Volume 05 Issue 08

OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development
Open access peer-reviewed journal 

Factors that Influences Religious Conversion among Muslim Splinter Groups in Indonesia
Salman Harun a, Mohamad Avicenna b, Mohamad Atqa c
a Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.
b Faculty of Psychology, State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Indonesia.
c Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences,
 State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Indonesia.

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 12-20, 2012.

Abstract: There are two types of religious conversion, namely external and internal religious conversion. The external conversion occurs when a person adopting new religion that differs from the previous religion. Another is the internal conversion that is a changing from one denomination to another, but still within the same religion (Paloutzian, 1996). Research on religious conversion has been developed. However they more concentrate on the external conversion (such as Malony dan Southard, 1992; Barro & Hwang, 2007). Limited information investigates about the internal conversion, especially among splinter groups. Increasing numbers of religious violence and worried about reaction of radical Muslim give impacts that religious life among Muslim splinters is difficult to be investigated. 

The most significant factor influences someone to convert is a conflict. Previously, they face conflicts about their own religious beliefs and identity, unsure of their place in the community and angry with their religious leaders. Then after conversion, they get a wide range of emotional gratifications, such as a sense of belonging, relief from guilt, development of new relationships, and offer sense of excitement and stimulation (Rambo, 1993; Palaoutzian, 1999).

Another factors that also important to be measured in religious conversion is religious motivation. According to Allport, there are two types of religious motivations. Intrinsic motivation is described as people with mature and meaningful religion. They display behaviors based on their religion. On the contrary, extrinsic motivation is people using their religion only in order to achieve a nonreligious goal (Beck & Jessup, 2004). However, what type of motivation contributes to religious conversion is not much investigated. 

Religious conversion can be considered as a process of finding the meaning of life, encouraging the people to find what is considered important and valuable in their life. Paloutzian (1981) found that people experienced high spirituality and at the same time showed greater understanding of the meaning of life. However, research on meaning of life among Muslim splinter has rarely examined.

Religious conversion is often influenced by religious support. Availability of support from clergy or congregation members help the people in converts their religion. The support can be expressed in many forms, such as care from congregations or religious organization, religious counseling, and assistance from clergy and hospital chaplains.

Based on explanation mentioned above, the objective of this study will measure the influence of conflict, religious support, religious motivation, and search for the meaning on religious conversion among Muslim splinter groups in Indonesia. 

By using purposive sampling method, 108 respondents from Islamic State of Indonesia (NII), Shia, Liberal Islamic Network (JIL) and Ahmadiyah were recruited in this study. They were administered a set of questionnaire which measured: religious conversion, conflict, religious support, religious motivation, and search for meaning.

The result indicates that there are significant effects of religious motivation, religious support, religious struggle, meaning of life, and conflict on religious conversion. For Ahmadiyah group, religious support, meaning of life, and religious motivation are the most significant variables influence in religious conversion. Slightly different Among NII group, religious support, conflict, meaning of life, and religious motivation are variables that significantly influence the conversion. For JIL and Syiah groups, there was no significant effect of each variable on religious conversion. 

Understanding religious conversion, religious support, religious motivation, conflict, and meaning of life are significantly important in approaching Muslim splinters, especially in Indonesia whereas intolerance and religious violence towards Muslim splinter groups have steadily been increasing. 

Keywords: Religious conversion, religious support, conflict, meaning of life, religious motivation, splinter, Muslim.

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Microfinance in Bogota, Colombia, as a Development Strategy
Raul Alberto Chamorro-Narvaez a
a Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia.

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 22-33, 2012.

Abstract: This paper aims to describe and analyze a financial strategy designed and implemented in Bogota, Colombia, in 2002, which considers microcredit as an important tool to provide poorer people credit services. Microcredit is just one of the different components of a broad concept, microfinance, which was developed as an answer to the lack of financial services for the poorer people from formal financial system. 

Microfinance includes the provision of financial services, such as deposits, loans and insurance to poor families who do not have access to resources of the formal financial institutions. The loans are used to invest in micro-enterprises, as well as for investing in health and education, improve housing or deal with family emergencies. However, the strategy of microfinance is not limited to provide financial services only, but also provides training in management of money and strengthens aspects like leadership, confidence, self-esteem, education and micro-management.

Regarding the kind of enterprises that are the target of microfinance in Bogota, Colombia, it is important to mention that micro, small and medium sized enterprises (Mipymes thereafter) involve a big number of workers in the city. According to the Business Chamber of Bogota, there were 202,966 formally constituted enterprises in 2004, from which 201,146 were Mipymes (99%) and concentrated approximately 70% of total formal employment. Particularly regarding Mipymes, 86% were micro, 11% small and 3% medium sized businesses. Mipymes are engaged mainly in trading and the repair of all kinds of motor vehicles (35.4%), followed by real estate activities (13.2%), manufacturing (12.3%); transport, storage and communications (11.6%); and hotels and restaurants (11.3%).

Behavior of firms in Bogota evidences the importance of micro-enterprises and small enterprises in employment generation. However, these types of enterprises face various problems regarding their creation and their operation; among them, the main ones are associated with their financing and management. Faced with this situation, the Treasury Secretary of Bogota implemented a strategy of financial lines in April 2002 to help them, which is based on a scheme of credit throughout the financial system. The main objectives of the financial lines are: i) To facilitate access to credit to micro and small entrepreneurs, ii) to improve the levels of income and employment in the city, and iii) to improve the quality of life of the micro and small entrepreneurs in Bogotá. 

The financial lines designed to help micro, small and medium-sized businesses managed by the Treasury Secretary of Bogota have meant a significant shift in attention to formal business of the city. This financing program for Mipymes was designed with the aim of solving the cyclical problem arisen by the banking crisis of 1999, which led financial institutions to be prepared to accept a lower risk and to raise the interest rates, which discriminated the Mipyme sector of bank financing in a recession and unemployment scenario.

Users of financial lines have registered a rapid growth from their creation. However, the importance of microfinance in this financing program has been limited. Only a portion of the loans of one of them, Bogota Line, which is the one that has concentrated near the 90% of the total disbursements, corresponds to microcredit, as the maximum amounts that are granted by this line to both micro and small businesses, exceed the corresponding to the legally fixed one for microcredit (25 minimum monthly wages, i.e. $10.2 million of Colombian pesos for 2006). In addition, despite the dramatic increase in the resources placed by the financial lines, the strategy has not produced the expected results as long as employment and income for populations living in poverty is concerned.

In this context, it is necessary to assess the possibility that Bogota makes an agreement with National authorities, which allows the Colombian Capital to participate with some economic resources and to make sure that the national strategy does not make more difficult the achievement of some specific objectives of the public policy of the city, such as, the ones that have to do with the reallocation of street sellers and the recovery of the public space.

The national strategy in this context makes it possible to expand the supply of financial services to the poorest people. However, one of its main limitations has to do with the high rate of interest for microcredit, considering the current conditions of the financial markets and the economy as a whole.

To face the problems described above, Bogota could, among other things, design financial products differentiated for non formal micro-entrepreneurs, with different financial conditions, group-based guarantees and technical support to them in the formalization and specialized assistance. 

The main challenge in the short term is to consolidate the involvement of the commercial banks into microfinance. As long as they adopt appropriate technologies of microcredit, competition will reduce the cost of credit and would increase the volume of microcredit. 

Keywords: Bogota, Financial lines, microcredit, microfinance, small businesses

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Extension Workers’ Cocoa (Theobroma Cacao) Production Technology Dissemination Constraints in Edo State, Nigeria: Implications for Sustainable Development Communication
Okoedo-Okojie D. U. a, M. J. Koyenikan b
a, b Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension Services, 
University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 34-42, 2012.

Abstract: The study assessed extension workers’ perception of technology dissemination constraints in Cocoa production in Edo State, Nigeria. The forty seven (47) extension agents in position constituted the respondents for the study. Data were gathered with the aid of structured questionnaire and analysed using frequency and means as well as Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) to test relationships. Results showed that majority (78.7%) of the respondents were males and had working experience of between 6 and 10 years (53.2%). Most (95.7%) and (85.1%) sourced technology on hybrid variety and disseminated fertilizer technology respectively. The respondents perceived that they were mostly efficient in communicating/disseminating Cocoa hybrid variety (mean = 3.51) and were constrained by too much work load/areas to cover (mean= 3.85). Only age and grade level were significantly related to respondents’ perception of technology communication. It was recommended that seminars and workshops to impart communication skills for innovation dissemination in sustainable development be organised for extension workers regularly. 

Keywords: Cocoa; Constraints; Communication; Extension Workers; Technologies.

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The Establishment of Government Green Procurement Practices in Malaysia: The Way Forward
Khairul Naim Adham a, Chamhuri Siwar b 
a, b, Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), National University of Malaysia.

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 42-51, 2012.

Abstract: In simple terms, Government procurement refers to the acquisition of supplies, services and works in accordance with current rules and regulations of the Government to ensure that tax payers’ money is spent efficiently, wisely and best value for money. Similar to other countries, Government procurement in Malaysia is a vital aspect of financial management systems as public expenditure consumes immense amount of allocation, reaching more than 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In line with the Government’s aspirations in mainstreaming environmental considerations in its national agendas, Government Green Procurement (GGP) could be used as a means to reduce the negative impact on the environment. In addition, GGP has the potential to accelerate economic growth, and this made GGP implementation crucial to balance Malaysia’s economic progress and environmental preservation needs in achieving high income developed nation by 2020. Hence, the implementation of GGP in Malaysia aims ultimately to minimize the impact on the environment, accelerate the national economy development and promote sustainable development. However, many factors need to be considered to ensure its implementation will not marginalized the growth of local industry and the development of Bumiputera (indigenous) entrepreneurs. The existing Government procurement mechanisms which include laws and regulations should be reviewed to enable its implementation. Related laws and regulations with regard to Government procurement comprise Financial Procedure Act 1957 (Amendment 1972), Ministerial Functions Act 1969, Government Contracts Act 1949 (Revised 1973), Delegation of Powers Act 1956, Treasury Instructions (AP), Treasury Circular Letters (SPP), Federal Central Contract Circulars (PKP), Treasury Circulars (PP), Treasury Instruction Letters (SAP), Manual and Guidelines. This paper analyses the AP and SPP to identify evaluation and selection criteria that take into account in the tendering processes and examine the extent of AP and SPP taken into consideration the environmental criteria. AP and SPP are selected in this study because they are major accounting and financial regulation in the Malaysian Government’s financial management systems. The study reveals that the present Government procurement emphasizes on the most favorable offer in terms of price and quality, but there is no specific environmental criterion. Nevertheless, there are several criteria that could be interpreted as contributing towards environmental preservation because those criteria are consistent with the principle of GGP. The study suggests a number of measures that could be taken into consideration to kick-start the implementation of GGP in Malaysia, among others include (i) Giving price preferences for environmentally friendly products and services, (ii) Giving preference to suppliers that comply with the environmental management systems (EMS), (iii) Giving preference to environmentally friendly products and services based on the Weighted Point Evaluation Method (WPEM), (iv) Implementing products/services stewardship scheme for manufacturers/producers under the Central Contract/Panel Contract Systems, and (v) Enhancing the implementation of electronic procurement  

Keywords: government procurement, government green procurement, sustainable development, green economy

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Linking Municipal Emissions Trading Schemes across Asia: The Merits in Attaining Carbon Dioxide Abatement Targets and Reducing its Costs
Kenichi Imai aAbstract: In Asia, many municipalities are actively tackling an issue of global warming by setting their respective voluntary targets of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions abatement. Some of them in China, India, and Japan have already introduced or plan to introduce municipal emissions trading schemes. These movements would lead to a good preparation towards a new international framework under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) starting in 2020 after the termination of the Kyoto Protocol because Asia’s developing countries such as China and India are likely to have legally-binding obligations of CO2 emissions abatement under the new international framework. Furthermore, these movements indicate the possibility that currently emerging municipal emissions trading schemes in Asia will be linked to seek potential benefits from such linking. Discussing that municipal emissions trading schemes must be more feasible than national emissions trading schemes, this paper tests the potential benefits of linking municipal emissions trading schemes across Asia. More specifically, the paper empirically investigates merits of linking municipal emissions trading schemes across a region, where CO2 abatement technologies are diverse, in attaining an overall CO2 abatement target for a region as well as CO2 abatement targets for respective municipalities and in reducing an overall CO2 abatement costs for a region as well as CO2 abatement costs for respective municipalities. To investigate these merits, the paper first reviews theoretical frameworks and implications of a general economic model of emissions trading and secondly conducts a simulation analysis on an extended model of emission trading assuming that private firms in municipalities trade carbon permits each other across a region. Simulations are conducted for a hypothetical region, where CO2 abatement technologies are diverse like in Asia, to compare following three points for three cases: (1) a case of no linking municipal emissions trading schemes; (2) a case of linking municipal emissions trading schemes at home; and (3) a case of linking municipal emissions trading schemes across a region. The first point to be compared for these three cases is an overall CO2 abatement costs for the region to attain its overall CO2 abatement target. The second point is costs for each of municipalities to attain its CO2 abatement target. The third point is cost savings/revenues for each of municipalities gained from trading carbon permits. A major result of simulations using hypothetical marginal abatement cost functions for private firms is that, the case (3), that is, linking municipal emissions trading schemes across the region has the least overall CO2 emissions abatement costs for the region. 

Keywords: Asia, Carbon dioxide emissions, Carbon permits, Marginal abatement costs, Municipal emissions trading scheme

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African Youth and Sustainable Development: Inventory Fixtures
Rititingar Appolinaine a
a Department of Sociology, University of N’djamena, Chad. 

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 64-77, 2012.

Abstract: While African governments are increasingly putting youth concerns at the heart of the development agenda, a lot more remains to be done. After fifty (50) years of Independence, Africa is still economically, politically, culturally, socially fossilized. In spite of different models of development elaborated here and there, the continent is still a home of social vices. The social fracture is deep; depths that we need to seek to know African’s responsibilities to eradicate them. Yet, the unfinished resources of the continent are youths. Unfortunately, they are worth used or planed. This comes back to analyze the contribution of this social group to the development of their continent. This of sustainable development depends on it. It is the way to fully engage young Africans in all aspects of the programs and initiatives that target Africa’s future.

Keywords: Africa, development, fracture, initiatives and youths.

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The Hybridice HIF Filter in Freeze Desalination of Mine Waters: An Overview of Operation, Process Analysis and Research Needs
Adeniyi A. a, R.K.K. Mbaya a, J. Maree b, A.P.I. Popoola a , F.S. Oosthuizen c 
a Department of Chemical  and Metallurgy Engineering, 
Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
b Department of Environmental, Water and Earth Sciences, 
Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
c Aqua-Simon UG, Flensburg, Germany. 

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 78-84, 2012.

Abstract: Mine waste water is a serious pollution problem globally in which its treatment and disposal are being researched on. The HybridICE freeze crystallization process is a viable solution to freeze desalination of mine waters. The paper thus presented an overview of the hybridICE HIF filter which is a significant unit operation in the HybridICE Freeze Crystallization process. The filter separates the ice from the slurry. The performance of the filter directly impacts the yield of the whole process and the purity of the recovered ice.  The ice faction in the liquid ice slurry feed into the filter must be high for a high yield of ice in the filter. The purity of the ice recovered from the filter must be high. Major process parameters that affect ice fraction will be investigated for optimum ice fraction. The performance of the filter will be evaluated and process parameters will be optimized to improve its performance. The possible optimum dimension of the filter and the filter medium will be specified. 

Keywords: HybridICE HIF filter, mine water, operation, process analysis, research needs

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Design improvement of the PhilRice continuous-type rice hull carbonizer for biochar production towards sustainable agriculture
Ricardo F. Orge a, John Eric O. Abon a
a Philippine Rice Research Institute, Maligaya, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 84-98,2012.

Abstract: The use of biochar from rice hull (carbonized rice hull) is becoming popular among Filipino rice farmers particularly those practicing an integrated system of farming locally called as Palayamanan.  Under this system of farming, carbonized rice hull is widely used as soil conditioner or as main ingredient in the production of organic fertilizers.  Some farmers are also using it as animal bedding to absorb urine and fresh manure. The saturated biochar are then incorporated into the soil as organic fertilizer for vegetables and other crops.  With this practice, farmers not only were able to save on fertilizer but also reduce their carbon footprints thus contributing to the global effort of reducing the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.   While the PhilRice-developed continuous-type rice hull carbonizer has been successfully used in the production of biochar for various uses in the farm, there were some weak points and operational concerns that were revealed only after its continued use.  The major one is when operating during windy conditions wherein there were significant dusts and smoke emissions generated which exposed the operator to health hazards.  Hence, the design was further improved.  To further enhance the usefulness of the equipment, design improvements were also geared towards making it able to process biochar from other agricultural wastes that are commonly generated in the farm.  Moreover, design refinements were also done on reducing its material and manufacturing requirements in preparation for its possible commercialization.  The resulting improved prototype is flat sided which make it simpler to fabricate, incurring less material wastage, than the previous one.  The flat sides makes use of 2mm thick metal sheets and their dimensions (0.8m x 1.2m) were chosen in such a way that no waste cuts are left from the two sheets (standard size: 1.2m x 2.4m) used.  Unlike in the previous prototype where a side opening was provided to facilitate manual agitation of the rice hull bed, the improved prototype features a fully enclosed hopper. In terms of the cost of fabrication materials used the improved prototype costs 28.8% lower than its predecessor.  Test runs conducted showed that the improved prototype can operate under windy conditions with no significant effect on emission.  In most cases (at least 85% of the time), the prototype operates with clear emission at the chimney.  Input capacity ranged from 20.6 to 36.2 kg/h with biochar recovery of 37.3 to 40.5% (by volume), depending on the condition of the rice hull and the frequency of collecting the processed biochar, among other factors.  The prototype has been tested with and found to be able to process other agricultural wastes such as rice straw, small branches of trees, and coconut husk into biochar.  

 Keywords:  Biochar; Biomass; Carbonized Rice Hull; Rice Hull; Rice Hull Carbonizer

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Design of Palm Oil Biomass Processing Network for Electricity Generation Using MINLP Model: a Case Study on Iskandar Malaysia
Gholamreza Zahed a, Aqeel Ahmed Bazmi b
 a Process Systems Engineering Centre (PROSPECT), Chemical Engineering Department,
 Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, , Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia.
a, b Biomass Conversion Research Centre (BCRC), Department of Chemical Engineering,, 
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology,, Lahore, Pakistan.

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 98-126, 2012.

Abstract: This paper presents a general decentralized energy generation (DEG) optimization model for developing countries. A mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model has been formulated and implemented, representing decisions regarding (1) the optimal number, locations, and sizes of various types of processing plants, (2) the amounts of biomass transported, and electricity to be transmitted between the selected locations over a selected period, and minimizes the objective function of overall generation cost. The model has been applied first for designing a DEG system using palm oil biomass for Iskandar Malaysia region of the state of Johor, Malaysia and then extended to entire state. We investigated the benefits of more distributed types of processing networks, in terms of the overall economics and the robustness to demand variations. No change in designed DEG system and distribution network was observed when the demand was lowered to 90%, 75% and 60% of original demand. 

Keywords: Palm oil biomass; bio-power; decentralized electricity generation; optimization; supply chain network

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An Early Assessment of BRAC Uganda Microfinance Programme: Estimate the Changes of Living Standard
Rifat Afroze a
a Department of Applied Social Science, London Metropolitan University, London, UK

Volume 05, Issue 08, Pg. 122-132, 2012.

Abstract: BRAC’s Microfinance Programme of Uganda, introduced in 2006, aims to provide critical services in microfinance for poor community. This study is an early assessment of the programme, and examined the changes of partake group compared with non-partake group in terms of their living standard, earning, loan and savings and welfare indicators. For assessing the impact of microfinance programme in Africa region, baseline and repeat surveys took place in Uganda. The surveys were designed as a randomized experiment, and don’t represent all the clients of BRAC Uganda. Baseline surveys were conducted during January to March, 2008 in four new branch offices (viz. Arua, Mbale, Mbarara and Nebbi) in Uganda. In each of these branches, 20 villages were identified by the credit officers as potential sites for microfinance. Among the 20 villages, 10 were randomly assigned for initiating microcredit and the rest as control. A second round survey was conducted during April/May, 2009. This population based panel survey included 2,807 households among which credit take-up rates are 10.71% and 7.57% in the treatment and control villages respectively. The factors that bring positive changes were also investigated. The study findings show a mixed picture: signs of an overall improvement for some particular issues are present, but every development takes time. Moreover, considerable changes occur in living standard of beneficiaries group. Overall though, BRAC’s Microfinance Programme hasn’t made a big impact on people’s lives yet. Although in some cases there is significant difference, it was not found in both groups. 

Keywords:  Enterprise, Living standard, Loan, Microfinance, Wage

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