nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2016‒04‒04
eight papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Sharing Knowledge in a Shared Services Center Context: An Explanatory Case Study of the Dialectics of Formal and Informal Practices By Dragos Vieru; Pierre-Emmanuel Arduin
  2. Matching donations without crowding out? Some theoretical considerations, a field, and a lab experiment By Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
  3. Green Microfinance and Ecosystem Services - A quantitative study on outcomes and effectiveness By Davide Forcella; Frédéric Huybrechs
  4. A new Evaluation and Decision Making Framework Investigating the Elimination-by-Aspects Model in the Context of Transportation Projects' Investment Choices By Rayan Khraibani; André De Palma; Nathalie Picard; Isam Kaysi
  5. The Motivation of Participants in Successful Development Aid Projects: A Self-Determination Theory Analysis of Reasons for Participating By Sayanagi, Nobuo R; Aikawa, Jiro
  6. Baseline Considerations in Designing REDD+ Pilot Projects: Evidence from Nepal By Bishnu Prasad Sharma; Mani Nepal; Bhaskar S. Karky; Subhrendu Pattanayak; Priya Shyamsundar
  7. Weibull Wind Worth: Wait and Watch? By Lillestøl, Jostein
  8. How Outward Looking is Smart Specialisation? Results from a survey on inter-regional collaboration in Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3) By Jens Sörvik; Inger Midtkandal; Chiara Marzocchi; Elvira Uyarra

  1. By: Dragos Vieru (Université du Québec - Université du Québec - Université du Québec); Pierre-Emmanuel Arduin (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This study focuses on how knowledge sharing across boundaries of merging entities during an information system (IS) implementation project in a shared services center (SSC) context affects the resulting system functionality. Although the literature stresses the growing adoption of the SSC as an outsourcing model, there is a lack of studies that examine shared services as a dynamic process of knowledge sharing across the organizational boundaries. We draw on a sociomaterial practice perspective and on the theory of workarounds to analyze an IS implementation project in a healthcare organization resulting from a merger of previously independent hospitals. The results suggest that new technology can be enacted in different ways as it links up with practices of different communities of users. We propose a multilevel process model that indicates at the end of the project a resulting mix of formal and informal (workarounds) practices that emerged from a dialectic process of resistance to, and negotiation of, the IS configuration during its implementation.
    Keywords: Shared services center,Knowledge sharing,Sociomaterial practice perspective,Workarounds,Performativity,Sociomaterial assemblages
    Date: 2016–02
  2. By: Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
    Abstract: Is there a way of matching donations that avoids crowding out? We introduce a novel matching method where the matched amount is allocated to a different project, present some simple theoretical considerations that predict reduced crowding out or more crowding in (depending on the degree of substitutability between the two projects) and present evidence from a large-scale natural field experiment and a laboratory experiment. Similar to findings in the literature, conventional matching for the same project results in partial crowding out in the field experiment and, as predicted, crowding out is reduced under the novel matching scheme. The lab experiment provides more fine-tuned evidence for the change in crowding and yields further support for the theory: the novel matching method works best when the two projects are complements rather than substitutes.
    Keywords: Charitable giving,Matched fundraising,Natural field experiment
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Davide Forcella; Frédéric Huybrechs
    Abstract: There has been growing interest lately in the role of microfinance to support environmental management of micro-enterprises and poor households. Worldwide, the number of green microfinance projects increases, yet there seems to be little discussion on how effective green microfinance is in achieving its environmental goals. This paper aims to position itself in this debate. We look at the first large-scale green microfinance programme for biodiversity conservation: Proyecto CAMBio. It consists of a combination of credits, technical assistance and conditional payments for environmentally friendly agricultural activities (PES). We focus on its implementation in Nicaragua by the microfinance institution FDL and the NGO Nitlapan. We perform an in-depth econometric analysis of a survey we conducted on a sample of 128 rural producers. We assess the clients’ characteristics that influenced the evolution of the environmental value of their farm –as defined by the indicators we used– on a span of five years, and we assess Proyecto CAMBio’s possible role in this evolution. Moreover, we further look into the effectiveness of PES in rewarding environmental betterment. Factors such as the decision to change the main economic activities, or clients’ strategies or opportunities in land accumulationappear to have the strongest influence on the evolution of the environmental value of the clients’ farm. While the project per se, even if carefully implemented in agreement with its guidelines and well performing at financial level, does not appear to have significantly influenced the evolution of the environmental value of the clients’ farm. Moreover, the PES does not seem to reward environmental improvement while instead it rewards the more credit-worthy activities, producers with more access to land and credit and in addition producers that plant fewer trees per hectare. With these results, we underline the importance of the local territorial dynamics and the complexity of the socio-environmental systems against a vision based simply on single economic actors. From our results it appears that green microfinance, without strategic articulation with local actors and broader territorial dynamics, would tend to (indirectly) support preexisting socioeconomic structures and the possibly related environmental degradation processes. We hence call for a more proactive engagement of green microfinance in the territorial dynamics and with local actors with the aim to support more sustainable livelihood trajectories and development pathways.
    Keywords: Microfinance; Green Microfinance; Rural Development; Payments for Environmental Services; Agricultural Finance; Ecosystem Services; Biodiversity; Central America; Proyecto CAMBio; Quantitative Analysis
    JEL: Q57 Q01 Q12 Q14 Q15 Q23 O13 G21 C01
    Date: 2016–03–16
  4. By: Rayan Khraibani (Université de Cergy Pontoise); André De Palma (ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan, Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nathalie Picard (Université de Cergy Pontoise); Isam Kaysi (American University of Beirut - American University of Beirut)
    Abstract: The Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA) framework, a new evaluation and decision making framework (and methodology) for large transportation projects, is proposed to elicit, structure and quantify the preferences of stakeholder groups across project alternatives. The decision rule used for group decision making within TEBA is the individual non-compensatory model of choice elimination by aspects (EBA). TEBA is designed to bring out the decision rule employed by decision makers when ranking the options presented, incorporate various criteria types and ease communication of relevant information related to options and criteria for multiple stakeholder groups. It is a platform for democratizing the decision making process. The TEBA framework was tested using a case study investigating alternative land connections between Beirut and Damascus. Key results showed that (1) stakeholders have employed EBA in making decisions, (2) a defined group of decision makers will rank options differently when provided with modified sets of criteria, (3) the public sector and general public groups ranked Impact on Employment among the top criteria, (4) the most important criterion per group from EBA was as expected; (5) the EBA analysis suggested that only 3 to 4 criteria are significant in reaching a decision; (6) aggregation of user assigned weights masked relative importance of criteria in some cases; and (7) analysis of user assigned weights and Minimum Threshold (MT) values suggest higher risk perception with increased criterion importance. Policy implications include recommendation to reach out to stakeholders for input on decisions, including the “people” but refrain from relying on criteria weights assigned by “experts” and reduce the “experts”’ role in decision making. Also, it is recommended to model the decision making in a probabilistic framework rather than a deterministic “one score” approach, seek to identify a consensus ranking, place particular attention on determining the values of the criteria that emerged as “top” at the evaluation stage and continue to emphasize risk measures. Keywords: Transportation Investment, Collective Decision Making, Cost Benefit Analysis, Elimination by Aspects, Consensus Model / Joint Decision Making, Index of Dispersion, Behavioral Choice
    Keywords: Transportation Investment, Collective Decision Making, Cost Benefit Analysis, Elimination by Aspects, Consensus Model, Joint Decision Making, Index of Dispersion, Behavioral Choice
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Sayanagi, Nobuo R; Aikawa, Jiro
    Abstract: The aim of this study was to reveal the reasons that extension officers and farmers give for participating in successful capacity development projects, and to categorize these reasons into motivation types defined by self-determination theory, drawing from the “why questions” approach of Chandler & Connell (1987). Field officers and farmers from two successful projects, — namely, the Life Improvement Approach in Japan and the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion approach in Kenya — participated in semi-structured interviews regarding the reasons they participated in their projects’ activities. The concordance rate of the independent ratings of the reasons by the two authors was high, verifying the reliability of the coding procedure. A large proportion of the reasons were coded as identified/integrated regulation, the most autonomous type of motivation, supporting the hypothesis that participants of successful aid projects would primarily be autonomously motivated. Other implications of the interview transcripts are also discussed.
    Keywords: development aid , capacity development projects , motivation , self-determination theory
    Date: 2016–03–16
  6. By: Bishnu Prasad Sharma; Mani Nepal; Bhaskar S. Karky; Subhrendu Pattanayak; Priya Shyamsundar
    Abstract: In this paper we discuss how three criteria - carbon effectiveness, cost efficiency, and equity and co-benefits - can be incorporated in the experimental design for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). We discuss how additional design components can be introduced using a propensity score matching method in pre-selected study sites. Finally, we explain how this carefully designed study has helped to prepare the ground for a difference-in-difference framework for future outcome and impact evaluation. Given the lack of adequate data in developing country scenarios, and the mismatch between project implementation and impact evaluation, this paper highlights how a reliable baseline for forest carbon, ecology, and social and livelihood indicators could be created by collecting data at community level. This paper concludes with considerations for future outcomes and an impact evaluation of the REDD+ mechanism.
    Keywords: REDD+, impact evaluations, forest carbon, co-benefits, Nepal
  7. By: Lillestøl, Jostein (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper considers a decision problem in the context of the worth of a wind mill project with profitability dependent on the average wind speed. This is partly known and the issue is whether to go on with the project now or, with an additional cost, put up a test mill and observe, say for a year, and then decide. The problem is studied within a Bayesian framework and given a general analytic solution for a specific loss function of linear type, with the normal case as illustration. Explicit formulas are then derived in the case when the wind speed distribution is Weibull with known shape parameter, and the sensitivity with respect to the specification of this parameter is explored. Based on Norwegian wind speed data we then give a justification of the Weibull model. This also provides some insight to parameter stability. Finally, a complete numerical scheme for the Bayesian two-parameter Weibull model is given, illustrated with an implementation of pre-posterior Weibull analysis in R.
    Keywords: Weibull distribution; decision analysis; pre-posterior Bayesian analysis
    JEL: C00 C10 C13
    Date: 2016–01–27
  8. By: Jens Sörvik (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Inger Midtkandal (Royal Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi (India), commercial section Innovation Norway); Chiara Marzocchi (Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Manchester Business School, Manchester (UK)); Elvira Uyarra (Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Manchester Business School, Manchester (UK))
    Abstract: Smart specialisation (S3) emphasises the identification of niches, cross-sectorial innovation and solving societal challenges. With this comes a need for an outward-looking dimension, to find a region’s potential advantages in international markets, and to identify partners to help deliver new solutions and solve common challenges. This is the case not only for industry and academia, but also for regional policy-makers who need to engage in inter-regional collaboration processes. The purpose of the survey presented in this report was to increase our understanding of the factors underlying successful inter-regional cooperation within S3. It builds on an analytical framework to better understand the multiple dimensions of inter-regional collaboration, developed in a previous working paper (Uyarra et al., 2014). The objectives of this study were to increase our knowledge of inter-regional collaboration in research and innovation (R&I), with the aim of supporting regions and Member States in their collaborative efforts in S3, but also to inform the S3 Platform (S3P) and other European Commission (EC) services on how to best support inter-regional collaboration in R&I policy. The answers from the survey respondents indicate that the EU’s new cohesion policy has led some regions and Member States to change their behaviour in collaboration in R&I policy. More than half of the respondents reported having prior collaboration experiences, of which 67 % reported increased collaboration in the previous 2 years and 30 % reported a stable level of collaborative effort. The factors driving collaboration and the perceived benefits of collaboration include information sharing, meeting a new orientation of regional policy and supporting linkages between R&I and industry. Collaboration largely involves low-intensity activities that bring direct and immediate benefits. Collaboration is most prominent in the first steps of the RIS3 process, analysis, design and decision-making. The criteria underlying the choice of partners are in line with the RIS3 concept; they are based on industry composition (similar or complementary), research capabilities that are complementary or similar, as well as similar societal challenges. In contrast, the survey findings regarding the geographical location of partnering regions, as regions most often collaborate with other regions in their own country. The main barriers to collaboration seem to be inter-related and include lack of resources, insufficient political commitment, insufficient engagement of regional stakeholders and lack of clarity of objectives. One interpretation is that it is challenging to communicate clearly to stakeholders and politicians the outcomes of an intervention, with the result that stakeholders are unwilling commit or mobilise resources. The rationale for innovation policy interventions quite often is to support activities that provide indirect and dynamic benefits that are not easily measured, divisible or attributable to individual actors or activities. In contrast, the least problematic barriers are socio-cultural issues, legal or administrative barriers and lack of trust. It is recommended that regions and Member States better prepare the evidence base for their projects and improve the materials they use to communicate to stakeholders the potential benefits of collaboration and how to achieve them. Regions should also engage more with private sector actors and civil society. The paper indicates the importance of the EC communicating a more complex picture of the dynamics of inter-regional collaboration. An oversimplification of the message might lead to underinvestment and less intensive collaboration than that which is needed to address the larger challenges with potential for longer-term benefits for Europe. The recommendations for S3P include that it should focus on learning activities and support the initiation of collaborative processes. However, it appears that the regions and Member States want S3P support to implement thematic collaboration, but then to be left to themselves to carry it out. Likewise, respondents considered it important that S3P should provide guidance, act as a knowledge hub and offer expert assistance. This indicates that S3P should continue to develop knowledge around inter-regional collaboration and assist regions and Member States in establishing and developing this.
    Keywords: Inter-regional collaboration, Smart Specialisation, innovation policy, regional development, dimensions of collaboration, transnational collaboration.
    Date: 2016–03

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