nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2012‒03‒14
six papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. "Cost Effective Conservation Planning: Twenty Lessons from Economics" By Joshua M.Duke; Steven J. Dundas; Kent D. Messer
  2. Value Driver Formulas for Continuing Value in the Discounted Cash Flow Model By Jennergren, L. Peter
  3. Leadership and influence: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision By Giovanna d’Adda
  4. Highly skilled temporary return, technological change and Innovation: The Case of the TRQN Project in Afghanistan By Kuschminder, Katie; Siegel, Melissa
  5. Report on Impact Evaluation in Sub-Saharan Africa By Vibhuti Mendiratta
  6. Implementation of cross-country migration surveys in conflict-affected settings: Lessons from the IS Academy survey in Burundi and Ethiopia By Fransen, Sonja; Kuschminder, Katie; Siegel, Melissa

  1. By: Joshua M.Duke (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Delaware); Steven J. Dundas (Department of Economics, North Carolina State University); Kent D. Messer (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Delaware)
    Abstract: Economists advocate that the billions of public dollars spent on conservation should be allocated to achieve the largest possible social benefit. This is what we term “cost-effective conservation”-- a process that incorporates both benefits and costs that are measured with money. This controversial proposition has been poorly understood and not implemented by conservation planners. Drawing from evidence from the largest conservation programs in the United States, this paper seeks to improve the communication between economists and planners and overcome resistance to cost-effective conservation by addressing the open questions that likely drive skepticism among non-economists and by identifying best practices for project selection. We first delineate project-selection strategies and compare them to optimization. Then we synthesize the body of established research findings from economics into 20 practical lessons. Based on theory, policy considerations, and empirical evidence, these lessons illustrate the potential gains from improving practices related to cost-effective selection and also address how to overcome landowner-incentive challenges that face programs.
    Keywords: conservation planning, cost-effectiveness, nonmarket valuation, benefit cost targeting, optimization, prioritization
    JEL: Q18 Q24 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Jennergren, L. Peter (Department of Accounting)
    Abstract: The influential valuation book by an author team from McKinsey (Koller et al., 2010) recommends the value driver formula rather than the ordinary Gordon formula for the continuing value in the post-horizon period in the discounted cash flow model for firm valuation. This recommendation has apparently had considerable impact on valuation practice. The value driver formula is shown to be a fairly insignificant extension of the Gordon formula. The only case where it is applicable that is identified is where the requirement for working capital is not the same for the future growth projects (that are started in the successive years of the post-horizon period) as for the operations that are in place already at the start of the post-horizon period, a fairly uninteresting case. In that case, the Gordon formula gives the same (correct) valuation result, implying that the value driver formula is not necessary. This paper derives two revised value driver formulas that are non-trivial alternatives to the ordinary Gordon formula. In these formulas, gross margins can differ between the already existing operations and the growth projects. Continuing value is a sum of two separate Gordon formulas. This means that most of the steady-state character of the post-horizon period is retained.
    Keywords: Valuation; free cash flow; discounting; continuing value; value driver formula; convergence formula
    Date: 2011–11–23
  3. By: Giovanna d’Adda
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of leadership on the level and evolution of pro-social behavior using an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision. Participants decide how much to contribute to an actual conservation project. They can then revise their donations after being randomly matched in pairs on the basis of their authority and having observed each other’s contributions. Authority is measured through a social ranking exercise identifying formal and moral leaders within the community. I find that giving by a pair is higher and shows a lower tendency to decrease over time when a leader is part of a pair. This is because higher-ranked pair members in general, and leaders in particular, donate more and are less likely to revise contributions downwards after giving more than their counterparts. Leadership effects are stronger when moral authority is made salient within the experiment, in line with the ethical nature of the decision under study. These findings highlight the importance of identifying different forms of leadership and targeting the relevant leaders in projects aimed at local public good provision.
    Keywords: Leadership, local public goods, experimental, Colombia
    JEL: D7 H4 O1
    Date: 2012–01
  4. By: Kuschminder, Katie (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, Maastricht University); Siegel, Melissa (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Using the specific case of the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals (TRQN) project, this paper illustrates the effect the short-term return of highly qualified migrants abroad can have on capacity building in the origin country through knowledge transfer, innovation and technological change. The paper specifically examines the needs, expectations and delivery of knowledge through the TRQN project in Afghanistan.
    Keywords: migration, return migration, innovation, technological change, migration and development, Afghanistan
    JEL: O33 O15 J24
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Vibhuti Mendiratta (UMR DIAL- IRD)
    Abstract: (english) Impact evaluation has recently gained significant momentum with good reason, as they help to quantify the social impacts of interventions. With increased importance being attached to evaluation, one spillover effect could be capacity development in African countries with increased participation of African universities and local teams. It is in this respect that this report sheds some light on the recent trends in the impact evaluations. Collating information on evaluations from key sources, we produced a database to highlight key trends in the evolution of impact evaluations. We find a surge in the number of evaluations since 2004, 77% starting in 2004 and later. In terms of the thematic composition, 27% of the evaluations are health oriented followed by education, agriculture and microfinance as the key sectors. Another interesting trend observed is that the evaluations are largely restricted to Anglophone countries, primarily Kenya followed by Uganda. While African partners (like local NGOs, Ministries etc.) have been involved in different stages of program implementation in the country under consideration, only 11% of the studies on which we have information have an African author involved in writing the research paper. We thus conclude that we are a long way away from heavy involvement of African nationals in impact evaluations. Continued commitment from various stakeholders would be imperative for such an initiative to work and gather momentum. The database is available on African Impact Evaluation Network ( projects-dataset/). _________________________________ (français) Depuis une dizaine d’années, la réflexion sur les politiques de développement et leur efficacité a sensiblement évolué en adoptant une approche pragmatique consistant à évaluer de manière la plus rigoureuse possible l’impact de mesures et politiques de développement avant de les appliquer à d’autres contexte et de les généraliser. En rassemblant le plus grand nombre d’informations disponibles, ce rapport dresse un bilan des études d’impact (EI) menées en Afrique et s’interroge sur l’implication des chercheurs africains dans leur conception et analyse. Il apparaît que les EI se sont sensiblement développées en Afrique qu’à partir de 2004, 77% d’entre elles ayant été initiées depuis cette date prioritairement en santé, éducation, agriculture et micro-finance. Ces évaluations sont en grande partie menées dans les pays anglophones, plus particulièrement au Kenya et en Ouganda. Même si des partenaires africains ont pu participer aux études, dans seulement 11% des cas des chercheurs africains ont participé à la publication du rapport d’analyse. Nous concluons donc que les EI sont loin de constituer un levier pour la recherche en Afrique et que les différentes parties prenantes devraient prendre des mesures pour qu’une telle impulsion ait lieu. La base est disponible sur le site du réseau africain des évaluations d’impact (African Impact Evaluation Network à l’adresse suivante, on-projects-dataset/).
    Keywords: Africa, Impact evaluation
    JEL: O55 O10
    Date: 2011–11
  6. By: Fransen, Sonja (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, University of Maastricht); Kuschminder, Katie (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, University of Maastricht); Siegel, Melissa (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: The past decades have seen a rise of survey research in migration studies, which is often cross-national due to the very nature of migration. Conducting cross-country surveys presents challenges for researchers in terms of survey design, implementation, and data collection. A thematic focus on migration brings additional challenges due to the complexity of migration, issues of definitions, sampling and the geographical areas of interest. This paper gives insight into the practicalities of implementing a migration household survey in a developing country, conflict-affected setting. By focusing on these settings this paper is one of the few to target survey methodology in a non-developed country context. We highlight specific areas for attention within survey implementation stages: (1) scoping, (2) survey design, (3) training, (4) pilot, and (5) data collection. We specifically use the examples of the IS Academy project in Ethiopia and Burundi, hereby highlighting the differences between the two countries. The aim of this paper is to give practical guidelines for researchers and practitioners working in the area of migration research.
    Keywords: cross-country survey research, migration research, conflict-affected settings, Burundi, Ethiopia
    JEL: O15 C83
    Date: 2012

This nep-ppm issue is ©2012 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.