nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2016‒12‒18
eight papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Capacity development evaluation : The challenge of the results agenda and measuring return on investment in the global south By Vallejo Carlos, B.; Wehn, U.
  2. Public ICT investment in reaction to the economic crisis: A case study on measuring IT-related intangibles in the public sector By Saam, Marianne; Weinhardt, Laura; Trottner, Lukas
  3. What bangs for your bucks? Assessing the design and impact of transformative policy By Matthijs Janssen
  4. Concession Stands: How Foreign Investment Incites Protest in Africa By Darin Christensen
  5. JRC Insights - Social Policy Innovation Series - The role of the Social Economy in promoting Social Investment By Gianluca Misuraca; Fiorenza Lipparini; Csaba Kucsera
  6. Geographical clustering and the effectiveness of public innovation programs By Crass, Dirk; Rammer, Christian; Aschhoff, Birgit
  7. An agent based analysis of the impacts of land use restriction and network structures on participation in conservation reserve programs By Sayed, Iftekhar; John, Tisdell
  8. Aid for Trade and the Sustainable Development Agenda: Strengthening Synergies By Frans Lammersen; William Hynes

  1. By: Vallejo Carlos, B. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Wehn, U.
    Abstract: This study reviews the evaluation of capacity development, identifying capacity development (CD) modalities and the schools of evaluation currently in place. The research joins the results agenda debate, arguing that in dealing with CD interventions, pre-defined indicators fail to represent the process and the key elements that take CD recipients toward patterns of change. The study highlights the fact that CD deals with projects that, by their nature (consisting of change processes designed to initiate change in people, organizations, and/or their enabling environment), rely more on non-planned changes than on the pre-defined indicators and results to contribute to livelihood improvements and social transformation. The study recognizes the difficulty of evaluating CD under straightforward mechanisms. It concludes that the existing approaches are not adequate to truly capture or measure impact, as CD projects, restricted by previously agreed budgets, resources, and time frames, are usually not designed to evaluate the sustainability of change and its impact over the medium or long term. As resources are scarce, donor agencies and policy-makers need to know the value of CD in order to best prioritize their investments. However, due to the nature of these projects, measuring the return rate between the project cost and its impact remains a difficult task. There is a need for new, multi-path approaches to capturing changes in capacity in order to serve as a basis for decision-making regarding CD investments.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Saam, Marianne; Weinhardt, Laura; Trottner, Lukas
    Abstract: In this paper, we (1) analyse the German public IT-spending programme 2009-11 adopted after the crisis in terms of its tangible vs. intangible asset creation, (2) consider this relatively well-described programme as a use case for categorising IT-related intangibles in government beyond software (including e.g., IT-training, innovation in e-services), (3) investigate how to form insightful aggregates of intangible IT-related investment from project level data and, in comparison, from the regular public budget in Germany. Based on project descriptions, we find out that half of the spending was on IT security-related projects. According to our estimations based on quantitative information, qualitative information and approximations, about half of the total spending was on intangibles, of which again about half went into software and a quarter into consulting. As a new output-based category for some assets created in the programme, we propose the category "concepts".
    Keywords: Public Sector,IT Investment,Intangible Assets,E-Government
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Matthijs Janssen
    Abstract: After an era of generic support for economic development and innovation, narrowly targeted transformation policy is back on the table. Recent advances in the fields of new industrial policy and transition thinking converge on the idea that achieving structural change requires governments to take an active role in overcoming inertia. Rather than just leveraging R&D investments and setting framework conditions, policy makers are urged to participate in the development of socio-economic systems around particular technologies. Associated policy support typically involves a diverse portfolio of system-specific interventions. The emergence of transformative policy, in this paper characterized by being selective, process-oriented and multi-instrumental, poses severe challenges to rising standards of public accountability. Evaluation methods for calculating the ‘bang for the buck’ of R&D-leveraging measures are ill-suited when policy mixes are supposed to enact economic transformation. We argue that, in order to see if aptly chosen policy design is bringing about actual change, assessments should gauge policy contributions to building up technological innovation systems (TIS). The TIS-literature provides a concrete but untapped basis for tracking how policy efforts affect conditions favoring the creation and diffusion of new economic activities. This premise leads us to introduce a scheme for structuring analyses concerned with (the links between) the organization, orientation and aggregate impact of transformative policy. We test it in a tentative assessment of the Dutch ‘Topsector approach’. Besides facilitating continuous policy learning, our assessment scheme also serves to strengthen policy maker’s ability to legitimize the adoption of heterodox economic approaches.
    Keywords: economic development, innovation policy, policy mix, technological innovation system, structural change, directionality
    JEL: O25 O38
    Date: 2016–12
  4. By: Darin Christensen (UCLA)
    Abstract: Why do foreign investments that can improve economic welfare also induce protest? Using a newly compiled dataset on commercial mining, commodity prices, and protest in Africa, I first establish that foreign investment projects increase the probability of protest. I then develop a theoretical model to explain these conflicts. I argue that communities have to strike a bargain with companies but have limited information about the value of the project they are hosting. When communities’ expectations exceed what companies are willing to pay, protests result. I marshal two pieces of empirical evidence consistent with this model: first, protests are more likely when mineral prices are elevated and, thus, communities hold inflated expectations about mining projects’ margins; and second, this relationship between mineral prices and protests is mitigated by policies that increase transparency and, thus, help correct the informational asymmetry that generates conflict. I do not find empirical support for common alternative explanations for protest related to environmental risks, in-migration, inequality within mining communities, corruption, or reporting bias. Despite claims that resource extraction fuels armed conflict, I also do not find that these commercial mining projects increase the likelihood of rebel activity at or near mine sites. The conflicts we observe in mining communities are better understood as a consequence of conflictual bargaining over profits than instances of predation by insurgents.
    Keywords: Violence, Geography, Economic Development, Africa
    JEL: D74 F63
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Gianluca Misuraca (European Commission – JRC); Fiorenza Lipparini (PlusValue); Csaba Kucsera (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: Social enterprises play an important role in tackling societal challenges. Their numbers have grown significantly over recent years, becoming a strong engine of social innovation in the EU. This trend is confirmed by results of the JRC-led IESI project, which supports the implementation of the EU Social Investment Package through the analysis of ICT-Enabled Social Innovation initiatives in Member States. This issue of the ‘JRC Insights’ presents results from the study of these initiatives, assessed against the three main objectives of the Social Investment Package: implementing active inclusion strategies, investing in individuals throughout their lives and modernizing social protection systems. Evidence gathered shows that social enterprises are crucial in realising these policy goals. Their capacity to identify emerging or unmet needs, engage stakeholders and turn their governance model into a sustainable production process makes them particularly apt to contribute to social investment approaches. Social enterprises are the most innovative forms of social economy and their action tends to be flexible and responsive, thanks to their capacity to involve users and understand their needs. Their governance structures, their roots in local communities, and the fact that they are often multi-stakeholder partnerships contribute to greater social innovation. Nevertheless, more comprehensive socio-economic impact evaluations are required to understand what initiatives could and should be fostered and scaled-up.
    Keywords: Social investment, social policy innovation, SIP, Social Investment Package, social economy, social enterprise, ICT enabled social innovation, ICT, services, social protection, social welfare
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Crass, Dirk; Rammer, Christian; Aschhoff, Birgit
    Abstract: The paper analyzes how geographical clustering of beneficiaries might affect the effectiveness of public innovation support programs. The geographical proximity of firms operating in the same industry or field of technology is expected to facilitate innovation through knowledge spillovers and other localization advantages. Public innovation support programs may leverage these advantages by focusing on firms that operate in a cluster. We investigate this link using data from a large German program that co-funds R&D projects of SMEs in key technology areas called 'Innovative SMEs'. We employ three alternative cluster measures which capture industry, technology and knowledge dimensions of clusters. Regardless of the measure, firms located in a geographical cluster are more likely to participate in the program. Firms being part of a knowledge-based cluster significantly increases their chance of receiving public financial support. We find no effects, however, of geographical clustering on the program's effectiveness in terms of input or output additionality.
    Keywords: Innovation,Government Policy,Regional Government Analysis
    JEL: C35 H50 O31 O32 O38 R59
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Sayed, Iftekhar; John, Tisdell
    Abstract: Conservation covenants are a policy tool for biodiversity and environmental conservation on private lands. They are associated with the withdrawal of development rights by the landholder over a particular piece of land in exchange for financial benefits. Previous studies suggest that existing network structure could influence an individual’s decision to enrol in conservation programs, but there is a lack of comparative analysis of network types to promote more cost-effective results. In this paper, we develop an agent based simulation model to demonstrate the evolution and impact of future land use restrictions on the enrolment of landholders in conservation covenant programs under different network structure. We observe that the nature of the network has a significant impact on program performance. We obtain a lower response to (and higher cost of) conservation covenanting programs when agents are part of a random matching network compared to other networks options. On the other hand, program costs are lower when agents are part of a local uniform matching network. The outcomes indicate that it might be beneficial for the representations to conduct network analysis the project planning stage to fix their programs more attractive to the landowners.
    Keywords: Conservation covenants, Land use restrictions, Multi-agent systems, Simulation, Network analysis, Environmental Economics and Policy, Q24, Q28, D47,
    Date: 2016–12–11
  8. By: Frans Lammersen; William Hynes
    Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the Sustainable Development Goals at its core calls to “(…) increase aid-for-trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries.” This call echoes a similar appeal in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. In response, the OECD Action Plan on the Sustainable Development Goals: Better Policies for 2030 also argues for further promoting aid for trade and ensuring that it supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This paper discusses how aid for trade can contribute to these goals. It argues that the Aid-for-Trade Initiative already takes an integrated and multi-dimensional approach to promoting trade, economic growth and poverty reduction. Aid-for-trade programmes are critical to turn trade opportunities into trade flows, but more is needed to make trade an engine for green growth and poverty reduction for both men and women. International companies are already increasing their financial and technical contribution to building trade-related capacities in developing countries. Strengthening private sector engagement further could be achieved by expanding platforms for project-based collaboration that create multi-stakeholder value. Such approaches will better facilitate trade for development and strengthen the contribution of aid for trade to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
    Date: 2016–12–13

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