Universidad Privada Boliviana
  • Cochabamba, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Recent publications
Resumen Desde la perspectiva del paratránsito, el artículo caracteriza la relación entre transporte urbano de pasajeros y la expansión en el área metropolitana de Cochabamba. Sostiene que el crecimiento urbano de esta metrópoli es, entre varios factores, resultado de las condiciones del servicio de transporte de pasajeros, caracterizado por su informalidad, autonomía, libertad y flexibilidad. Se postula que el servicio de transporte es un dispositivo fundamental para la consolidación de la urbanización, a través de tres tipos de relación con nuevos asentamientos: 1) consubstancialidad entre organización barrial y organización de servicio de transporte; 2) organización barrial solicitante de servicios de transporte; y 3) operador de transporte ofertante de servicios específicos para la demanda. A esto se suman tres formas de agencia en las rutas: la creación, la extensión y la subdivisión. Como cierre, se reflexiona la importancia de este fenómeno como factor central para comprender las condiciones de urbanización de las ciudades bolivianas. Palabras clave: transporte informal, paratránsito, expansión urbana
Fluorescence microscopy is an important tool for disease diagnosis, often requiring costly optical components, such as fluorescence filter cubes and high-power light sources. Due to its high cost, conventional fluorescence microscopy cannot be fully exploited in low-income settings. Smartphone-based fluorescence microscopy becomes an interesting low-cost alternative, but raises challenges in the optical system. We present the development of a low-cost inverted laser fluorescence microscope that uses a smartphone to visualize the fluorescence image of biological samples. Our fluorescence microscope uses a laser-based simplified optical filter system that provides analog optical filtering capabilities of a fluorescence filter cube. Firstly, we validated our inverted optical filtering by visualizing microbeads labeled with three different fluorescent compounds or fluorophores commonly used for disease diagnosis. Secondly, we validated the disease diagnosis capabilities by comparing the results of our device with those of a commercial fluorescence microscope. We successfully detected and visualized Trypanosoma cruzi parasites, responsible for the Chagas infectious disease and the presence of Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies of the ANCA non-communicable autoimmune disease. The samples were labeled with the fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) fluorophore, one of the most commonly used fluorophores for disease diagnosis. Our device provides a 400× magnification and is at least one order of magnitude cheaper than conventional commercial fluorescence microscopes.
Due to high levels of deforestation, Bolivia's per capita CO2 emissions are currently among the highest in the world. Indeed, at more than 25 tCO2eq/person/year, they far exceed the per capita emissions of the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Achieving Net Zero would require a complete change of the current resource-intensive development model and would especially have to adjust the incentives that are promoting the rapid expansion of soybean farming and cattle ranching in the Bolivian Amazon and Chiquitano forests. This paper identifies the main sources of emissions in Bolivia and the most cost-effective measures to reduce them, under the condition that the selected measures do not decrease average incomes nor increase poverty compared to the Business-as-Usual scenario. The paper estimates the magnitude of the investment needed to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050 at about $150 billion or 7.8% of Bolivia's GDP between 2022 and 2050. To make sure that poor people are not hurt by the Net Zero strategy, most of the funds should be used to promote alternative and more sustainable economic opportunities for Bolivians, including resilient and diverse agro-forestry activities, zero-deforestation beef production, nature-based tourism, high value-added wood products, scientific research, etc. These alternative opportunities should include women as much as possible, so as to provide more gender equal opportunities than the traditional activities at the agricultural frontier. The paper reviews different financing options and proposes a simple, easily verifiable, performance-based mechanism, that shares the costs and benefits of reduced deforestation fairly. Finally, the paper discusses the main social, economic, and political challenges to achieving these goals.
This study aims to evaluate the effect of factors influencing the performance of a small-scale operating wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) integrating anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) and biofilters with temperature fluctuations in the psychrophilic-mesophilic range. Over nine months of monitoring, the overall removal efficiencies for total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD), soluble chemical oxygen demand, particulate chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, ammonia nitrogen (NH 3-N), and phosphorus (P) were 92%, 82%, 98%, 98%, 49%, and 31%, respectively, on average. The ABR's TCOD removal efficiency (57%) was about 20% lower than the simulated efficiency using the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA)'s ABR design model, implying that temperature fluctuation and intermittent wastewater flow are possibly the factors that most affect performance. Although it was lower than the expected efficiency, the global performance of the system is supported by the significant contribution of horizontal and vertical gravel biofilters. The effluent quality complies with the local standard for wastewater discharge, except for the high content of nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations, which can be used for crop irrigation. To improve the WWTP performance, we recommend using a primary settler considering the use of a chemically enhanced solid separation process to avoid overloading organic solids in the ABR operation.. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Practical Applications: This study evaluates the efficiency of a domestic WWTP composed of an ABR and horizontal and vertical flow hybrid gravel filters without vegetation located in a small city in Bolivia where temperature conditions are highly variable (8-24°C). The WWTP treats wastewater from a population of 500 families. The WWTP performance under typical OLR, superficial loading rate, and hydraulic retention time (HRT) showed high removal efficiencies of 92% and 98% for COD and total suspended solids (TSS) respectively, obtaining high-quality effluent suitable for crop irrigation. This configuration is adequate for treating high-strength wastewater at low-moderate temperatures that can be replicated as a decentralized water treatment system in small cities with similar climatic conditions. It is recommended to avoid intermittent flow in ABRs to avoid the washout of organic solids. It is also advisable to complement the configuration with the installation of a primary settler that contemplates an enhanced chemical stage to effectively separate organic and inorganic solids before the ABR. In this way, the treatment capacity of these systems could be increased.
This study proposes using Satellite-Based Precipitation (SBP) products and local rain gauge data to generate information on the daily precipitation product over Bolivia. The selected SBP products used were the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation Gauge, v6 (GSMaP_Gauge v6) and the Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitations with Stations (CHIRPS). The Gridded Meteorological Ensemble Tool (GMET) is a generated precipitation product that was used as a control for the newly generated products. The correlation coefficients for raw data from SBP products were found to be between 0.58 and 0.60 when using a daily temporal scale. The applied methodology iterates correction factors for each sub-basin, taking advantage of surface measurements from the national rain gauge network. Five iterations showed stability in the convergence of data values. The generated daily products showed correlation coefficients between 0.87 and 0.98 when using rain gauge data as a control, while GMET showed correlation coefficients of around 0.89 and 0.95. The best results were found in the Altiplano and La Plata sub-basins. The database generated in this study can be used for several daily hydrological applications for Bolivia, including storm analysis and extreme event analysis. Finally, a case study in the Rocha River basin was carried out using the daily generated precipitation product. This was used to force a hydrological model to establish the outcome of simulated daily river discharge. Finally, we recommend the usage of these daily generated precipitation products for a wide spectrum of hydrological applications, using different models to support decision-making.
Artificial intelligence (AI) characterizes a new generation of technologies capable of interacting with the environment and aiming to simulate human intelligence. The success of integrating AI into organizations critically depends on workers' trust in AI technology. Trust is a central component of the interaction between people and AI, as incorrect levels of trust may cause misuse, abuse or disuse of the technology. The European Commission's High-level Expert Group on AI (HLEG) have adopted the position that we should establish a relationship of trust with AI and should cultivate trustworthy AI. This article investigates the links between trust in AI, concerns related to AI use, and the ethics related to such use. We used data collected in 2019 from more than 30,000 individuals across the EU28. The data focuses on living conditions, trust, and AI uses and concerns. An econometric model is used. The endogenous variable is an ordered measure of trust in AI. We use an ordered logit model to highlight the factors associated with an increased level of trust in AI in Europe. The results show that many concerns related to AI use are linked to AI trust, and the ability to try out AI applications will also have an impact on initial trust. To enhance trust, practitioners can try to maximize the technological features in AI systems. The representation of the AI as a humanoid or a loyal pet (e.g., a dog) will facilitate initial trust formation. Moreover, findings reveal an unequal degree of trust in AI across countries.
En los últimos años, se ha notado que el ciclo del agua en el valle central de Cochabamba ha aumentado su variabilidad, debido al incremento de la demanda de agua por el crecimiento poblacional, el inadecuado manejo de recursos hídricos en la región y el aumento en la impermeabilización de suelos en las zonas metropolitanas por la expansión de la mancha urbana. Esto ha generado eventos extremos de manera frecuente e impredecible, afectando a la población de la zona. Es por esto que se busca analizar, de mejor manera, el comportamiento del agua cuantitativamente para así tomar medidas enfocadas en la reducción de eventos extremos. El área de estudio se ubica en la cuenca del río Rocha, una de las cuencas priorizadas por el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua de Bolivia. El objetivo de este estudio es la aplicación de productos combinados de sensores de precipitación a bordo de satélites con datos de pluviómetros terrestres y la modelación hidrológica con análisis de parámetros del caudal ecológico del río Rocha para mejorar el estudio de eventos extremos. Se utilizaron cuatro productos de precipitación con base satelital: CHIRPS, GSMaP, PERSIANN e IMERG y se utilizó un proceso de combinación por error relativo. Los productos generados se emplearon como entrada a un modelo hidrológico. Los mejores productos para usar el proceso de iteración son a escala temporal mensual CH5M (generado a partir de CHIRPS) con un valor de 99% de similitud y escala temporal diaria GS5D (generado a partir de GSMaP) con un valor del 90% de similitud. Los caudales simulados permitieron estimar la cantidad de agua disponible en las subcuencas, la cual fue comparada con las mediciones disponibles en la zona de estudio. Posteriormente, se determinaron los parámetros del caudal ecológico mediante la herramienta IHA para estudiar eventos extremos y lograr entender el comportamiento de la variación de los caudales. Los eventos simulados fueron comparados con eventos históricos reportados en la zona, encontrando similitud. Adicionalmente, la herramienta IHA facilita el análisis visual y tabular de los caudales bajo diversos escenarios. Estos resultados son útiles para proponer valores de caudales ecológicos en la cuenca del río Rocha en épocas de estiaje.
As an application of geotechnical engineering, an analysis of portal stability of the exit of Tunnel 3, in the construction of the double lane central section "El Sillar" Cochabamba - Santa Cruz highway is presented. This study is carried out by using the finite element method FEM with the PLAXIS 3D software to determine the areas where slope stabilization of the portal is needed and the definition of the excavation construction method along with the support system for the tunnel. Later, the tunnel structure is evaluated. Initially, data compilation from geotechnical studies is done (pits, geomechanical stations, geophysical survey, in situ and laboratory tests on drilled rock cores) contrasted with proper bibliographic referenced ranges to obtain initial geomechanical conditions. Subsequently, mechanical parameters of the rock are calibrated by means of real deformations caused by the excavation of the tunnel in the portal with a plastic-type calculation. The calibrated model achieves the average measured deformation on the tunnel: 5 mm. Then, the stability analysis is carried out by means of a safety-type calculation to obtain global safety factors where different stabilization alternatives are assessed. In this way, the modification of the slope geometry is revealed as the most optimal solution. Subsequently, the construction stages of the tunnel are simulated by adopting the Belgium method, the largest number of supports is required, because it is a very unstable area. Finally, principal effective stresses and deformations for static and pseudo-static conditions are calculated and reach admissible values (6, 12 mm maximum deformation in the vault) and minimum safety factors were above minimum factors required by NSR-10: 1,25 and 1,0; assessing most optimal geometry considering reinforced and non-reinforced conditions in the tunnel at three different depths and lateral covers for the tunnel.
Few events have had an impact as the global crisis caused by COVID-19. However, prior to the pandemic, Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries already had severe problems in terms of inequality, environmental degradation, and dysfunctional political systems. Added to this are the growing challenges that climate change poses for this highly vulnerable region. This historic turning point represents a new call to consider future studies to re-imagine and reinvent alternative futures for the LAC region. For this paper, we conducted an in-depth qualitative futures study to identify how Latin American and Caribbean countries could build long-term resilience, focusing on adaptability to climate change risks, considering existing sustainable development challenges and the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic, environmental, and social aspects. This study's findings provide recommendations for policymakers and decision-makers to achieve sustainable futures for LAC. Finally, it reflects on the value of collective action for a future-proof region.
A critical issue in the context of sustainable agriculture is the reduction of pesticides. Despite well-known adverse effects, farmers around the world continue using pesticides with mostly inappropriate ways. Relevant policies have assumed that farmers themselves are primarily responsible for pesticide misuse. However, the responsibility of pesticide retailers has never been quantified due to the difficulty in obtaining reliable data. An empirical study was conducted with smallholder farmers who collected 9,670 pesticide retailers’ recommendations from 1489 surveys in the highlands of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. This original design allowed obtaining for the first time genuine responses about pesticide recommendations from retailers at a large scale. When comparing retailers’ recommendations with product datasheets, the results suggest that 88.2% of recommendations standards were incorrectly followed resulting in dosing recommendations that were either excessive or insufficient and accurate less than 12% of the time. An in-depth analysis also showed that 79.2% of recommended products pertained to only 6 modes of action, thus increasing the risks of pest resistance. An expert retailer model further showed that all highly toxic pesticides could be replaced by less-toxic ones. Several ways to alleviate these detrimental consequences are proposed, by acting at the root of pesticide misuse–at the retailer’s recommendation stage.
Deficient taxpayer information is a major impediment for taxation, particularly in developing countries. However, in contrast to the well-established literature on nudging tax compliance, field experimental evidence on low-cost interventions to improve the taxpayer registry is scarce. This paper presents the first evidence on promoting registration in an online tax registry. We randomized outreach communications to over 160 K Brazilian property taxpayers, thereby targeting a tax considered a sleeping giant in Latin America. A simple request to join the registry, embedded in a graphically designed e-mail, substantially increased registration relative to a control treatment. Strikingly, however, adding a lottery reward unintendedly reduced registration in comparison to the simple request. Survey evidence, unavailable in previous studies, points to altered effective motivations to register as an explanation. We highlight one mechanism that can reconcile different results in the literature: rewards may signal voluntariness and lack of enforcement. This is also consistent with the results of our analysis of property tax payments. It suggests that the e-mails increased tax payments of certain taxpayers, but that the lottery treatment lowered payment rates for high-value properties. In sum, nudging may be one element of a successful strategy to improve taxpayer registration. However, while simple low-cost outreach activities improve registration, the use of low-powered incentives can have adverse effects.
The Plurinational State of Bolivia is known to be a developing country with a rebellious population and rich in natural resources. It is known in an international context regarding its entrepreneurial ecosystem, which has been rapidly developing during the last 15 years, even during the COVID-19 pandemic which accelerated the technological transformation and created articulations between institutions in order to give a merged and integral support to entrepreneurs. Because of its strategic geographical position, Bolivia is an important connector in Latin America, allowing not only entrepreneurship to flourish into neighboring countries, but also, by being the shortest route for international ventures to grow in the country as well. In the last 6 months, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bolivia has been able to adapt and confront the crisis, rapidly being part of the world’s vision of virtual businesses, however, there is still the need to improve various factors of doing business, such as taxation, bureaucracy, and construction permits. Even though the current entrepreneurial situation of the country doesn’t offer a positive perspective, changes are being made to adapt and support entrepreneurs in the country. Today, more than 35 “hubs” exist, demonstrating the capacity of involved institutions to articulate and strategically plan their support.
There have been steadily growing requirements from the academia and industry, demanding non-invasive methods and reliable measurement systems of research devoted to operational mode analysis (OMA). Due to the simplicity of performing only structures surface vibration measurements, OMA is frequently applied in machine fault diagnosis (MFD) and structure health monitoring (SHM). OMA can handle big structures, such as bridges, buildings, machines, etc. However, there is still an open question: how to properly handle the harmonic effects of rotating components and the difficulty of closely estimating space modes are still a nightmare to deal with. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to identify the structure of natural frequencies by the regeneration of frequency response functions (FRFs) for complex structures based on OMA. The novelty of our approach is to use the random decrement technique (RDT), correlation function estimation (CFE), and enhanced Ibrahim time method (EITM) to overcome OMA’s difficulties and limitations. To reduce further rotational harmonics effects, gear mesh and side band frequencies, digital signal processing techniques based on notching filters, and liftering analysis techniques were also used. All the experiments were performed at the laboratory test rig and conducted by using three accelerometers, one impedance hammer, one force sensor, and one data acquisition board. To reduce data’s variabilities, each test was measured three times for 5 min. The data sampling frequency for all the experiments was 25.6 kHz. To validate the proposed methodology, extensive OMA tests were performed for the generation of FRFs. The measured objects were a steel bar, induction motor, and gearbox. Five structural natural frequencies for the induction motor and eight structural natural frequencies for the gearbox were generated, respectively.
The objective of this paper is to analyze how to harvest water from the air in Bolivia. In order to collect water from the air by means of condensation two fog collectors were built in Kañuma, located in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. Environmental conditions, such as wind direction and velocity, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, were calculated using a Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station. The formal Quasi-Experimental Research was implemented, determining the cause-effect relation of quantity of water collected and environmental conditions in the lapse of 21 days. Daily controls were performed, analyzing the volume of harvested water regarding evapotranspiration and the psychrometric constant. Our results show that it has been possible to harvest almost 89 ml/day/m ² in both models, in just 21 days of experimentation. In addition, we want to shed light on sustainable development and public policy implementation on water collection alternatives, especially for high and mountainous areas, where we can locate some of the poorest communities in Bolivia.
Nowadays, due to the increase of economic accessibility in satellites and its growing development, many universities and research centers have ventured into space projects by manufacturing their own satellites and sending them into space. Even though, these projects have different applications, they all are focused in the research and development of knowledge. The total cost of a space mission (for pico-type satellites) is divided approximately into 50% design and construction and 50% in satellite launch. Unfortunately, not all countries are able to carry out their satellite projects due to economic problems. Hence, this chapter presents a non-profitable satellite launch alternative which represents a great opportunity for many developing countries. In this way, the opportunity to carry out free launches is offered by international institutions and organizations such as space agencies, and some private companies. In order to collaborate to those college students’ groups and research centers, whom are not economically able to finance a rocket to launch their satellites into space and develop their projects, these launches are cost-free. Thereby, this chapter specifically focuses on describing the free launch options (opportunity launches). Mainly, the launch opportunities are planned for picosatellites, light weight (less than 1 kg) and dimensionally small satellites. Furthermore, due to the low budget and scarce accessibility of components of developing countries, they commonly use picosatellites.
The 0°C isotherm height is used in rain attenuation prediction models to calculate the rain height, as proposed in ITU-R Recommendations. In a previous study, statistical results on the variability of the 0°C isotherm were obtained for Madrid from ten years of radiosonde measurements. Such results are compared in this paper with statistics calculated using the 0°C isotherm height provided by ERA5 climatic reanalysis. The height of the melting layer was investigated previously through the comparison of the 0°C isotherm height, considered to be the top of the melting layer, with the height of the bottom of the melting layer derived from measurements performed with a vertical Doppler radar (MRR-2). The profiles of the velocity of falling particles provided by this radar have been used recently to calculate both the top and bottom of the melting layer. The first results are presented in this paper.
The Rohingya crisis is the fourth largest displacement of population in the world, with most refugees sheltering in neighbouring Bangladesh. We use this event as a natural experiment to examine the impact of the sudden influx of Rohingyas on food prices in the main host region of Bangladesh. We have pieced together a unique data set on food prices based on unpublished information at local government levels covering the pre-and post-influx period. We use a difference-indifference approach to identify the impact of the refugee influx on the prices in the local area. Our baseline results indicate that overall food prices increased by 8 percent in the host sub-district of Ukhia, with prices of protein and vegetables increasing by 7 and 36 percent, respectively. For aid-supplied food products, such as cereals and lentils, we do find a statistically significant mitigating effect on prices. However, they were not substantial enough to reverse the increase in food prices.
Background: The social gradient of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) has been widely studied. However, little has been done to understand health inequality across populations within a country, such as between municipalities. We use Bolivian municipal data to analyze the social inequality in the incidence of NCDs and identify social determinants that contribute to this inequality. Methods: First, we estimate curves and concentration indices (CI) of NCDs incidence, measuring the municipal socioeconomic status by the index of Unsatisfied Basic Needs. We rank municipalities from the poorest to the least poor. Then, we decompose the CI into some of its main social determinants using Wagstaff decomposition analysis. The information related to the incidence of NCDs is from the National Health Management Information System (HMI). Incidence rates are standardized by municipal demographics and availability of health services to control for these confounders during the analysis. Socioeconomic data at the municipal level for 2018 comes from the National Institute of Statistics, Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Bolivia, and projections. Results: The CI for NCDs incidence is 0.20 (95% confidence interval: [0.06,0.34]), which shows that the population with NCDs concentrates in relatively less poor municipalities. Consistent with global patterns, hypertension and diabetes have the highest incidence and inequality. We separate the contribution of five social determinants to the inequality of hypertension and diabetes: (1) urbanization rate, (2) education, (3) indigenous people, (4) sanitation, and (5) the percentage of women with anemia. We find that the most relevant are the urbanization rate and education. The rate of urbanization contributes positively to inequality, while years of education contribute negatively. Conclusion: There is an unequal distribution of NCDs that disadvantages municipalities of higher socioeconomic status. One of the main determinants is the urbanization rate. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that, in developing countries, rapid and unplanned urbanization tends to change people’s way of life, potentially leading them to develop behavioral risk factors that contribute to the incidence of NCDs. Thus, policies on healthy urban environments and health education focused on municipalities with high incidence could help to curb the increase of NCDs in Bolivia.
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257 members
Alex Villazon
  • CINTI Research Center
Gustavo A. Siles
  • Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
Ramiro Escalera
  • Centro de Investigaciones en Procesos Industriales
Omar Ormachea
  • Centro de Investigaciones Ópticas y Energías
Grover V. Zurita
  • Laboratory of Industrial Technology Innovation and robotics
Information
Address
Capitan Ustariz Ave., zona Santa Rosa, 3967, Cochabamba, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Head of institution
Manuel Olave Sarmiento, PhD
Website
www.upb.edu
Phone
+591 4 4268287
Fax
+591 4 4268288