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first_imgRelatedDr. Hughes Puts Forward Fiscal Adjustment Strategies FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail A credible fiscal and economic plan, designed to gain the trust and confidence of the society, is among five critical planks, put forward by Financial Secretary, Dr. Wesley Hughes, on which he said, Jamaica’s fiscal adjustment programme must be grounded.He cited the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX), launched in January, as a prime example of this strategy.“The buy-in and participation in the JDX by local market players was a resounding show of confidence in the government’s plans going forward. People were willing to take an interest rate cut, consolidate, and accept longer maturity periods because they expect that, in the long run, there will be recovery and growth for all,” Dr. Hughes stated.He was addressing a recent investment forum sponsored by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) on “The Jamaica Debt Exchange: The Way Forward”.Adapting the International Monetary Fund (IMF) paper titled: ‘Ten commandments for fiscal adjustment in advanced economies’ to the local context, he said that the second plank entails an aggressive debt reduction strategy to reduce the public debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio over the medium to long-term to sustainable levels.“This second plank requires strategic targeting of a medium to long-term decline in the public debt-to-GDP ratio, not just its stabilisation. Ratios that exceed 60 per cent are unsustainable,” he said. He explained that it is for that reason that one of the amendments to strengthen the Fiscal Responsibility Framework (FRF) speaks, specifically, to that issue.Attendant strategies linked to debt reduction are: containment of the wage bill; limiting the waivers/concessions to special groups; and ensuring that there is an effective social safety net, through targeted social transfers, to provide for those most vulnerable and most affected by the fiscal adjustment policies.Thirdly, Dr. Hughes maintains that the government must apply fiscal consolidation strategies in the areas most conducive to supporting growth. “This third plank requires focused fiscal consolidation in the areas that are most conducive to supporting and generating growth,” told the audience.The fourth strategy put forward by the Financial Secretary, involves a focus on pension reform as part of a medium-term expenditure and debt containment strategy. He stated that, “if we do not address pension reform, the tax system is what will be used to redress the burden on the public purse.”The fifth plank, Dr. Hughes said, requires the strengthening of the governance, rules and capacity of fiscal institutions to sustain a credible and believable fiscal adjustment over time.“What we have in place has allowed a runaway growth in the public debt. The present system of governance is clearly in need of fundamental reform. This is the logic behind the FRF; better fiscal rules, better budgeting processes, better fiscal monitoring, better accountability,” he explained. Dr. Hughes Puts Forward Fiscal Adjustment Strategies Finance & Public ServiceJuly 22, 2010 RelatedDr. Hughes Puts Forward Fiscal Adjustment Strategiescenter_img RelatedDr. Hughes Puts Forward Fiscal Adjustment Strategies Advertisementslast_img read more

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first_imgNEDERLAND — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday morning that George Finne has been located and is back with family — “Thank you for all of the help.” The Sheriff’s Office was asking for the public’s assistance in locating Finne because of a “welfare concern.”His last known contact was to his mother on July 4, using the phone at the Express Mart at Beauxart Garden and Highway 69 in Nederland.He had told his mother that he was walking to Beaumont.last_img

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first_img3 November 2014Innovations in the delivery of services, healthcare, education, nutrition and voting rights to South Africans were recognised at the 12th annual Public Sector Innovation Awards, held in Kempton Park, Gauteng, on Friday.The overall winner was the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport, which walked away with the Innovator of the Year Award, winning a trophy and cash prize of R60 000. Their invention, spearheaded by chief artisan and head of the Modimolle Mechanic Workshop Jacobus Potgieter, was a Jojo Diesel Tank that helped the department reduce costs and improve service delivery.The tank was designed and fitted to eight utility trucks with diesel pumps and gauges that reduced around R2-million in running costs and eliminated diesel spillages. One bakkie was able to service three graders, carrying 600 litres of diesel. Recycled material was used to build a support structure for the frames securing the tanks.“I’m excited and did not expect us to win in this tough category,” Potgieter said. He added that it was an innovation departments across the country should implement. “This is a good innovation and I think it will save the department a lot of money. It should be rolled out in other places.”Speaking at the ceremony, minister of public service and administration Collins Chabane said the awards showed that public officials could be forward-thinking and inventive.“The public service has been branded as un-innovative and this event tells a different story,” he said. “Your innovations are important in modernising the public service and improving service delivery. The quality of the projects here bears the high level of creativity in the public service. They will lay a crucial part in making the National Development Plan a reality.”Other award-winning inventions included a digital pen for mental health, an atlas of agricultural potential in Gauteng, a smartphone app for the national elections held in May, a nutrition scheme for creches, and a hospital pharmacy automation system.The awards were held in four categories: information and communication technology, service delivery institutions, improvements to internal systems of government, and innovative partnerships to deliver services.The full line-up of winners:Innovative use of ICT for effective service deliveryWinner: Digital Pen for Mental Health by the Department of Health in KwaZulu-NatalFirst runner- up: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-NatalSecond runner-up: Gauteng Agriculture Potential AtlasThird runner-up: Elections Mobile Application from the Independent Electoral CommissionInnovative service delivery institutionsWinner: Jojo Diesel Tanks by the Department of Roads and Transport, LimpopoFirst runner-up: RAF on the Road by the Road Accident FundSecond runner-up: Safe Anaesthesia for Africa Project, Ngwelezane Hospital, KwaZulu-NatalThird runner-up: Dietetics Creche Outing: Malnutrition Kicked Out, Department of Health, LimpopoInnovative enhancements of internal systems of governmentWinner: Case Management and Community Empowerment, Tembisa Hospital, GautengFirst runner-up: Pharmacy Automation, Helen Joseph Hospital, GautengSecond runner-up: Extra School Support Programme, Department of Education, GautengThird runner-up: Open Development Engine, Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs, LimpopoInnovative partnership in service deliveryWinner: The Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Department of Health, KwaZulu-NatalJoint first runner-up: Learn-not-to-Burn Programme, Department of Education, Gauteng and Community Food Production Units, Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentSecond runner-up: Lego Project, Tshwane South District in partnership with Hands on TechnologySouthAfrica.info reporter and SANews.govlast_img read more

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first_imgOriginally posted on blog.hrps.org on August 11, 2016. Reposted with permission. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, hiring is at a 10-year high, with Americans getting jobs at rates unheard of since the start of the great recession. Job seekers are now back in the driver’s seat, having to juggle two, three or even four job offers.While that’s good for the employee, it can be nerve-wracking for the employer who knows that having the most qualified ‘right fit’ employees can make the difference between company success and failure. Competition is fierce, and conventional wisdom that says higher pay and bonuses will attract the best employee no longer holds water.In fact, two Korn Ferry Futurestep surveys show that compensation isn’t at the top of the list for either Millennials or Gen Xers. When asked the top reason a millennial would choose one job over another the top reason was “visibility and buy-in to the vision of the organization” followed by “a clear path for advancement.” “Job title and pay” came in a distant third place at 18 percent.As for Gen Xers, nearly half of respondents said that “the ability to make an impact on the business” is the top reason they would choose one job over another, with “belief in the reputation and vision of the organization” coming second. Again, in a distant third place, only 10 percent said a Gen Xer would choose a job because of pay and benefits.Clearly, opening a company checkbook is not the way to make your company an employer of choice. Today’s employees—irrespective of their generation—want to work for companies they believe in, from both a vision and development perspective.So how can companies enhance their employer reputation in a customized, dynamic way that moves the needle to attract, engage, and retain key employee groups? Here are five tips:1.       Take a new twist on an old employee survey. Novel just a few short years ago, the employee survey is broadly used today to gauge engagement and satisfaction. Instead of only yes/no or multiple choice questions, empower employees to voice their real opinions that can get to the core of what is wrong (or right) with your employer brand. Key questions:What’s the one thing this company does that makes you want to stay?What’s the one thing this company does that makes you want to leave?The best thing about our company’s culture is________________?The worst thing about our company’s culture is________________? 2.       Slice and dice data to get to what really matters to key employee groups. If your business strategy is to hire young, tech-savvy engineers in India who can help devise a new technology, analyze the surveys to see what specifically is top-of-mind for this group. Do you see a trend that existing employees want to be more publically rewarded for their accomplishments? If so, implement awards programming. Perhaps they prefer ongoing development. In that case, a mentorship or guest speaker program would increase engagement. 3.       Endorse your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) when creating initiatives that address key issues. Back to our example of recognition. If you find that’s important, make sure managers understand that rewarding employees for a job well done is a KPI – and that individuals and/or accomplishments are socialized through internal channels. When appropriate, broadcast them externally through social channels. Ensure messaging supports your value proposition. 4.       Ensure your careers website reflects your culture. Candidates want to know what it’s really like on the inside. Showcase your existing employees through written and video testimonials on issues you’ve discovered matter to them. This will add credibility and authenticity to your employer brand. 5.       Don’t offer a Rolls Royce to a candidate and then give them a Yugo. A candidate’s experience cannot be inconsistent. For an employer value proposition to resonate during the employer lifecycle, a consistent message should permeate through rewards, recognition and ongoing development initiatives. Because of their institutional knowledge of your company and a breadth of experiences, your seasoned employees (brand ambassadors) are worth their weight in gold. Pay equal credence to their ongoing satisfaction as much as you do when trying to attract a bright new recruit.last_img read more

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first_imgWhile YouTube and onlinevideo is all the rage currently, I often wonder if there’s anything on these videowebsites other than mentos-cokeexplosions and bad singing.Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy YouTube as much as the next person – but I am also a bitartsy-fartsy, so I like to see artistic stuff being done on the Web too. One such projectis Stray Cinema, which describes itself as “an opensource film project”.Stray Cinema invitespeople to create short films, based on raw footage that was filmed in London on a digitalcamera. The idea is that participants download the footage and edit parts of itinto their own 2 minute film. Links to freeediting software is provided – e.g. Avid, WindowsMovie Maker, Video EditMagic and Wax. The films are then uploaded onto YouTube and embedded into the Stray Cinemawebsite. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Stray Cinema is also contacting independent musicians and bands, via social networkingsites like MySpace, to incorporate their music into the process.Once there are 30 film submissions on the website, the community of Stray Cinema userswill vote for their favourite films. The top 5 films will be screened in London alongsidethe directors cut. There will be VJ’s at the event, mixing film footage to live music.Also there will be a live audiovisual webcast, live web-chat, vodcasting and blogging.The date for the event is yet to be determined.Stray Cinema is aiming to be an annual event, repeating the process with raw footagefilmed in a different city each year. All of this is being run by 7 people and there are479 registered users. OK so it’s not a trendy startup with millions of users, but to mymind it’s excellent use of Web technologies. Check it out if you’re interested in filmand how web 2.0 technologies can be used to create and promote independentfilm-making. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Video Services#web richard macmanus Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

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first_imgWith the growing interest in being able to squeeze information out “Big Data”, statistical analysis is being put into the spotlight.  One tool that is rapidly growing in popularity is called the “R Programming Language”.  R is an Open Source Programming language, and the thing that is getting people excited about it is that it is exceptionally good at being able to analyze huge data sets.  It is a GNU-based project and it has parallels with the S Statistical Programming language.  It is a framework for statistical modeling and analysis.R was launched via an academic paper in 1993 at the University of Aukland by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman (the R’s behind the language name).  It has since become the tool of choice for large scale statistical analysis by academics, scientists and programmers.  There are roughly two million users of the R language now.   R is beginning to be integrated into proprietary software.  Oracle, IBM and SAS, for example, all offer some sort of support for R.  And some small companies like Revolution Analytics have spring up which base their complete business model around the R language, providing both software and services.The success of R in the academic world has spread to the world of Business Intelligence.  R is especially good at an area of statistics called predictive analytics.  It is useful for identifying trends and patterns from very large data sets.   Predictive analytics is used in the fields of retail, financial services, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and others.  It was used by Wal-Mart to understand the habits and  needs of their customers in developing their winning pricing model.David Smith of Revolution Analytics gave an example of the speed of the R language.  He said that “the FAA publishes a data set that contains every commercial airline take off and landing between 1987 and 2008. That’s more than 13 gigabytes of data. By analyzing that data, we can figure out the likelihood of airline delays in one second.”Business Intelligence is one area that is changing and developing very quickly.   It looks like R may play a defining role in a large amount of that new development.last_img read more

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first_img Related postsInclusive Components: Book Reviews And Accessibility Resources13th December 2019Should Your Portfolio Site Be A PWA?12th December 2019Building A CSS Layout: Live Stream With Rachel Andrew10th December 2019Struggling To Get A Handle On Traffic Surges10th December 2019How To Design Profitable Sales Funnels On Mobile6th December 2019How To Build A Real-Time Multiplayer Virtual Reality Game (Part 2)5th December 2019 UX Optimizations For Keyboard-Only And Assistive Technology Users UX Optimizations For Keyboard-Only And Assistive Technology Users Aaron Pearlman 2019-06-11T14:00:59+02:00 2019-06-12T12:34:55+00:00(This is a sponsored article.) One of the cool things about accessibility is that it forces you to see and think about your application beyond the typical sighted, mouse-based user experience. Users who navigate via keyboard only (KO) and/or assistive technology (AT) are heavily dependent not only on your application’s information architecture being thoughtful, but the affordances your application makes for keeping the experience as straightforward as possible for all types of users.In this article, we’re going to go over a few of those affordances that can make your KO/AT user experiences better without really changing the experience for anyone else.Additions To Your Application’s UXThese are features that you can add to your application to improve the UX for KO/AT users.Skip LinksA skip link is a navigation feature that invisibly sits at the top of websites or applications. When it is present, it is evoked and becomes visible on your application’s first tab stop.A skip link allows your user to “skip” to various sections of interest within the application without having to tab-cycle to it. The skip link can have multiple links to it if your application has multiple areas of interest you feel your users should have quick access to your application’s point of entry.For KO/AT users, this is a helpful tool to both allow them to rapidly traverse your app and can help orient them to your application’s information architecture. For all other users, they likely will never even know this feature exists.Here’s an example with how we handle skip links. After you click the link, hit Tab ⇥ and look in the upper-left corner. The skip link has two links: Main Content and Code Samples. You can use Tab ⇥ to move between them, hit Enter to navigate to the link. UX Optimizations For Keyboard-Only And Assistive Technology UsersYou are here: Posted on 12th June 2019Web Design FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Shortcuts/Hotkey MenusThis is a feature that I think everyone is familiar with: shortcuts and hotkeys. You’ve likely used them from time to time, they are very popular amongst power users of an application, and come in a variety of incarnations.For KO/AT users, shortcuts/hotkeys are invaluable. They allow them to use the applications, as intended, without having to visually target anything or tab through the application to get to an element or content. While frequent actions and content are always appreciated when represented in a shortcut/hotkey menu, you may also want to consider some slightly less frequent actions that may be buried in your UI (for good reason) but are still something that a user would want to be able to access.Making shortcuts for those functions will be extremely helpful to KO/AT users. You can make the command a bit more involved, such as using (3) keystrokes to evoke it, to imply it’s a less frequently used piece of functionality. If you have a shortcut/hotkey menu make sure to find a way to promote it in your applications so your users, especially your KO/AT users, can find it and use it effectively.User EducationUser education refers to a piece of functionality that directs the users on what to do, where to go, or what to expect. Tooltips, point outs, info bubbles, etc. are all examples of user education.One thing you should ask yourself when designing, placing, and/or writing copy for your user education is:“If I couldn’t see this, would it still be valuable to understand ______?”Many times it’s just reorienting the user education through that lens that can lead to a much better experience for everyone. For example, rather than saying “Next, click on the button below,” you may want to write, “To get started, click the START button.” The second method removes the visual orientation and instead focus on the common information both a sighted and KO/AT user would have at their disposal.Note: I should mention it’s perfectly OK to use user education features, like point outs, to visually point out things on the application just make sure the companion text lets your KO/AT users understand the same things which are referred to visually.See the Pen ftpo demo by Harris Schneiderman. See the Pen ftpo demo by Harris Schneiderman.Augmentations To Your Application’s UXThere are changes or tweaks you can make to common components/features to improve the UX for KO/AT users.Modal FocusingNow we’re getting into the nitty-gritty. One of the great things about accessibility is how it opens the doorway to novel ways to solve problems you may have not considered before. You can make something fully WCAG 2.0 AA accessible and solve the problem with very different approaches. For modals, we at Deque came up with an interesting approach that would be totally invisible to most sighted-users but would be noticed by KO/AT users almost immediately.For a modal to be accessible it needs to announce itself when evoked. Two common ways to do this are: focus the modal’s body after the modal is open or focus the modal’s header (if it has one) after the modal is open. You do this so the user’s AT can read out the modal’s intent like “Edit profile” or “Create new subscription”.After you focus the body or header, hitting Tab ⇥ will send focus to the next focusable element in the modal — commonly a field or, if it’s in the header, sometimes it’s the close button (X). Continuing to tab will move you through all the focusable elements in the modal, typically finishing with terminal buttons like SAVE and/or CANCEL.Now we get to the interesting part. After you focus the final element in the modal, hitting Tab ⇥ again will “cycle” you back to the first tab stop, which in the case of the modal will be either the body or the header because that’s where we started. However, in our modals we “skip” that initial tab stop and take you to the second stop (which in our modals is the close (X) in the upper corner. We do this because the modal doesn’t need to keep announcing itself over and over each cycle. It only needs to do it on the initial evocation not on any subsequent trips through, so we have a special programmatic stop which skips itself after the first time.This is a small (but appreciated) usability improvement we came up with exclusively for KO/AT users which would be completely unknown to everyone else.See the Pen modal demo by Harris Schneiderman. See the Pen modal demo by Harris Schneiderman.Navigation Menus Traversing And Focus/Selected ManagementNavigation menus are tricky. They can be structured in a multitude of ways, tiered, nested, and have countless mechanisms of evocation, disclosure, and traversing. This makes it important to consider how they are interacted with and represented for KO/AT users during the design phase. Good menus should be “entered” and “exited”, meaning you tab into a menu to use it and tab out of it to exit it (if you don’t use it).This idea is best illustrated with a literal example, so let’s take a look at our 2-tier, vertical navigation from Cauldron.Go to https://pattern-library.dequelabs.com/;Hit Tab ⇥ three times. The first tab stop is the skip link (which we went over previously), the second is the logo which acts as “return to home” link, and the third tab enters the menu;Now that you are in the menu, use the arrow keys (→ and ↓) to move and open sections of the menu;Hitting Tab ⇥ at any point will exit you from the menu and send you to the content of the page. HomeWeb DesignUX Optimizations For Keyboard-Only And Assistive Technology Users Navigation menus can also work in conjunction with some of the previous topics such as shortcut/hotkey menus to make using the menu even more efficient.Logical Focus Retention (I.E. Deleting Row, Returning Back To A Page)Focus retention is very important. Most people are familiar, at least in concept, with focusing elements in their logical intended order on the page; however, it can get murky when an element or content changes/appears/disappears.Where does focus go when then field you are on is deleted?What about when you’re sent to another tab where the application has a new context?What about after a modal is closed due to a terminal action like SAVE?For a sighted user there are visual cues which can inform them of what happened.Here’s an example: You have an Edit Recipe modal which lets your user add and remove any ingredients. There is one ingredient field with an “Add another ingredient” button below it. (Yes, it’s styled as a link but that’s a topic for another day.) Your focus is on the button. You click the button and a new field appears between the button and the first field. Where should the focus go? Most likely your user added another ingredient to engage with it so the focus should shift from the button into the newly added field.See the Pen focus retention by Harris Schneiderman. See the Pen focus retention by Harris Schneiderman.The big takeaway from all this isn’t so much the specific examples but the mentality which supports them — consider the UX for your application through the lens of the KO/AT user as well sighted, mouse-only user. Some of the best and most clever ideas come from the most interesting and important challenges.If you need help ensuring that your features are accessible, all of the examples above plus countless more can be tested using Deque’s free web accessibility testing application: axe pro. It’s free and you can sign up here. (ra, il)From our sponsors: UX Optimizations For Keyboard-Only And Assistive Technology Userslast_img read more

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first_imgability to model multiple server environments simultaneouslyability to model consolidation virtualization based on VM (virtual machine) loadingability to view inputs and outputs simultaneouslyaddition of many new cost and savings variables that we had not used at Intel but were relevant to other IT professionalsWatch this short video about the history of the tool to or visit our user forum where you can comment, ask questions and share insightsAccess the tool here Chris Last year, I spent many hours sharing the key learnings from Intel IT’s server refresh strategy and talking with others about how we had to re-justify our refresh investment internally last year due to capital spending cut-backs. We created a tool based on our IT finance learnings that was used by over 40,000 people last year.  Many of our users had excellent suggestions on how we could improve the tool to meet a variety of user situations and needs.We have just completed a several month project to update the estimator with many new features that were suggested by tool users includinglast_img read more

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