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Via universitetsbibliotekets databas över doktorsavhandlingar kan du söka publicerade doktorsavhandlingar vid Göteborgs högskola/universitet från 1902 och framåt. Databasen innehåller också information om kommande disputationer.

UB:s databas över doktorsavhandlingar

Kommande disputationer

Language ability in patients with low-grade glioma - detecting signs of subtle dysfunction

[2017-11-17] Title: Language ability in patients with low-grade glioma - detecting signs of subtle dysfunction Authors: Antonsson, Malin Abstract: Background: Low-grade glioma (LGG) is a slow-growing brain tumour often situated in or near areas involved in language and/or cognitive functions. Consequently, there is a risk that patients develop language impairments due to tumour growth or surgical resection. Purposes: The main aim of this thesis was to investigate language ability in patients with LGG in relation to surgical treatment. Language ability was investigated using various sensitive methods such as a test of high-level language. To acquire norms for the test used to investigate high-level language, normative values were obtained in a methodological study (Study I). Methods: In Study I, 100 adults were assessed using a Swedish test of high-level language (BeSS) and a test of verbal working memory. Relationships between these tests and demographic variables were investigated. In Study II, the language ability of 23 newly diagnosed LGG patients was assessed and compared with that of a reference group. The patients were also asked about self-perceived changes in language. In Study III, the language ability of 32 LGG patients was assessed before surgery, early after surgery and at three-months follow-up. The patients’ language ability was compared across these assessment points and with a reference group. Finally, in Study IV, 20 LGG patients wrote a short narrative before and after surgery. The aim was to explore whether the lexical-retrieval difficulties previously seen in oral language could be seen in writing as well. Keystroke logging was used to explore writing fluency and word-level pauses. Here, too, comparisons were made between the assessment points and with a reference group. Results and conclusions: Study I showed that demographic variables had a limited impact on performance on the BeSS whereas verbal working memory influenced performance. Hence verbal working memory was found to influence performance on a test of high-level language. In Study II, the LGG group performed worse than the reference group on tests of lexical retrieval. However, the majority of the newly diagnosed patients with presumed LGG had normal or nearly normal language ability prior to surgery. Only a few patients reported a change in their language ability. In Study III, most patients with a tumour in the left hemisphere manifested language impairment shortly after surgery, but the majority of them had returned to their pre-operative level of performance three months after surgery. Language impairment in patients with a tumour in the right hemisphere was rare at all assessment points. In Study IV, LGG patients had a higher proportion of pauses within words before surgery than the reference group did. After surgery, the patients’ production rate decreased and the proportion of pauses before words increased. Measures of lexical retrieval showed moderate to strong relationships with writing fluency both before and after surgery. The higher frequency of word-level pauses could indicate a lexical deficit. Overall, lexical-retrieval deficits were the most common type of impairment found both before and after surgery in patients with presumed LGG.

Community onset sepsis in Sweden - a population based study

[2017-11-17] Title: Community onset sepsis in Sweden - a population based study Authors: Ljungström, Lars Abstract: Sepsis and previously “severe sepsis” are concepts used for denoting organ dysfunction caused by acute infection. Organ dysfunction correlates to increased case fatality rates. Sepsis is a common cause of hospitalization. Currently, sepsis is estimated to annually cause 30 million cases and 6 million deaths worldwide. The aims of this study were to explore the epidemiology, characteristics, and outcome of commu-nity onset severe sepsis in the adult population in Skaraborg, western Sweden. During a 9-month period, Sept. 2011 – June 2012, 2,462 consecutive episodes in 2,196 patients admitted to Ska-raborg Hospital and treated with intravenous antibiotics, were evaluated per protocol. The incidence of severe sepsis was 276/100,000. Age >85 years, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes mellitus were risk factors for acquiring severe sepsis. In 429 patients with severe sepsis, the 28-day case fatality rate was 25%, versus 4% in 1,767 with non-severe sepsis or no sepsis. Risk factors for 28-day case fatality were age >85 years, renal-, respiratory-, and cerebral dysfunc-tion. The respiratory tract was the most common focus of infection, seen in 41%. Applying the new sepsis definition launched in 2016 to this study population, the incidence of sepsis was 876/100,000 and the 28-day case fatality rate was 12%. During six weeks of the study, samples from 383 consecutive episodes of suspected sepsis in the emergency department were analyzed by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for rapid detection of pathogenic bacteria in blood. We found that the multiplex PCR added some diagnostic value by detecting clinically relevant bacteria not identified by blood culture. During winter 2012, 432 nasopharyngeal samples were examined for respiratory viruses using multiplex PCR. We noted that viral infections or co-infections with bacteria were underestimated in patients with suspected sepsis, especially Influenza A virus, human metapneumovirus and respira-tory syncytial virus. Commonly used biomarkers for sepsis identification, lactate, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin and the neutrophil to lymphocyte count ratio (NLCR), were evaluated in 1,572 episodes of suspected sepsis. The combination of three or four biomarkers could improve the diagnosis of severe sepsis, having a sensitivity of 85%. In patients with proven bacterial infection of any severity, the neutro-phil to lymphocyte count ratio or procalcitonin exhibited equivalent performance. Six defined symptoms of sepsis; fever, dyspnea, acute change of mental status, severe pain, vomit-ing/diarrhea and muscle weakness were evaluated for early detection sepsis patients. Occurrence of >3 of these symptoms significantly predicted the presence or development of severe sepsis or septic shock, especially acute change of mental status and dyspnea.

Achilles tendon rupture: the evaluation and outcome of percutaneous and minimally invasive repair

[2017-11-17] Title: Achilles tendon rupture: the evaluation and outcome of percutaneous and minimally invasive repair Authors: Carmont, Michael R Abstract: Acute Achilles tendon rupture is common and has increasing incidence. This is thought to be due to increasing activity and sports participation in middle age. Sustaining an Achilles tendon rupture means a long rehabilitation period and many patients do not achieve full recovery of strength and function. One of the reasons for this reduced function is considered to be due to tendon elongation. The reasons for the lack of recovery has been discussed in earlier studies comparing operative and non-operative treatments. Operative treatment can be divided into open, minimally-invasive and percutaneous technique. Proponents for operative treatment consider open technique to prevent tendon elongation and reduce the re-rupture rate compared with non-operative treatment. Percutaneous repair is considered to lead to an increasing incidence of iatrogenic nerve damage and reduced repair strength compared with open repair but is considered to be advantageous because of lower risk of infections and wound problems. The purpose of this dissertation was to evaluate and optimise the results of percutaneous and minimally-invasive technique for an Achilles tendon rupture. Moreover, evaluation instruments were developed and an already existing validated questionnaire was culturally adapted in English to be used in the United Kingdom. Achilles Tendon Resting Angle (ATRA) is an indirect measure of tendon elongation. The method has been developed and validated in one of the studies in the dissertation. ATRA has subsequently been used to evaluate the clinical outcomes. The ATRA angle increases after an Achilles tendon rupture, then decreases after operative intervention to finally increase again during the first rehabilitation phase. The ATRA angle was shown to correlate with patient-reported symptoms and function as measured by heel rise height one year after injury. Thus, ATRA can provide an indication of function achieved after treatment of an Achilles tendon rupture. Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score (ATRS) is a validated patient-reported questionnaire for evaluating limitations and physical activity after an Achilles tendon rupture. ATRS was originally developed for a Swedish population but has now been translated and culturally adapted to an English population in one of the studies. ATRS has also been used for evaluating patient-reported outcomes. Percutaneous and minimally-invasive operative techniques have been evaluated in 169 patients treated for an Achilles tendon rupture. Percutaneous technique was found to be more cost-effective in comparison to open procedure, with similar results regarding function and patient-reported symptoms. Minimally invasive repairs produced similar outcome to percutaneous repair but with a lower complication rate. Based on these results, minimally invasive repair is recommended for the operative treatment of an acute Achilles tendon rupture. In order to compare the strength of different suture materials after repair of the Achilles tendon, a cadaveric study was performed, in which the tendon was cyclically loaded. The result from this study shows that repair with non-absorbable suture has better strength in comparison to an absorbable one. However, there is still a lack of knowledge of why a patient suffering from an Achilles tendon rupture does not fully recover. Further studies involving how treatment and rehabilitation can be optimised is of value.

Acute Achilles tendon rupture - The impact of calf muscle performance on function and recovery

[2017-11-17] Title: Acute Achilles tendon rupture - The impact of calf muscle performance on function and recovery Authors: Brorsson, Annelie Abstract: There is an ongoing debate about the optimal treatment for patients with an acute Achilles tendon rupture. The overall purpose of this thesis was to acquire a greater knowledge of the way patients recover at different time points after the injury when treated with the currently recommended treatment protocols. This knowledge will then form the basis of the further development of treatment strategies with the ultimate goal of minimizing the risk of permanent disability after an Achilles tendon rupture. In Study I, a long-term follow-up of 66 patients included in a randomized, controlled trial revealed that, 7 years after the injury, there were continuing deficits in calf muscle endurance and strength. There was no continued improvement in calf muscle performance after the 2-year follow-up, apart from heel-rise height. Study II, a clinical prospective comparative study of a cohort of 93 patients, performed 3 months after the injury, concluded that standardized seated heel-rises were a safe and useful tool for evaluating calf muscle endurance and predicting future function and patient-reported symptoms. No differences in early calf muscle recovery were found between patients treated with surgery and patients treated with non-surgery, but the question of whether women recovered in the same way as men remained unanswered. In Study III, a clinical retrospective comparative study comprising 182 patients, it was found that female patients had a greater degree of deficit in heel-rise height compared with males, irrespective of treatment. Females had more symptoms after surgery, at both 6 and 12 months, but this difference was not found in non-surgically treated female patients. In Study IV, the effect of continued heel-rise height deficits on biomechanics during walking, running and jumping was further evaluated. This study revealed that heel-rise height, obtained during the single-leg standing heel-rise test, performed 1 year after the injury, was related to the long-term ability to regain normal ankle biomechanics. In this cross-sectional study, comprising 34 patients, the conclusion was drawn that minimizing tendon elongation and regaining heel-rise height may be important for the long-term recovery of ankle biomechanics, particularly during more demanding activities such as jumping. This thesis shows that the early recovery of heel-rise height and calf muscle endurance has a significant impact on lower leg function and patient-reported outcome in the long term after an acute Achilles tendon rupture. No differences in early or late calf muscle recovery were found between patients treated with surgery and patients treated with non-surgery. Furthermore, it is concluded that females have more symptoms after surgery, but this difference is not found in non-surgically treated female patients. This knowledge could now form a new basis for developing more effective, individualized treatment protocols with the aim of optimizing the treatment after an acute Achilles tendon rupture.

Characterizing the role of long non coding RNAs epigenetic regulators in disease model

[2017-11-17] Title: Characterizing the role of long non coding RNAs epigenetic regulators in disease model Authors: Mishra, Kankadeb Abstract: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a class of biological molecules which are transcribed from DNA but are not translated into any protein. LncRNAs have been identified as critical players in gene regulation. Misregulation of lncRNAs has been considered as one of the underlying causes for cancer pathogenesis and in other human diseases. In the current thesis, I have addressed the epigenetic roles of lncRNAs in regulating gene expression in cell line based and disease model systems. We investigated the functional role of lncRNAs in the maintenance of active chromatin by sequencing lncRNAs associated with active chromatin enriched with H3K4me2 and WDR5. We identified 209 lncRNAs to be commonly enriched in H3K4me2 and WDR5 pulldown chromatin fractions and we named them as active chromatin associated RNAs (active CARs). Interestingly, 41% of active CARs mapped to divergent transcription units having transcription factor genes as their partner. CARs were found to regulate the expression of partner protein coding genes at the transcriptional level by recruiting WDR5 to maintain the active histone marks H3K4me2/H3K4me3 at these promoters. Depletion of active CARs results in reduced WDR5and H3K4me2/H3K4me3 occupancy at these promoters. However, in absence of WDR5, we found the levels of H3K4me2 to remain unchanged at divergent promoters. Taken together our findings indicates that, conversion of H3K4me2 to H3K4me3 is mediated via active CARs-WDR5 interaction at the active divergent promoter, whereas, the maintenance of H3K4me2 marks appears to be WDR5 independent. Additionally, we used transcriptome profiling approach, to identify lncRNAs that are differentially expressed between low- and high- risk neuroblastoma tumours. We report NBAT-1 lncRNA as an independent prognostic biomarker in predicting clinical outcome of neuroblastoma patients. The expression profile analysis showed NBAT-1 to be lowly expressed in high-risk tumours relative to low-risk tumours. Using cell line and mouse models we characterized NBAT-1 as a tumour suppressor lncRNA which regulates gene expression by interaction with PRC2 repressive chromatin complex. NBAT-1 lncRNA promotes differentiation and acts as a tumour suppressor by epigenetic regulation of genes to inhibit cell proliferation and invasion. Thirdly, we sought to study genomic imprinting in a disease model. Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic regulation of gene expression in a parent of origin-specific manner. Studies in mouse have identified Kncq1 imprinted domain to be epigenetically regulated by a 91kb long lncRNA Kcnq1ot1 which is expressed from the paternal chromosome to silence imprinted genes in cis. Using BW-syndrome human disease model, we identified a maternal 11p15.5 micro duplication which included the 5′ 20 kb of the non-coding KCNQ1OT1 gene. Its maternal transmission was associated with ICR2 hypomethylation and familial BWS phenotype. Normally ICR2 is methylated to repress KCNQ1OT1, thereby allowing maternal copies of the imprinted genes including growth inhibitor CDKN1C to be expressed. We demonstrated that this duplicated maternal KCNQ1OT1 RNA also interacts with chromatin through its most 5′ 20 kb sequence to silence CDKN1C. This provides a mechanism for biallelic silencing of CDKN1C which contributes to the BWS disease phenotype. In summary, by ChRIP-seq, RNA expression profiling in tumours and human patient-derived cell line based model systems, we have uncovered new roles of lncRNA in epigenetic gene regulation.

Gait and motion analysis of hip arthroplasty. Validity, reliability and longterm results

[2017-11-17] Title: Gait and motion analysis of hip arthroplasty. Validity, reliability and longterm results Authors: Zügner, Roland Abstract: Introduction: Walking is one of the most fundamental activities of daily living in humans, when the hip joints transfer power between the lower extremities and the pelvis. Hip osteoarthritis (OA) will more or less influence this function and is increasing in an ageing population. Total hip arthroplasty (THA) is a common treatment for patients diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis when non-surgical treatments have failed. Optical tracking systems (OTS) based on cameras and force plates mounted in the floor have been used since the 1960s. The technique includes attachment of reflective markers with double-adhesive tape to the skin of the patient. Marker positions are recorded when the patient walks through a calibrated measurement volume. Material and methods: In Study I, hip joint movements were measured with two different dynamic motion analysis systems, an optical tracking system and roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis (RSA) in 16 patients with THA. In Study II, three patient groups were examined to study if the reproducibility of meas-ured values differs depending on whether the hip joint is normal, has developed OA or has been replaced with a THA. The aim of Study III was to investigate the gait in 22 patients operated bilaterally with two different types of stems at the same occasion. In Study IV, 62 patients operated with a Madreporic Lord hip prosthesis between 1979 and 1986 were followed for an average period of 26 years. In Study V, gait analy-sis was performed using two different motion analysis systems, one based on an optical tracking system and one based on accelerometers. Forty-nine THA patients were simultaneously evaluated with both methods. Results: During active hip motions soft-tissue displacements caused an underestimation of the true skeletal motion (Study I). In Study II the hip motions in patients with OA showed inferior repeatability between different investigators compared with THA patients and healthy controls. The gait pattern in the THA patients had not returned to normal one to two years after the operation. Study III showed no differences in speed, step length and frequency, or regarding kinematics or kinetics between short and conventional stems. Although both hip joints were operated during one-stage bilateral THA, there was still a difference between gait patterns two years after surgery compared with controls. In Study IV, the follow-up showed an average HHS of 81 (SD 14) and a pain score of 41 (SD 5), despite that more than half of the patients had undergone a revision of the acetabular cup. Some hips, but not all showed pronounced loss of bone mineral density around the stem. In Study V the accelerometer system measured movements of the pelvis and knee joint that did not differ from the optical system. However, significantly smaller flexion-extension was recorded. Conclusion: This dissertation shows that the deviation from skeletal movements measured using OTS is smallest when measuring hip flexion-extension in patients with THA. OTS is able to distinguish patients with hip osteoarthritis and patients with THA from a healthy control group while walking. The walking ability of patients with THA was still affected at least two years after surgery. A long-term follow-up of patients with an uncemented hip prosthesis revealed good function, despite that the acetabular component had been replaced in almost 50% of cases. The accelerometer-based motion analysis system that was exam-ined had good validity when measuring pelvis and knee movements in the sagittal plane, but underestimated hip joint flexion and extension.

Benefits and risks with digital dermoscopy and teledermoscopy

[2017-11-16] Title: Benefits and risks with digital dermoscopy and teledermoscopy Authors: Dahlén Gyllencreutz, Johan Abstract: The increasing incidence of malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) makes it necessary to optimize the management of patients with suspicious skin lesions, from triaging, to establishing a diagnosis and planning treatment. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the use of teledermoscopy (TDS) as a way of achieving such an optimization, as well as to study safety aspects of digital dermoscopy and teledermoscopy while pointing out risks and pitfalls so that they can be avoided. In study I, smartphone TDS was compared with traditional paper referrals. The outcome of 772 patients referred by TDS from 20 primary health care (PHC) centres to two dermatology departments was compared to that of 746 patients referred without images. TDS provided faster management of patients with skin cancer and more accurate prioritisation. In study II, 80 TDS referrals and 77 paper referrals were evaluated by six dermatologists resulting in moderate interobserver concordance. The diagnostic agreement with TDS was higher for several diagnoses. It also proved easier to plan for surgery at the first visit and to resend referrals with clearly benign lesions. However, a few referrals with malignant lesions were incorrectly resent. In study III, two dermatologists compared the image quality of 172 dermoscopic images acquired in PHC with images of the same tumours obtained at the department of dermatology. The PHC images were of slightly lower quality but the difference was not statistically significant. No difference was found in the ability to correctly diagnose the lesions. In study IV, dermoscopic images of skin lesions, obtained before and after the use of a sunless tanning product containing dihydroxyacetone (DHA) were compared. For facial lesions, there were significantly more equivocal lesions after the use of DHA. A follicular pigmentation was often found, somewhat mimicking that of lentigo maligna. In conclusion, TDS can result in safer, more efficient management of patients with skin lesions of concern, earlier treatment of patients with malignant lesions and decreasing the need for unnecessary visits to a dermatologist. TDS images obtained in PHC are of similar quality to those obtained by trained dermatologists. When triaging TDS referrals, dermatologists should avoid resending referrals for clinically atypical melanocytic lesions and take into consideration the use of pigment-altering substances such as DHA.

Psychological group processes when building agile software development teams

[2017-11-16] Title: Psychological group processes when building agile software development teams Authors: Gren, Lucas Abstract: Background: With the agile approach to managing software development projects, comes an increased dependability on well functioning teams. Agile teams are profoundly influenced by social-psychological factors since more communication and cooperation are needed both within the organization and team, but also with customers. Objective: The objective of this thesis is to investigate if and how psychological group processes, i.e. the temporal perspective often referred to as group development, is related to what is meant by an agile team. Method: A diversity of research designs and data collection methods were used, including surveys, interviews, and project data, to find and explain connections between team agility and group developmental stages, but also agile maturity model validity and individual nontechnical skills. A total of 311 people participated in the studies from 19 different companies situated in the US, Brazil, The Netherlands, and Sweden. Results: The results show that there are connections between group development maturity and what is meant by an agile team, demonstrating the relevance of psychological group processes when building agile teams. Group developmental issues were related to many aspects of how team agility is described, including team planning effectiveness, interpersonal conflict, open communication, and dedication. Moreover, the mature use of agile practices could not be explained by individual nontechnical skills and the efficiency of task implementation in agile software development teams were not dependent of group maturity, but instead individual technical skills. Conclusions: Our first conclusion is that many agile measurement scales are not scientifically validated and the construct of agility needs to be broken down into parts that need to be researched separately; one such part being what is meant by team agility. Secondly, agile teams at different group development stages adopt team agility differently, and the implementation and management of agile projects need to be adapted to what stage the team is in from a group-developmental perspective. We also conclude that efficiency, but not effectiveness, in agile software development might be more dependent on individual technical skills than group development and that individual nontechnical skills are poor predictors of the maturity of agile practices.

Åke Hodell. Art and Writing in the Neo-Avant-Garde

[2017-11-15] Title: Åke Hodell. Art and Writing in the Neo-Avant-Garde Authors: Gardfors, Johan Abstract: Åke Hodell and the Art of Illegibility provides the first in-depth discussion in English of the concrete poet and neo-avant-garde artist Åke Hodell’s works from the 1960s. Throughout the study, Hodell’s artistic practice is contextualized by way of comparison with examples from the earlier avant-gardes, as well as with contemporaneous writers and artists, indicating how the avant-garde and modernist legacies are preserved and transformed in the works of Hodell. The dissertation is a case study that unfolds against the background of the expanded field of the 1960s, for which a core issue is that of the relation between the different arts. Simultaneously as institutions such as Moderna Museet, Fylkingen and the electronic music studio EMS provided spaces for ‘open art’ in Stockholm, functioning as important catalysts for Hodell and his colleagues, the question of intermediality is manifest on the level of the work. Through analysis of Hodell’s early works, the present study demonstrates how a tendency towards dissolution of the different arts is paralleled by an emphasis on their respective materialities, and indicates the artistic practices of illegibility and linguistic reduction as a point where the ambiguous relation of the arts come to the fore. The study examines how Hodell’s artistic project is realized throughout various mediums and forms, and shows how his printed works open up a space between poetry and visual art, while they simultaneously highlight the medium of writing. Within this framework, the dissertation traces how writing becomes a means of representing subjectivity in several of Hodell’s early works. The study characterizes Åke Hodell’s artistic practice through its turn towards materiality, conceptuality and performativity. While this shift should be understood as a reaction against modernist ideals, the resulting procedures are ultimately connected to values of expression, subjective experience and conveyance of meaning in Hodell’s work, which hence is shown to rely on the fundamentals of the tradition it appears to overthrow. The present dissertation thus situates Hodell at a moment of transition, in which the radical turn towards the materialities of the artistic mediums co-exists with an idiom of subjective expression, and in which conceptual and performative procedures are paralleled by an ethico-political pathos. In sum, the present study provides an examination of the works by an artist who has been remarkably absent from the international discussion of the neo-avant-garde, while it also contributes with perspective on how we can understand the specificity of writing in relation to the permeability between the arts that characterized the neo-avant-garde.

Sustainable policy for energy, land and natural resources

[2017-11-10] Title: Sustainable policy for energy, land and natural resources Authors: MacGregor, James Abstract: This thesis consists of four papers which are related to critical natural resource issues from a developing and emerging country perspective. All four papers demonstrate the importance of financial incentives in driving behaviour and investments. Two of the papers apply cost-benefit analysis to complex decisions in the energy and land use sector and two papers model the behaviour of agricultural households. Determining an optimal strategy for energy investment in Kazakhstan We analyse energy policy options facing the Kazakhstan government which is seeking to diversify and deliver sustainable development. We use cost-benefit analysis informed by expert testimony to support critical decision-making over the necessary $67 billion in electricity investments to 2050 that can simultaneously contribute to a sustainable economy. The results indicate that for commercial, economic and sustainability reasons policymakers should switch from further investments in coal-based electricity generation to a focus on investments that harness gas and hydropower. Fuelwood scarcity, energy substitution, and rural livelihoods in Namibia We seek to improve understanding of the impact of rural energy demand on standing forests. Specifically, we analyse the energy profile of rural households in Namibia, with a focus on fuelwood demand from openaccess forests and energy alternatives such as cow dung and open-market fuelwood purchases. The results show that households are largely inelastic in their fuelwood demand, and respond to fuelwood scarcity by reducing energy consumption just slightly more than by increasing labour input to collection, with limited shift to available substitutes. Policy-makers in semi-arid countries should be alert to the potential for predicted population growth to increase fuelwood collection, even in the face of apparent scarcity and substitutes, which in turn risks degrading the integrity and extent of the forest. Economic Efficiency and Incentives for Change within Namibia’s Community Wildlife Use Initiatives We appraise the economic and financial viability of five community wildlife conservation and utilization initiatives, or conservancies, on communal land in Namibia. For each conservancy, we examine financial profitability, returns on investment and economic efficiency, as well as private returns to project investment made by all stakeholders – community, donor and government. The results illustrate that conservancies are economically efficient, profitable and able to contribute positively to national income and the development process. Crucially, conservancies provide decent financial returns for communities, including income from wildlife use. Conservancies also provide a channel for the capture of international donor grants (reflecting global wildlife non-use values) as income, further strengthening financial returns for communities. Formal microlending and adverse (or non-existent) selection: a case study of shrimp farmers in Bangladesh We study the commercial activities and incentives for shrimp farmers in Bangladesh. Shrimp farmers are rural, poor, work entirely in the informal economy, and practice a form of mono-culture. The limited credit access of these farmers is rightly seen as a weakness. The results show that all farmers over-utilise labour to reduce the need for working capital and that informal lenders – with their closer ties to the individual farmers – remain more successful than formal lenders in identifying those smallholder farmers most likely to use the borrowed funds successfully. Informal lenders have an information advantage that formal microlenders lack: the latter need to find routes to access this information for formal microcredit schemes to succeed.

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