Report from the urc 2001 Table of Contents


Sereima Naisilisili continued with her action research on



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Sereima Naisilisili continued with her action research on

 The influence of the course team on Distance and Flexible Learning courses.

PROFESSIONAL CONSULTANCIES
The following unpaid consultancy work was carried out with Foods Pacific (Fiji) Limited :
 Effects of meat texture in canned mutton with brine treated sheep heart. Tumbling sheep hearts in brine solution was found to improve significantly the quality of meat (colour and texture) in canned mutton. This project is now complete.
 Quality improvement in the Top-Brand Tomato Sauce. This project is complete and the product is now on the market.
 Effects of Low-Vacuum Flushing and reduced time of heating on the quality of canned mutton. This project is in its preliminary stage.
 Product Development – Curried Chicken for Papua New Guinea Markets. The product has been validated and available on the market.
The following unpaid consultancy work was carried out with Flavourite Foods Limited (New Zealand) and Foods Pacific Limited :
 Addition of HYDRO 32 and AMOFEN B3 on the fat distribution of canned mutton/beef. Project is in the preliminary stage. First few trials have shown convincing results. More trials are in progress.
 Compiling the Sanitation Program and the Health and Safety Policy incorporating the Occupational Health and Safety Manual.
Other consultancies undertaken include :
 Ministry of Commerce, Business Development and Investment. A paper on Food Processing was edited by the Department prior to its presentation to Cabinet.
 Ministry of Education, Fiji. Review of Forms 5 and 6, Food Nutrition ; Form 7, Food Technology ; and Forms 5, 6, 7 Clothing & Textiles Curriculum to ensure quality presentation at various institutional levels.
 Edited 2 chapters from “Nutrition Handbook for the South Pacific Islands for Forms 3 and 4” (for 6th Edition) by Parkinson, S., Tunidau, J. and Chand, M.

 Goodman Fielder (Fiji) Limited – provided expertise for setting up Microbiology Monitoring Techniques in the laboratories.

 Provided expertise in Seafood Recipe Development conducted by MSP at Food and Textiles Department. Permal headed the Taste Panel Group to validate the recipe developed before publishing.

PUBLICATIONS
 Deo, P., Blaney, B.J. and Dingle, J.G. (2000). Mineral and organic adsorbent in meat Chicken diets contaminated with sorghum ergot alkaloid. Proceedings of Alltech’s 16th Annual Symposium, (Edited Lyons, T.P. and Jacques, K.A.) Nottingham University Press, Nottingham. Poster Presentation.
 Lako, J.V. Dietary trend and diabetes : its association in indigenous Fijians 1952-1994. Asian Pacific Journals of Clinical Nutrition. 2001 ; 10 (3) : 183-187.
 Lako, J.V. and Nguyen C. Dietary Patterns and risk factors of diabetes mellitus among urban indigenous women in Fiji. Asian Pacific Journals of Clinical Nutrition, 2001 ; 10 (3) : 188-193.
 Naisilisili, S., (2001). FT124 : Apparel, Design and Textiles, course materials for DFL; USP Extension, Fiji.
Mathematics and Computing Science
Grants

Jito Vanualailai: URC grant for “Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems”.

Yinhuo Zhang: URC grant for “The Brauer group of a finite quantum group and Hopf codes”.

Papers


  1. Adams, “Capturing a Large, Three Dimensional Body of Numeric Data in a Small Neural Network”, AISAT2000, Hobart, Australia (International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Science and Technology).


  1. Chand: Conference paper “A heuristic approach to constraint optimization in examination timetabling” at the New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium, 3-6 Dec. 3-6 2001, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


U. Dixit, and Y.S.Sathe, “Estimation of P(X <3DY) in Negative Binomial Distribution”, Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference, 93 (2001), 83-92.


U. Dixit, and P. Nasiri, “Estimation of Parameters of the Exponential Distribution in the presence of outliers generated from uniform distribution”, accepted in Metron.
U. Dixit, and V. Dixit, “Testing of the Parameters of a right truncated exponential distribution”, accepted in the Proceeding of the International conference on Statistics, combinatorics and related areas.
U. Dixit, and P. Nasiri, “Estimation of the Parameters of a right truncated exponential distribution”, submitted.
U. Dixit, and P. Nasiri, “Estimation of the Parameters of the exponential distribution in the presence of outliers using linex loss function”, submitted.
U. Dixit, and P. Nasiri, “Semi-Bayesian Estimation of the Scale Parameter of Exponential Distrobution in the presence of outliers generated from exponential or uniform distribution”, submitted.
U. Dixit, and K. Phal, “On estimation of the Scale Parameter of a = right truncated gamma distribution”, submitted.
R. Havea and D. Bridges, ”Approximating the numerical range of a Hermitian element”, submitted to Proc. Amer. Soc.
M.G.M. Khan, E.A. Khan and M.J. Ahsan, “On Compromise Allocation in Multivariate Stratified Sampling”, submitted to Aligarh Journal of Statistics.
E.A. Khan, M.G.M. Khan, and M.J. Ahsan, “Optimum Stratification: A Mathematical Approach”, submitted to Calcutta Statistical Association Bulletin.
M.G.M. Khan, E.A. Khan, and M.J. Ahsan, “An Optimal Multivariate Stratified Sampling Design Using Dynamic Programming”, submitted to Australian & New Zealand Journal of Statistics.

V. Mnukhin, a paper “Saturated simplicial complexes” delivered at the University of East Anglia (UEA),Norwich, UK, in January 2001.

V. Mnukhin, J. Siemons, “On modular homology of Simplicial Complexes: Shellability”, Journal of Combinatorial Theory, A93 (2001), 350-370.
V. Mnukhin, J. Siemons, “On modular homology of Simplicial Complexes: Saturation”, accepted by Journal of Combinatorial Theory.
V. Mnukhin, “Saturated Simplicial Complexes” submitted to Discrete Mathematics.
V. Mnukhin, J. Siemons, “On modular homology of Simplicial Complexes: Rank-Selection”, submitted to ournal of Combinatorial Theory.
P. Nand, and A. Adams, “Cascade Correlation for Analogue Problems”, AISAT2000, Hobart, Australia (International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Science and Technology)
M. Reddy, paper “A Lower Triangular Hermite Normal Form for Projection-regular Lattice rules” delivered at the New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium, 3-6 Dec. 2001, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
J. Vanualailai, paper “Exponential and Non-exponential Convergence of Solutions in Some Classes of Nonlinear Systems” delivered at Massey University, New Zealand, 5 December 2001.
J. Vanualailai, paper “Some Stability Criteria for a Class of Volterra = Integro-differential Systems” delivered at Kyoto University, Japan, 13 November 2001.
J. Vanualailai, “Some Stability Criteria for a Class of Volterra Integro-differential Systems”, submitted to Electronic Journal of Qualitative Theory and Differential Equations.
J. Vanualailai, “Exponential and Non-exponential Convergence of Solutions in Some Classes of Nonlinear Systems”, submitted to Electronic Journal of Differential Equations

J. Vanualailai and S. Nakagiri, “Stability and Boundedness of Solutions of System of Volterra Integro-differential Equations”, submitted to Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications.

Y. Zhang, paper “An exact sequence of the Brauer group of finite quantum group”, delivered at University of Antwerp,Belgium, December 2000.
Y. Zhang, paper “Quantum commutative Galois objects”, delivered at University of Almeria, Spain, January 2001.
Y. Zhang, paper “Galois coextensions and Quantum commutativity”, delivered at University of Brussels, Belgium, January-February, 2001.
Y. Zhang, paper “The Brauer group of a Hopf algebra” delivered at University of Dusseldorf, Germany, February 2001,
Y. Zhang, “The Brauer group of a Hopf algebra”, New directions in Hopf algebras, MSRI Publications vol. 43 (2002),437-485.
Y. Zhang, “Computing subgroups of the Brauer group of H4”, Communication in Algebra, in press.
Y. Zhang, Invariants of coalgebras, book accepted by Kluwer Publishers.
Y. Zhang, “An exact sequence of the Brauer group of a finite quantum group”, submitted to Advance in Mathematics.
Conferences (not listed above)

J. Hosack: participated in “Research Management and Development and Postgraduate Education Conference”, Auckland Univ. Tech, Nov. 2001.


Y. Khemelevsky: participated in “Fiji GIS & Remote Sensing User Forum, Annual User Conference”, November 27, 28 & 29, 2001.
Physics

There are 4 key areas of research in the department:


Some of these projects involve collaboration with colleagues from other Departments, and with international organisations.


Applications of Nuclear Techniques
The Nuclear Physics Research Group consists of Dr S. Garimella (Leader), Dr M.J. Khan, Mr A. Kumar, Mrs U. Prasad, Ms A. Pillay, Mr N. Nand and Professor A.J. McArthur. The main activity of the research group is the application of nuclear techniques to study a range of environmentally related topics. Two gamma-ray spectrometers are available for research. The first is a 10 cm (dia.) x 7.5 cm NaI (T1) detector (in a 10 cm thick lead shielding) coupled to a 512-channel analyser. The second is a HPGe detector (resolution 1.80 keV and efficiency 24.5% relative to NaI, also enclosed in 10 cm thick lead shielding) coupled to a 8196-channel analyser. The group also has two high-volume air samplers (capacities of 1 m3 min-1 and 2 m3 min-1.
The research activities of the group cover three main categories: nuclear physics, environmental radioactivity, and neutron activation analysis. The group collaborates with other scientists both within and beyond USP.

In the category of nuclear physics, Dr Garimella and Professor A. Adams (Department of Mathematics and Computing Science) have been evaluating theoretically and experimentally the solid angle subtended by extended radioactive sources (such as soils, etc.) at a detector. The effect of self-absorption in the source for low-energy gamma-rays is included in their analysis. Ms Aarti Pillay is currently investigating the geometry subtended by Marinelli-type sources (containing 40K) with the NaI (T1) detector as part of her MSc project, under the supervision of Dr Garimella and Professor Adams.

In the category of environmental radioactivity, regular measurements are made of natural radioactivity and fallout (from previous nuclear weapon tests) in the environment of Viti Levu: the air, soil, vegetation and marine samples (sediments, corals, etc.). Projects currently under investigation are:


  • Natural radioactivity and 137Cs fallout in soils and marine sediments (Dr Garimella, Dr Khan, Mrs Prasad and Mr N. Nand).

  • Concentrations of 7Be in surface air (MSc project of Mr Sushendra Singh, Department of Chemistry; supervisors: Dr Garimella and Dr K. Koshy).

  • Agricultural soil erosion studies using the 137Cs technique (PhD project of Mr Ajal Kumar; supervisors: Dr Garimella, Professor McArthur and Dr J. Terry from the Geography Department).

  • Floodplain sedimentation studies using the 137Cs technique (Dr Garimella, Dr J. Terry (Geography Department) and Dr R. Kostachuk from the Geography Department, University of Guelph, Canada).

  • Inter-comparison measurements of environmental radioactivity standards from EML (Environmental Measurements Laboratory, The Department of Energy, New York, USA) and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria). The team (Dr Garimella, Mr S. Singh and Mr N. Nand) is measuring radionuclides in fish from the Irish and North Sea (IAEA-414) and in three samples from EML (airfilter, soil and vegetation: code QAP009).



  • In the third category, the chemical composition, particularly of trace elements, of environmental samples is studied using the method of neutron activation analysis (NAA). Since Fiji does not have a nuclear reactor, samples under investigation are irradiated at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Sydney) and flown back to Suva for measurement of induced activities using the HPGe spectrometer. At present investigations are being carried out on profiles of radiocaesium (137Cs) deposition and elemental composition in sediment cores from the Suva lagoon by Mr Nitin Nand as part of his MSc project supervised by Dr Garimella.

The Group established research cooperation with ECOTROUPE Research Group of the Institute for Development and Research (IRD), Noumea, New Caledonia, to carry out neutron activation analysis projects and sedimentation rate studies in lagoons and rivers in Fiji. In this connection Dr. Garimella visited IRD during 6-13 October 2001.




  1. Energy and Environment

The main activities in the ‘energy’ area have been projects in renewable energy, coordinated through the Physics Technology Energy Team (PTET). Dr Kumar took over the coordinatorship of PTET since the beginning of the year following the departure of Dr Prasad. The other staff involved in nrenewable energy activities included: Dr M J Khan, Mr Ajal Kumar, Dr Robert Kennedy. Mr Rupeni Mario, Professor Godfrey Onwubolu, Mr Samuela Tukana, Dr Samuel Aborhey who has since left. The current projects include:




  • Capacity Building for wind power – a joint project between USP, SOPAC and UNEP, funded by DANIDA. Currently, arrangements are being finalized for the installation of a demonstration wind energy system, close to the campus. This facility will be used for teaching, research and raising awareness. Drs Khan and Kumar are the key personnel involved in this project.

  • Use of coconut oil as substitute for diesel. Nofaga Sakimi has embarked on a project, under the supervision of Dr Kumar, as part of his MSc, to look at the technical and socio-economic implications of using this alternative biofuel in rural communities using Rotuma as a case study.

  • Work is underway to complete an ‘Energy Audit’ of the Coca-Cola factory in Suva. This will involve Drs Kennedy, Khan & Kumar, Mr Ajal Kumar and Mr Rupeni Mario (post-graduate student in Physics)
  • Possible collaboration with UNESCO on preparations of ‘Renewable Energy Kit’. PTET earlier hosted a UNESCO team headed by Tony Marjoram.


  • Arrangements have been finalized for a Regional Physics Teachers’ workshop with focus on renewable energy, to be funded by UNESCO, Apia.

Dr Kumar continued to act as the focal point for energy activities at USP and represents the University on the Council of Regional Organistaions (CROP) Working Group. He has been involved in the preparation of regional policy on energy.


Dr Kumar is the Co-Chair of the ‘Energy Task Force’ of the Pacific Science Association, and is coordinating preparations for the convening of a session on energy at the IX Congress, to be held in Bangkok in 2003.
Dr M J Khan continued his work on modelling of photovoltaic systems.
Professor McArthur's research continued on the Physics of heat loss from animals and man, including the thermal challenges faced by the newborn. The work included an assessment of the incidence of heat stress for humans in Suva, both outdoors and indoors. Ms Mala completed a Masters thesis under the supervision of Professor McArthur on this subject. This study involved in part an analysis of the sensitivity of a heat stress index (WGBT) to air temperature, windspeed, solar radiation and humidity. Professor McArthur continued his work on the physical processes which govern energy expenditure in the natural environment, including the heat transfer by forced convection through turbulent boundary layers.

The climate change work also gained more attention, mainly due to Dr Kumar’s own interest in the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol issues. He has continued his involvement in policy and international climate change negotiations, and serves on several UN expert panels such as Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) for non- Annex 1 National Communications from the Asia-Pacific region, as well as on the expert rosters for technology transfer, national communications, greenhouse gas inventory and vulnerability & adaptation.

Marine Physics
The major activity in this area is the SEREAD project, which is a partnership between the University of the South Pacific, Department of Physics, Marine Studies Programme, International Ocean Institute (IOI) – Pacific Islands, South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Perth Regional Programme Office, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA, New Zealand), UNESCO, Apia, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, USA), the Argo Science Team, and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO). SEREAD Project Leader is Dr Than Aung of Physics Department.
SEREAD (Scientific Educational Resources and Experience Associated with the Deployment) of Argo profiling floats in the South Pacific Ocean is an educational programme aimed at providing local examples of ocean/climate science interaction for Pacific Island secondary schools. Floats that automatically move up and down in the water (profiling floats) are being deployed in the western Pacific as part of the global Argo Project. These floats will be tracked by satellite and the data will provide information on ocean and climate variability.
SEREAD will complement the existing secondary school curriculum in geography, general science and physics by providing examples of the scientific concepts where they are most appropriate. The measurements will include changes in temperature and salinity starting from the sea surface down to a depth of 1 km or greater. Teaching materials will be developed on a collaborative basis between curriculum developers and ocean scientists.
Microwave propagation.

Dr V. Ramachandran has initiated work in the area of Radio Wave propagation. A 1.2 m parabolic dish antenna has been installed in the Department. This will be used to monitor Ku - band signals from Intelsat 701. Currently Mr. Vickal Kumar, GA, has undertaken a project to study the effect of atmospheric parameters on satellite links. This project will involve monitoring of the radio signals and parameters like rainfall rate, Earth’s electric field and wind speed.

Attempts are also being made to revive the functioning of the 5 m dish antenna so that different satellite signals can be studied.
USP-France Link Programme
The Deparment continued to receive financial support for scientific collaboration from the French Embassy. Two members of academic staff (Drs S. Garimella and Aung) visited the Institute for Research and Development (IRD) and the University of New Caledonia in Noumea to identify areas of common research interest in marine physics. In addition, Professor McArthur visited Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse to establish a collabarative research link in environmental physics. The Department welcomed several research visitors from IRD as well as from the University of French Polynesia in Tahiti.

PUBLICATIONS


  1. REFEREED PAPERS IN JOURNALS

Ramachandran, V. (2001). Photoconducting cells in the production of AM signals. Physics Education, vol 36, No2 pp121-3


Ramachandran V, N.R.Nand,R.L. Northcott .(2001) Effect of thunderclouds on space wave propagation at 10GHz. Accepted for publication. South Pacific J. of Natural Sciences Vol 19 pp 49-50
Terry, J.P., Garimella, S. and Kostaschuk, R. (2000). Rates of floodplain accretion in a tropical island river system impacted by cyclones and large floods. Geomorphology (in press).


  1. BOOKS, CHPTERS IN BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS

Kumar, M “Confronting Climate Change: Economic Priorities and Climate Protection in Developing Nations – Pacific Islands Report”. Chapter (24pp, jointly with Anirudh Singh) in “A Climate of Trust Report”, edited by B. Biagini. NET and Pelangi, 2000 (Launched at COP6, The Hague, Netherlands).



  1. PAPERS PRESENTED AT CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS, SEMINARS

Aung, T "Sea Level Monitoring in the Pacific and the role of Geodesy Survey", invited paper for "The Fiji Institute of Surveyors", Mini Congress, 20-21 October, Korotoga, Fiji


Khan, M J ‘Optimum designs for photovoltaic systems in Fiji’, ISES 2001 - Solar World Congress, Adelaide, Australia
Kumar, M ‘Adaptation options for Pacific Island countries’, Guam Inter Congress, June 2001
Kumar, M “Energy Sector of the Pacific Islands”. Paper to UNEP-IEA Regional (Asia-Pacific) Workshop on “Energy Subsidy Reform and Sustainable Development”, Bangkok, 16-17 January
Ramachandran, V, ‘Site Report, USP, Fiji’, Post Partners Project Training Seminar 31 July- 4 August 2001.


  1. TECHNICAL REPORTS, NEWSLETTERS

Aung, T "Scientific Education in the Pacific", TIEMPO: Global Warming and the Third World, Issue 40/41, September 2001, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, 16-18


Kumar, M ‘Is there hope for Kyoto Protocol’, The Sun, 15 April 2001
Kumar, M ‘ The resumed Sixth Session of the Conference of Parties – the fate of Kyoto Protocol’, USP Beat, May 2001
Kumar, M ‘Possible PIC Strategies in ‘Technology Transfer’ and ‘Adverse Effects of Climate Change’, Regional Climate Change Meeting, Nadi, June 2001

Earth Science

Opportunities for close collaboration with the Fiji Mineral Resources Department (MRD), and with South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) have been utilised by Earth Science staff. Father John Bonato continues with investigation into the chemical weathering patterns of some of Fiji’s tertiary basalts, soil genesis on basalts, and lateritisation Mr Antoine De Biran (Temp. Assistant Lecturer, Earth Science) completed his research on geophysical aspects of the Sigatoka sand dunes, and was awarded his PhD. The research activities of other staff contributing to the Earth Science programme may be referred to in other relevant departmental sections in this Annual Report. The Earth Science Coordinator continued to act as the official University representative on the General Council of SOPAC, and was in attendance at the full meeting of the Annual Session held in Majuro, October 2001.


School of Social and Economic Development
Introduction and overview
The School staff continued to actively engage in research on a wide variety of research topics in Fiji and other member countries of the region. A major constraint on research was the high staff turnover and rather heavy teaching and related work load of staff who remained in the departments. Many of the research projects had policy implications. The research conducted were largely department based with little inter-departmental cooperation in the area of research. Some research activities were conducted by teams of two or more persons but most were undertaken on an individual basis. Funding for most research activities was obtained from the University Research Committee but there were a number of research projects funded by external agencies, such as the McArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the World Wild Life Fund and the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific.

Staff researched, wrote papers and monographs for publications as well as presented their findings in international conferences. The areas of research were diverse which reflect the disciplinary interests of the different departments of the School. The Department of Accounting and Financial Management researched international accounting standards, finance for small businesses, performance appraisal in the public sector in Fiji, audit evidence evaluation, impediments to e-commerce, management accounting and control systems (MACs), banking and entrepreneurial development, banking ombudsman, communication strategies in accounting and distant education and the impact of wholesale adaptation of international accounting standards in PICs. A severe shortage of staff hamstrung research in the department of economics. However, research was carried out on currency regimes, public sector reforms, micro-fianance as credit delivery system in the region, cost -benefit analysis of an integrated rural development project, productivity performance and electoral systems.

As a result of an extensive departmental multi-specialist team research on Niue, a text book for senior secondary and first year undergraduate students is in the pipeline by the geographers in the School. Their other areas of research included environmental change and oral traditions, rising sea level and climate change, biodiversity of Kadavu and Gau islands in Fiji, coastline, reef and biological organisms in the channel between Yanuca Island and the Cuvu coast on Viti Levu, Padanus conservation in Kiribati and the effects of tropical cyclones on fluvial and hydrological processes in the Rewa River.
Security in the South Pacific region was very appropriately a major research concern of the department of History Politics. Staff in this department researched security issues in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Politics in Melanesia remained an on-going research interest as was electoral systems. Micro-level studies of leadership struggles in Western Samoa were also carried out. Staff research interest also extended to the politics of reform in the region, governance and regional tuna management and conservation regime.
The departments of Land Management and Development and Management and Public Administration examined land tenure and land productivity issues, and culture, technology and tourism management respectively. Centre of Development Studies staff also researched land tenure in Fiji from the perspective of tenants whose ALTA leases were expiring. They also continued their research on the informal sector, squatter settlements and water and sanitation, the sugar industry, and international migration.

Research interests of the Sociologists in the School in 2001 included, rural development, Natacileka Fishing Project for young people, ethnic conflict resolution, religious movements and development, globalisation, labour rights and standards, social capital and development thinking and the sociology of health.

Colleagues in the Marine Affairs Programme researched marine resource management, fisheries management and traditional knowledge in Fiji in relation to marine resources. Staff in the MBA programme researched public sector reform in Australia, business environment, international marketing, and public policy. Associate Professor Jide Olutimayin's report on the last topic earned him the award for the best paper at the 13th Annual Conference of the Western Division Sciences Insitute (WDSI) held in Vancouver, Canada. A research on Adolescent Profile of Fiji was reported by the Population Studies Programme.
The School's Tourism Studies Programme researched amongst other topics, industry training and educational needs in the region, attitudes of traditional land owners to and their involvement in tourism plants in Fiji and ecotourism in Fiji.
Postgraduate thesis students whose numbers continue to raise in the School pursued research in a whole variety of areas. Those who sought and were awarded research funds are listed in the University Research Committee's list of student recipients of funds.
Accounting and Financial Management

Staff Research Interests

Mr Chand continued work for his Master’s thesis addressing the issue of the relevance of International Accounting Standards to Fiji, and the Fiji Institute of Accountants strategy towards the adoption of these standards. Ms Kanaenabogi is engaged in work relating to financing opportunities for small-scale businesses. Ms Nath has been studying the efficacy of performance appraisal measures in the public sector, an area she will pursue in her PhD studies. Dr Patel is working on audit evidence evaluation and factors affecting electronic commerce business success and failures. Mr Umesh Sharma’s research objectives are to understand and analyse the nature and context in which accounting and control systems operate, to study the working of management accounting and control systems (MACS) in private and public enterprises within historical, social and political dimensions of the economy, to understand the dialectical interplay of structures of control and agency in organisations, and the issue of relational power within the dialectic of control. Professor Sharma is involved in research work relating to banking regulation, establishment utilisation, banking operating costs, assumptions and attitudes towards risk in the banking sector, the role of banks in entrepreneurial development at the grassroots level, and determinants of lapsation of life insurance policies. Mr Pramendra Sharma was awarded his Master’s degree after completing his thesis, which examines the case for a banking ombudsman in Fiji. Professor White’s current research interests relate to the efficiency of communication strategies employed by accountants and distance educators. Work is underway on assessing the impact the wholesale adoption of the International Accounting Standards will have on reporting entities and the accounting profession in Fiji.

Economics
Staff Research and Development

The research output of the Department was greatly affected by the shortage of staff, which led to a substantial increase in their teaching loads. A series of working papers produced by the Department has had some appeal for a wider audience: requests have been received for them especially from Australia and New Zealand.


Dr Jayaraman is pursuing his research on currency reform and management in the South Pacific. Dr Sharma is working on the public sector downsizing in the Cook Islands. Dr Fraenkel, who is a joint appointment with the History/Politics Department, is engaged in work relating to electoral systems in the South Pacific Island countries. Mr Barrett is involved in research work relating to cost–benefit analysis of integrated rural development projects. Mr Rao’s current research work relates to the relevance of micro-finance as the credit delivery system for the region. Mr Chand is concentrating on his work relating to various aspects of productivity performance for Fiji.
Filipo Tokalau has won sponsorship from the Fijian Affairs Board to pursue his PhD at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand in 2002. He will be on study leave from USP for three years with effect from 15 February 2002.
Umesh Chand was awarded a fellowship by the International Labour Organization to undertake training in Management of Development at the International Training Centre of the ILO, University of Turin, Italy, from February to May 2002.
Geography

Research and Consultancy

The thematic volume on the Geography of Niue, targeting high-school students and first-year undergraduates, is being edited by Dr Terry and it is hoped it will be published during 2002. This has been the major cooperative effort on the part of the Department.

Professor Nunn continued an active research programme. He received three major research grants in 2001. One from USP was to look at the Environmental and Geological Significance of Pacific Island Myths and develops his innovative theme published in The Geographical Journal and elsewhere. The next, also from USP, was to investigate Environmental change, early human settlement, and associated oral traditions on Qamea and nearby islands in northeast Fiji. Fieldwork for this project was completed over three weeks in December in association with the Fiji Museum and was aided by eight undergraduate and two graduate students. The third grant was under the international programme Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change (AIACC), START-International, and entitled Integrated Methods and Models for Assessing Coastal Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Pacific Island Countries. It was written jointly with Dr K Koshy of the University’s new Environment Centre and is worth nearly one quarter of a million US dollars.
Professor Nunn contributed the lead research article in a special issue of the New Zealand Geographer in honour of the retirement of Professor John Flenley of Massey University. The article evaluated whether ‘ecological crises or marginal disruptions’ marked the arrival of the first humans in the Pacific Islands. Professor Nunn also published articles along similar lines in the international journal Environment and History, an article described in the accompanying editorial as ‘a major revisionist essay’, and in the South Pacific Journal of Natural Science, the latter with four of his postgraduate students.
Under the MacArthur Foundation–USP Community-Based Biodiversity Conservation in Melanesia Project, he coordinated and participated in community based biodiversity surveys by teams of USP students and staff in Kadavu and Gau.

Professor Thaman was also heavily involved in USP consultancy work during 2001. In February he served as a consultant, along with Dr James Terry and a number of Geography students, to the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific, Suva and the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort, Fiji. They conducted studies on change over time and the current status of the coastline, reef and biological organisms in the channel between Yanuca Island and the coastline of Cuvu, Nadroga (Viti Levu, Fiji Islands). In September he served as consultant to the Pacific Islands Forests and Trees Support Programme and the Government of the Republic of Kiribati for the establishment of the Kiribati Pandanus Conservation Project to establish a pandanus varietal collection and to record ethnobotanical information. In November he served as consultant and resource person for the First Herbal Plant Workshop held in Majuro and organised by the USP Marshall Islands Centre, Majuro. In December he served as a consultant to FAO, serving as resource person, facilitator, fieldtrip organiser and rapporteur for the FAO Regional Forestry Workshop on Trees Outside Forests, Raffles Gateway Hotel, Nadi, Fiji Islands, 10–14 December 2001.

Dr James Terry continued his major 4-year research project examining the effects of tropical cyclones on fluvial and hydrological processes in the Rewa river drainage basin in Fiji. This is collaborative with the Geography Department at the University of Guelph in Canada, the Fiji PWD Hydrology Section, and the Physics Department, USP.
Dr Terry headed the Geography team (which, as already noted, also included Prof. Thaman) invited by the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific (FSP) to investigate the causes of deteriorating environmental conditions in the Yanuca Channel at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort in Cuvu.s He also joined Ed Lovell from Biological Consultants Limited to write an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) for the Fiji government, to determine the possible environmental impacts of dredging the Nadi River.
History/Politics

Major research achievements

Scott MacWilliam completed research for a book on Fiji politics to be entitled Things Crash (Again): the Reaction of Racial Development, and for a monograph on governance to be called The Public Governance of Private Money: Fijian Holdings Ltd. Sandra Tarte continued her research on the development of a regional tuna management and conservation regime for the Pacific. She also conducted research on Japan’s official development assistance in the Pacific islands to update her 1998 book on Japan’s aid to the region. Sandra Tarte and Tarcisius Kabutaulaka also researched and co-authored a paper on regional security, to be published in an edited collection in 2002. Morgan Tuimaleali’ifano and Jonathan Fraenkel were awarded research funds by the SSED research committee for a project on the impact of the preferential voting system in the 2001 Fiji elections. Jonathan Fraenkel continued to research, and publish on, Fiji’s electoral politics. Morgan was also awarded funds to conduct research on leadership struggles among village and district titleholders in Samoa. Tarcisius Kabutaulaka continued to research a book on the Solomon Islands crisis and give seminars on the evolving situation there. In November he spent two weeks as a visiting scholar at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai’i, where he worked on a paper and presented a number of lectures on the Solomons crisis. Stewart Firth spent his sabbatical researching state and politics in Melanesia.

The outcomes of earlier research can be seen in the Department’s more significant publications during the year, listed in Appendix IV.
Land Management and Development
Research, publications and consultancy

As in 2000, and indeed for the foreseeable future, the prioritisation of qualifications upgrading has been a guiding principle in the department’s research programme. Such research activity is at a cost to publications and consultancy activity, particularly when it also has to be balanced with teaching and administrative duties. Appendix IV gives an indication of what publication and presentation achievements were possible despite these constraints.


In 2001 five members of the team presented papers at the Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES) annual conference in Adelaide in January. Matt Myers and Spike Boydell presented papers at the 1st World Congress of the International Real Estate Society (IRES) in Alaska in July. Spike Boydell also presented at the Cutting Edge 2001, the RICS Foundation Conference in Oxford, UK in September, where he was also invited to be the conference dinner speaker. All such appearances help to create a space for the region in the vocational discipline of Land Management as well as establishing an international research identity for the department.
Given the ongoing political and quasi-spiritual nature of land—particularly in Fiji although characteristic also of the entire region—the team have purposely tended to avoid mass media commentary on land issues. They have generally opted instead to publish and present offshore, whilst continuing to advise government(s), the NLTB (Fiji Native Land Trust Board), NGOs and the regional community on a more informal basis.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization commissioned two reports: Land tenure and Agricultural Productivity, and Land Tenure and Land conflict in the South Pacific. This selection of the department is seen as recognition of our regional leadership in matters of Land Tenure. The department is running a major regional event—the South Pacific Land Tenure Conflict Symposium—on behalf of the FAO, the USP and the RICS Foundation in April 2002.

Management and Public administration
Major research achievements
The department has continued its active engagement in research and publication, although increasing pressure on the staff occasioned by the demands of face-to-face and extension mode teaching make it increasingly difficult to allocate time and energy to these essential activities. (Appendix IV includes some details about MPA staff members’ research publications that have appeared since the last annual report was made.)
The departmental Working Paper series commenced in 2000 continued to provide a platform, three working papers being published by the department in the year 2001.
Dr Narendra Reddy, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Business Studies, spent 6 months of his annual and sabbatical leave in Aalborg University, Denmark and completed his book, General Managers in the South Pacific, published in November 2001 by the Aalborg University.
Dr RD Pathak, with a professor from IIT, Delhi, jointly authored a research book titled Management of Technology, published by Anmol Publications of New Delhi.

Faculty members of MPA continued to participate in international conferences and presented papers. Dr Narendra Reddy chaired a session on Public Enterprises at the Pan-Pacific Conference held in Chile in May 2001. Dr R D Pathak was the reviewer for conference papers and a session co-chair in the Xth World Business Congress hosted by the International Management Development Association and the University of Zagreb in Croatia in July 2001. Dr Pathak also presented a paper in an R & D Management Conference in New Zealand in February 2001 as well as in the conference in Athens organised by the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration in July 2001.

Mr Julian Sing, who recently joined the department as a Tutor, was sponsored by the department to attend and participate in the 2001 Fiji Tourism Forum held at the Warwick Fiji, 13–14 December 2001.

Sociology

During 2001, the department continued to develop and enhance its research profile. Patrick Vakaoti completed a case study of the Natacileka Fishing Project. This was a collaborative CYP–UNICEF study into young people’s participation in situation analysis and decision-making processes and governance. Patrick has also had a report on his study of marginalised youth in Fiji published in the Development Bulletin (see Appendix IV).


Dr Steven Ratuva completed a major study on ethnic and other conflict and identities in Fiji for the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA), the Eastern Mennonite University and the World Council of Churches. This study received a lot of attention from policy makers and the NGO community concerned with conflict and development issues in Fiji. Dr Ratuva also recommenced the School’s seminar series, which was formally launched by the Vice-Chancellor.
In March, Dr Lynda Newland joined the Department. Dr Newland developed a research programme on new religious movements and development in the South Pacific. The department expects that this research programme will be reflected in its teachings from 2003.
Dr Ropate Qalo, together with Professor Nii-K Plange, offered courses for the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Services programme. At the end of the year, Dr Qalo was elected to serve as Assistant to the Head of SSED in 2001, succeeding Dr Ratuva. From April 2001, Dr Satendra Prasad assumed the headship of the Department, replacing Professor Nii-K Plange, who had been Head of Department since 1988.

Overall, the Department’s teaching and research interests have closely mirrored social, political and economic developments in the South Pacific. The Department’s teaching and research have traversed issues such as conflict and development, health and social development in the South Pacific, globalisation, labour rights and standards, social capital and the place of social capital in developmental thinking, youth issues, new social and religious movements in the South Pacific and a number of related themes. A satisfactory research output was achieved in spite of the heavy teaching load overall.

Centre for Development Studies
Staff Research

The publication of reports and journal articles, and conference presentations, reflect a solid base of academic research on the part of the staff. (Further details of publications and presentations are given in Appendix IV.) Dr Reddy and Professor Naidu completed a research project funded by the University Grants Committee on ‘Farmers’ Perceptions on Expiring Land leases’. The Asia Pacific Migration Network (APMN) funded another research project on migration and resettlement options for sugarcane farmers with expired or expiring leases. Professor Naidu, Dr Reddy and Dr Mohanty carried out URC-funded research on ‘Impediments for the Informal Sector in Fiji’. The research results are currently being analysed.


Dr Reddy attended the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Conference in Australia and, in Tonga, a Workshop on Agricultural Trade. Dr Reddy, in collaboration with Dr Padma Lal from the Australian National University, completed research on land legislation and the sugar industry as part of the F$800,000 Fiji Sugar Industry Project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Continuation of this important project has been put on hold until the political climate in the country achieves greater stability. Dr Reddy also carried out an extensive survey of low cost housing in Fiji and data from this research are being analysed. Dr Mohanty has been researching international migration from Fiji. He has also carried out primary research on water and sanitation among squatter communities in Suva and Lautoka.




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