nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2009‒08‒16
two papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. e-Science Infrastructure for the Social Sciences By Ekkehard Mochmann
  2. Flood risk â Prevention and Impact on Agricultural Lands By Wagner, Klaus; Neuwirth, Julia; Janetschek, Hubert

  1. By: Ekkehard Mochmann
    Abstract: When the term „e-Science“ became popular, it frequently was referred to as “enhanced science” or “electronic science”. More telling is the definition ‘e-Science is about global collaboration in key areas of science and the next generation of infrastructure that will enable it’ (Taylor, 2001). The question arises to what extent can the social sciences profit from recent developments in e- Science infrastructure? While computing, storage and network capacities so far were sufficient to accommodate and access social science data bases, new capacities and technologies support new types of research, e.g. linking and analysing transactional or audio-visual data. Increasingly collaborative working by researchers in distributed networks is efficiently supported and new resources are available for e-learning. Whether these new developments become transformative or just helpful will very much depend on whether their full potential is recognized and creatively integrated into new research designs by theoretically innovative scientists. Progress in e-Science was very much linked to the vision of the Grid as “a software infrastructure that enables flexible, secure, coordinated resource sharing among dynamic collections of individuals, institutions and resources’ and virtually unlimited computing capacities (Foster et al. 2000). In the Social Sciences there has been considerable progress in using modern IT- technologies for multilingual access to virtual distributed research databases across Europe and beyond (e.g. NESSTAR, CESSDA – Portal), data portals for access to statistical offices and for linking access to data, literature, project, expert and other data bases (e.g. Digital Libraries, VASCODA/SOWIPORT). Whether future developments will need GRID enabling of social science databases or can be further developed using WEB 2.0 support is currently an open question. The challenges here are seamless integration and interoperability of data bases, a requirement that is also stipulated by internationalisation and trans-disciplinary research. This goes along with the need for standards and harmonisation of data and metadata. Progress powered by e- infrastructure is, among others, dependent on regulatory frameworks and human capital well trained in both, data science and research methods. It is also dependent on sufficient critical mass of the institutional infrastructure to efficiently support a dynamic research community that wants to “take the lead without catching up”.
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Wagner, Klaus; Neuwirth, Julia; Janetschek, Hubert
    Abstract: Recent extreme weather events have resulted in an ongoing discussion on the issues of land use and compensation payments within Austrian agriculture. Building on a functional evaluation system for agricultural lands as developed within the Interreg IIIB project âILUPâ, the national project âAgriculture and Floodingâ has as its goal to classify the flood-protection contribution and flood sensitivity of agricultural lands. This, in turn, enables the recommendation of targeted measures for potentially improving flood situations, as well as an estimate of their implementation costs. In addition to the digital soil map, other fundamental sources used for the project are the digital flood risk map, IACS land-use data and works by the Institute for Land and Water Management Research. Reference values and marginal returns sourced from the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics also flow into the cost estimates for the recommended combination. The results will contribute to an understanding of the multifunctionality of agricultural lands and to the setting of priorities on a regional scale regarding packaged flood-prevention and damage-minimization. However, the results at hand can only serve as one step toward regional flood protection projects, whose development will require the cooperation of all interest groups.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Multifunctionality, Sustainability, Flood Risk, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Q24, Q25, Q54, Q56,
    Date: 2009–04–01

This nep-ppm issue is ©2009 by Arvi Kuura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.