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Publications

2022

Mitigating rural fires through transformative service research: value cocreation with forest-related rural communities

Authors
Souza, MEB; Teixeira, JG; Pacheco, AP;

Publication
Advances in Forest Fire Research 2022

Abstract
Socioeconomic changes have caused profound transformations in forest landscapes and increased abandonment of rural areas, leading to fuel accumulation and higher landscape homogeneity, and consequently, raising the rural fires risk. Rural fires risk is also fueled by climate change, due to heat waves and lack of precipitation. In this context, rural communities inhabiting forest areas are those who suffer the most, because rural fires, land degradation and climate change can disturb their food and economic strategy. These communities already suffer from underdeveloped rural infrastructure, and services, lack of labor and education opportunities, that trigger poverty and migration. Given this accelerating pace of change and increasing uncertainty, many fields of knowledge have been dedicated to contributing towards a more sustainable and inclusive future. In service research, transformative service research (TSR) literature plays a central role on understanding problems and finding solutions that improve well-being and create uplifting change through services. Similarly, the fire research field highlights the need for an integrated perspective to analyze all the aspects involved in rural fires occurrence, whether they are of an environmental or economic nature, or a sociological or demographic nature. This study aims to explore new services to cocreate value with forest-related rural communities, thus helping to manage forest areas and mitigate rural fires risks. A qualitative methodology was employed involving 28 participants related to fire management and forest areas and communities, including actors from industries, public entities, academics, the third sector. The data collected through individual interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed following a thematic analysis approach, with NVivo software support. Overall, the study emphasizes the need for an endogenous and adapted set of services to cocreate value with vulnerable communities in forest areas, which consequently enable rural fires mitigation. Given the high level of land abandonment and accumulation of residual materials that increases the risk of rural fires, the development of valuing and recovery solutions is a priority. Finally, this research can also help decision-makers and stakeholders to generate and support services that cocreate value with rural communities to a sustainable, safe and inclusive future.

2022

Systematizing experts' risk perception on rural fires resulting from traditional burnings in Portugal: A Mental Model approach

Authors
Souza, MEB; Pacheco, AP; Teixeira, JG;

Publication
Advances in Forest Fire Research 2022

Abstract
Fire is a traditional method used for the elimination of residual materials from agricultural and forestry activities, but its improper and negligent use increases the risk to cause significant social, economic, and environmental impacts. Translating the nature and magnitude of the risk, a mental model approach has been used for a deeper understanding of what can be done to reduce future socioeconomic and environmental impacts. Considering the rural fire risk context, in this study we applied the mental model approach to (1) explore the different perspectives of experts on rural fire risks, focusing on the burning problem, and (2) systematize the aggregated knowledge of experts on the subject. Semi-structured interviews that included real-time interactions with the proposed mental model on the MURAL platform were remotely conducted with twenty-eight experts with in-depth involvement and experience in fire and forest management in Portugal, including actors from industry, academics, third sector, and public entities. The experts' contributions were periodically validated by the research team and included in the reference mental model to translate the aggregated knowledge of the expert community. The data collected was transcribed, coded, and analyzed following a thematic analysis approach with NVivo software support. After nine iterations, the expert's mental model was concluded encompassing the burning motivators, alternative solutions, associated risks before and during the burning, underlying causes, natural elements and factors, and impacts. Overall, the study provides an in-depth and holistic understanding of rural fire risks, focusing on burning, which is essential for identifying incorrect beliefs and existing risk factors that are often neglected. The participatory and dynamic process of actors' knowledge systematization on burning risks through a mental model allowed the identification of divergent perspectives between expert groups, especially concerning the effectiveness of the current legislation on the use of fire, indicating the need to improve the dialogue between experts. Moreover, the study shows how risk communication campaigns do not replace technical monitoring closer to the population and recognize the importance and need of sensitization and communication actions to disseminate the use of available alternatives to overcome traditional habits of rural communities. Still, it indicates that successful alternative solutions of burning may be achieved with strong local and sectoral involvement. Finally, this research provides a baseline to help decision-makers and stakeholders identify the most relevant variables about rural fire risks to build effective risk communications strategies and mitigate social and environmental impacts in the future.

2022

Designing an effective risk communication plan as a tool to reduce the risk associated with traditional burning practices in Portugal

Authors
Souza, MEB; Pacheco, AP; Teixeira, JG; Pereira, JMC;

Publication
Advances in Forest Fire Research 2022

Abstract
Climate change increases the average temperature and reduces precipitation, leading to an increased risk of rural fires around the world, but mainly in regions with a Mediterranean climate, such as Portugal. Despite the high risk of rural fires, fire is still a traditional land management practice. Beyond fire misused risk, the accumulation of fuel loads, due to the high population dispersion and lower interaction of communities with the land, also drives rural fires risks. Thus, researchers have sought to understand the key features of communication practices to achieve the most desired natural risk management results in relation to rural fires. According to the Committee on Risk Perception and Communication, in 1989, risk communication is defined as “an interactive process of exchanging information and opinions between individuals, groups, and institutions”. However, there is a need for dialogue between the responsible for communication and relevant stakeholders. The Carnegie Mellon mental-models approach encompasses participatory processes to translate the nature and magnitude of the risk, allowing for a deeper understanding of what can be done to mitigate social and environmental impacts in the future. Considering rural fires risks and risk communication challenges, this study aims to design an effective risk communication plan oriented to the rural population, in the context of rural fires. For this objective to be achieved, the mental models approach was developed, exploring the underlying reasons for resistance to behavioral change and defining guidelines to support the design of new risk communication strategies, including the dissemination of new behaviors and practices that mitigate the ignition of rural fires. This systemic approach has been applied and tested in the rePLANT project, whose purpose is the development of research activities, innovation and transfer of knowledge and technology, to increase sustainable forest management, the competitiveness of the Portuguese forestry sector and reduce the impact of rural fires. Preliminary findings show what must be communicated about rural fires risk, how must be communicated, target audiences' profiles, the role of actors for effective risk communication on rural fires, attributes of good risk communication on rural fires, evaluation of the risk communication results. Finally, it is expected that this research provides guidelines to help decision-makers and stakeholders to design an effective risk communication plan oriented to prevent traditional burning practices, as well as to mitigate socioeconomic and environmental impacts in the future. This approach also highlights the importance of exploring the underlying reasons for resistance to behavioral change and defining guidelines to support the design of new risk communication strategies.

2021

Designing sustainable services with the ECO-Service design method: Bridging user experience with environmental performance

Authors
Sierra Perez, J; Teixeira, JG; Romero Piqueras, C; Patricio, L;

Publication
JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION

Abstract

2021

An exploratory study on the emergency remote education experience of higher education students and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors
Oliveira, G; Teixeira, JG; Torres, A; Morais, C;

Publication
BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic situation has pushed many higher education institutions into a fast-paced, and mostly unstructured, emergency remote education process. In such an unprecedented context, it is important to understand how technology is mediating the educational process and how teachers and students are experiencing the change brought by the pandemic. This research aims to understand how the learning was mediated by technology during the early stages of the pandemic and how students and teachers experienced this sudden change. Data were collected following a qualitative research design. Thirty in-depth and semi-structured interviews (20 students and 10 teachers) were obtained and analysed following a thematic analysis approach. Results provide evidence on the adoption of remote education technologies due to the pandemic with impacts on the education process, ICT platforms usage and personal adaptation. The emergency remote education context led to mixed outcomes regarding the education process. Simultaneously, ICT platforms usage was mostly a positive experience and personal adaptation was mostly a negative experience. These results bring new insights for higher education organizations on actions they could take, such as curating the learning experience with standard, institutional-wide platforms, appropriate training for students and teachers, and suitable remote evaluation practices.

Supervised
thesis

2021

Redesigning a Service Desk with a Service Design approach

Author
Mariana Grijó Poças Ribeiro da Silva

Institution
UP-FEUP

2021

Development of a new model for the design of Artificial Intelligence as a Service solutions

Author
Fábio Manuel Monteiro Seixas

Institution
UP-FEUP

2021

The Service Startup Model: A new model to support service entrepreneurship

Author
Danilo Passos da Cruz

Institution
UP-FEUP

2021

Event-Driven Real-Time Streaming Approach for Big Data, applied to an End-to-End Supply Chain

Author
Inês Catarina Ferreira Teixeira

Institution
UP-FEUP

2021

Crowdscape (crowdfunding the forest landscape): Drivers of the population's willingness to influence the management of abandoned private forested lands

Author
Sandra Maria Carvalho Vicente do Bernardo

Institution
UP-FEUP