastily written email or texts can cause various problems to the reader. Poorly written emails could have a disrespectful tone causing misunderstandings or offending the reader. Since emails and texts are quick ways of communicating, hastily written messages could have disrespectful tones hence offending the reader. 

Another problem of poorly written email and text messages is that they often use unknown words or terminologies. This might be confusing to the reader, and the intended message would not be communicated. Unknown terminologies might also cause the reader to feel confused and question whether the message was meant for him or her. 

Some poorly written emails also contain a lot of information. Emails and text messages are meant to be brief, straight to the point, and all the important points should be in the first half of the subject line. However, too much information might cause the reader to overlook or misread some of the important information. The reader might then need to do follow ups in order to address problems.

Hastily written emails and texts can be sent to the wrong recipient, and this can be embarrassing to the person sending the email. Sending email or texts hastily can ruin relationships as messages find their way to the wrong person. Messages should always go to the right person as sending the message to the wrong person could cause irreparable damages.

Emails and messages are meant to be brief, concise, and straight to the point. However, poorly written or hastily written emails can cause problems in communication as the sender might not be able to communicate effectively. Sending a poorly written email or text means that the message is not communicated. 

Part B: Writing a Process Description

One process description that I understand well and has several distinct steps in the process of upgrading Adobe reader in the windows computer. This process is broken down into several distinct steps that are easy to understand and follow. For instance, there is the introduction, step to step directions and conclusion. 

The process begins with an introduction informing the reader that the new version of Adobe reader is available and that one has the option of downloading it. The process also states the purpose and scope of the process so that the reader understands what he or she is doing. The process is also broken down into several steps whereby the user is informed on what to do. For instance, the reader is informed where the new version is available and where to click in order to download it. 

The instructions also specify the amount of time taken for the download to complete. There is also the instruction on where to find the downloaded file and what to do with it. The step to step descriptions of the instructions are written in a brief and concise manner whereby there is the definition of the step, the purpose of the step, provision of the necessary context and brief description of any components that are involved. 

The process description for upgrading Adobe reader also has a conclusion whereby the reader is informed that the download or upgrade process is complete and that the application is ready to use. Most process descriptions involving downloading or upgrading programs from the internet are usually well written with distinct steps that are easy to understand. This enables communication, and the reader is able to follow through all the instructions.

Part C: Difficult to Follow Instructions

The most difficult set of instructions to follow are in a food product with a set of chopsticks that I bought. The instructions read:

Using chopsticks 

  1. Chopstick A is used for support. Put this chopstick between your middle and ring fingers.
  2. Put chopstick B between your middle and index fingers and hold it with your thumb.
  3. Open the tips of the chopsticks and try to pick up food with them

The above instructions are difficult to understand and use due to various reasons:

  • The explanation of the steps does not enable the readers to understand what to do. The instructions start by asking the user to place chopstick A between fingers. However, there were two identical chopsticks that were not adequately labeled. While giving instructions on how to various parts, it is important to label these items before giving out instructions.
  • The instructions do not provide examples to enable readers to do the procedures correctly. Since the items were identical, it would have been important for the person writing the instructions to provide demonstrations on how to use the chopsticks. In this particular case, instructions are not enough to enable users to do the instructions correctly. 
  • The instructions sound contradictory. According to the instructions, the reader is required to place chopsticks between fingers. However, there are two chopsticks, and one cannot tell which should be placed the middle and the index finger or between the middle and ring fingers. Such instructions are confusing to the reader and make it more difficult for a person to use the item. While writing instructions, one should avoiding contradictory statements. 
  • Lack of supplementary discussion. While writing instructions, it is not enough to tell readers to do this or to do that. Instructions need additional information to explain how the item should look before and after a step. However, the instructions in the food product did not provide supplementary discussion and so the instructions appear vague and difficult to follow. 

Part D: Ted Talk Lecture Evaluation

In the Jay Walker: The world’s English mania video on Ted.com, there is a number of evaluation criteria that are most salient for this speaker:

  • Organization- The speaker started with a clear introduction on what he was going to talk about. He starts by introducing the word ‘mania’ and gives examples.
  • Visual aid- the speaker made a good use of visual aids in the form of powerpoint presentations. The audiovisuals used in the presentation were very helpful in enabling the audience to follow the aspect of ‘mania’. 
  • Confidence- the speaker looked relaxed and confident and appeared as if he had a proper understanding of the topic. The speaker also established and maintained eye contact throughout the talk.
  • Presence- the speaker appeared need and well-presented while giving the talk. His posture and body movements were appropriate. 
  • Delivery- the speaker showed enthusiasm while presenting the talk and appeared well prepared for the presentation. His delivery method was effective.
  • Grammar- the speaker used appropriate words and avoided using vocabularies and distracting words. He was also very audible and clear. 
  • Speech- the speech used by the speaker was varied and not too rushed. The intonation was also varied and appropriate stressing on the important points and enabling the audience to understand what the speaker is talking about,
  • Timing- the talk was well-timed, and the speaker used the visual aids to summarize all the points he wanted to address the topic. He also divided his time well from introduction to conclusion.
  • Discussion management- the speaker engaged in most of the discussion of the topic and took a lot of time before initiating discussion with the audience. The speaker could have initiated discussion sooner so as to address all the relevant questions and engage the audience more.
  • Content- the speaker was in control of the subject, and he covered all that he intended to cover in the given time. In addition, he referred to other resources and examples hence showing knowledge and understanding of the topic.

 

Operations Management

Operations Management

Operations management refers to the process of managing organizational resources which are meant for the production of goods and services. Operations management also focuses on meeting customer needs or requests through the production and delivery of goods and services. Operational efficiency refers to conducting operational activities at the lowest possible costs. Operational efficiency enables organizations to use minimal resources and facilities to produce goods or services. Operation effectiveness involves engaging in the right activities and processes in order to create the most value for the company. Effectiveness enables organizations to deliver value to customers at minimal time (Jacobs & Chase, 2013).

Operations strategy involves decisions and actions that lead to the setting of vision, mission, goals, and objectives of operations. Operational sustainability is the ability of an organization to meet its current needs and practices without putting future needs at risk (Jacobs & Chase, 2013).

While working as a medical representative at Pfizer, the company’s operations management processes involved managing and coordinating resources needed for designing, producing, and delivering various pharmaceutical products to different sets of customers, including hospitals, pharmacies, and other locations. Without operations management, medical representatives and other players in the marketing department of the company would not have products to sell to customers. Pfizer is a manufacturing organization, and so it produces bulks of pharmaceutical products that can be stored in the inventory before being sold to customers.

One internal area where operations management is implemented in Pfizer is communication between the operations and marketing department for the operations department to understand the market and how it is responding to its products. The key duty of a medical representative at Pfizer is to market pharmaceutical products to groups of customers, including hospitals and pharmacies. The information obtained from the marketing department helps the operation department to produce the products that customers want (D’Mello, 2010).

One of the operations management techniques used at Pfizer is the lean manufacturing technique which focuses on eliminating waste and reducing costs. This is done by harmonizing operational activities at Pfizer. The company also uses six sigma methodology that helps in enhancing productivity, reducing costs and reducing waste. At Pfizer, the key operational activities in the pharmaceutical production process include storage and treatment of raw material, unit operations and shipment. These activities are conducted on the basis of six sigma elements of focusing on the customer, data driven management, process focus, proactive management, collaboration, and drive for perfection (Wilson, 2012).

In order to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness, Pfizer uses various techniques. For instance, the company uses Process Analytical Technology (PAT) that encourages the use of equipment and procedures in the entire manufacturing process for easy monitoring. This has enabled the company to get real time information about the quality features of its products as well as the properties of its raw materials. Pfizer also uses current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMP) that assist in doing away with costly procedures that are necessary for quality assurance and use better practices for quality improvement (Wilson, 2012).

Pfizer’s operations strategy has led to the introduction of various business tactics and decisions that have contributed to the success of the company. For instance, in 2003, the company introduced the Right-First-Time (RFT) strategy that helped in revealing the causes wastes and unnecessary variations in the manufacturing process. This strategy has enabled the company to make a successful transition from manufacturing from an empirical basis to manufacturing science. The implementation of six sigma has also enabled the company to address a number of operations problems like reworking parts, lost productivity, and correction of transactional errors (D’Mello, 2010).
While the operations strategies helped in addressing Pfizer’s operations problems, they did not enhance operations sustainability. Pfizer therefore uses the concept of Agile

Manufacturing that helps in analyzing and optimizing the entire manufacturing process. This concept focuses on the entire value stream and prevents sub-optimizing of operations process to address current and future needs (Wilson, 2012).