From Brain Drain to Brain Gain: Addressing Human Capital Needs for Post Crisis Zimbabwe’s Capacity Building

Angela Chimboza 5-1-2012

The concept of brain drain has been debated for decades and is a worldwide phenomenon. It has particularly adverse consequences on capacity development and economic growth of developing countries. There has been a lot of contentious debate amongst academicians, economists and politicians on what brain drain is, its causes and consequences and strategies to redress the problem.

In order to appreciate brain drain as a problem, brain drain will be defined as the physical movement of highly skilled and educated people, human capital, from one country to another in search of better opportunities, principally in the area of employment, with the consequent loss to their country of their knowledge, intellectual richness and diverse innovative skills required for that country’s economic development. The concepts in the definition are common among business people, economists and government policy makers and analysts. The key segments of the definition give an indication of the impact of the problem on a developing country that needs all the components necessary for development, especially human capital, hence the need to be addressed.

A review of the meaning of the concepts of brain drain and consequences of the phenomenon will be made. This study will also assess the applicability of return and retain focused policies and Diaspora initiatives and strategies suggested to address the brain drain problem. Some suggestions will be given regarding how the Diaspora could be utilized as key strategic assets that could respond to the development needs of Zimbabwe in its capacity building, development, reconstruction and long term growth, thus turning brain drain to brain gain.

The major form of obtaining information for this paper will be through literary works. A review will be made of scholarly publications on brain drain in general and also various documents on economic, political, social and public systems of Zimbabwe during the colonial and post-colonial periods will be examined and those relevant to this study on the country’s brain drain problem selected. ** Download

Innovation Strategies for Musicians

Quang Ly, May 2012
In this thesis I describe the old and new music industry models from different perspectives. Included is a brief interview with CD Baby founder Derek Sivers with his advice for musicians. Also presented are modular strategies for independent artists to learn, record, distribute digitally (CDBaby, TuneCore), brand, and monetize their music. I offer academic and applied perspectives in creativity, project management (Iron Triangle, Systems Perspective of Success, SMART Strategy), and VARK learning preference that can affect strategies selected by musicians.

A Case Study in Using Process Improvement Techniques to Develop an Upfront Pricing Model for Vacant Land

Guy Michael Thigpen, May 2013

In this thesis I present a case study of the development of an upfront pricing model (UPM) for city-owned vacant land in Philadelphia using business process improvement techniques. The City Administration made changes to address its fragmented land disposition policy by creating a uniform policy for all city agencies. Among the process improvements was elimination of appraisals. As well, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) commissioned consultants, including the Penn Institute for Urban Research, to develop a UPM using Six Sigma and Lean process improvement techniques. The goal was to improve the UPM from a poor coefficient of 27% to at least 75% and to establish very accurate pricing. I describe the development of the model, how it reduced the processing time and how it made the City’s processes and procedures more like those in private transactions.

Posture Front and Center: Health Crisis Facing Organizations

Meghan Ficca, May 2013

Poor posture negatively affects the health and well-being of an individual and contributes to many health issues driving employer healthcare costs. Unfortunately, poor posture is a common phenomenon in today's technology-dependent world, and the vast majority of the population is uninformed about the significant impact posture plays on health and well-being. This thesis brings attention to the real and legitimate health effects of poor posture. In particular, I examine musculoskeletal disorders and injuries caused or aggravated by poor posture. I note that significant, yet highly undervalued and underappreciated health threats are conditions associated with musculoskeletal injuries. I also noted the importance of posture as a productivity enhancing opportunity for employers. I argue there is a need for employers to invest in a workplace postural management wellness program (beyond ergonomics), and postural management wellness programs are of value to employers because they can help reduce a wide range of health problems in the workplace.

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