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Uncertainty and unpredictability in the lives and livelihoods of informal microentrepreneurs in Quito, Ecuador, increase their vulnerability and make the challenges of…
Uncertainty and unpredictability in the lives and livelihoods of informal microentrepreneurs in Quito, Ecuador, increase their vulnerability and make the challenges of life at the social and economic margins of society more difficult to overcome. Through their small informal microenterprises, they work to maintain their everyday survival and sustain their hopes for a better future. Some turn to microfinance to support their microenterprises. Worldwide, microfinance is promoted as a powerful instrument for social and cultural change, creating a narrative of microfinance that contains promises of transformative effects. Over 16 months of research, interviews with 120 informal sector microentrepreneurs revealed these promises and the limitations of microfinance in their lives and the individualization of social problems present within the narrative of microfinance. The strength and flexibility of this narrative of microfinance has been built, interpreted, and reinterpreted in ways that allows it to be applied, and accepted, in various global social and political contexts. Informal microenterprises and microfinance are ways that people cope with economic uncertainty and social instability in Quito. Although people turn to microfinance in an effort to cope with their vulnerability, microfinance can increase their everyday vulnerabilities and place the responsibility for overcoming social problems upon the individuals who suffer them the most. Microfinance, therefore, becomes well-intentioned debt, creating new subjects and selfhoods that shift the social problems of poverty and inequality to individual problems that should be overcome by self-reliance.
Using an external examiner in an institution is not a new phenomenon; the evidence of having an outsider to scrutinize the quality control process has been prevalent since…
Using an external examiner in an institution is not a new phenomenon; the evidence of having an outsider to scrutinize the quality control process has been prevalent since the 1800s. However, the concept has undergone considerable changes and has been subjected to mounting criticism and validity of the process. There are several challenges that are faced by institutions in recruiting and defining the role of external examiners and the assumption that they are assessment literate. Universities are engaged in safeguarding the procedure, and at the same time, enhancing the quality standards. Researchers have been collaborating to create best practices and working on key developments that would ensure that degree standards are maintained in higher education. There is no “one size fits all” guidelines, but hiring an external examiner with the view to safeguarding academic quality is the prevalent norm across the globe. The book on the role of external examiners put forth such challenges and best practices by academia in various parts of the world. Authors have written about how to mitigate disadvantages and how to create opportunities without compromising the quality assurance process. International standards have been discussed with the view to make external examining a rigorous process that is fair, reliable and consistent.