nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2017‒04‒16
four papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Samaritan Bundles: Inefficient Clustering in NGO Projects By Aldashev, Gani; Marini, Marco; Verdier, Thierry
  2. Racing to the bottom? Chinese development projects and trade union involvement in Africa By Isaksson, Ann-Sofie; Kotsadam, Andreas
  3. Optimal Clean Energy R&D Investments Under Uncertainty By Giacomo Marangoni; Gauthier De Maere; Valentina Bosetti
  4. How do agricultural development projects aim to empower women?: Insights from an analysis of project strategies: By Johnson, Nancy L.; Balagamwala, Mysbah; Pinkstaff, Crossley; Theis, Sophie; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Quisumbing, Agnes R.

  1. By: Aldashev, Gani; Marini, Marco; Verdier, Thierry
    Abstract: We build a model with non-governmental organizations competing through fundraising for donations and choosing their project types. Donors' willingness to give differs across project types. Each NGO chooses whether to compete in the larger donation market or to monopolize the smaller one. The resulting equilibrium configuration crucially depends on the asymmetry in potential donation market size and on donors' perceived substitutability or complementarity between giving to two different projects. We analyze the welfare properties of the decentralized equilibrum and characterize the conditions under which such equilibrium is inefficient. We also develop a variant of the model with inter-temporal choices of NGOs, analyze settings where NGOs can coordinate their fundraising activities and/or project type choices, extend the model to allow for spillovers between NGO fundraising activities, and illustrate the mechanisms of the model with several case studies.
    Keywords: clustering; foreign aid; fundraising; non-ggovernmental organizations
    JEL: D64 F35 L13 L31
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Isaksson, Ann-Sofie (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Kotsadam, Andreas (The Frisch Centre; University of Oslo, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Chinese firms operating in Africa are often accused of violating international labour standards and not adhering with national labour laws. Considering China’s tendency to maintain control over development projects throughout the entire implementation phase, using Chinese contractors for work performed in the recipient countries, the present paper investigates whether China impacts African labour practices in their capacity as a donor. Specifically, we use a new data material allowing for systematic quantitative analysis of Chinese development finance to investigate whether Chinese development projects affect trade union involvement. Matching geo-referenced data on the subnational allocation of Chinese development projects to Africa over the 2000-2012 period with 41,902 survey respondents across 18 African countries, our estimation strategy relies on comparing the trade union involvement of individuals who live near a site where a Chinese project is being implemented at the time of the interview to those of individuals living near a site where a Chinese project will appear in the future, but where implementation had yet to be initiated at the time of the survey. The results consistently indicate that Chinese development projects – unlike the projects of other major donors – discourage trade union involvement in the local area.
    Keywords: China; aid; trade unions; Africa
    JEL: D71 F35 O10 O55
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Giacomo Marangoni (FEEM, CMCC and Politecnico di Milano); Gauthier De Maere (FEEM); Valentina Bosetti (FEEM, CMCC and Bocconi University)
    Abstract: The availability of technology plays a major role in the feasibility and costs of climate policy. Nonetheless, technological change is highly uncertain and capital intensive, requiring risky efforts in research and development of clean energy technologies. In this paper, we introduce a two-track method that makes it possible to maintain the rich set of information produced by climate-economy models while introducing the dimension of uncertainty in innovation ef- forts, without succumbing to computation complexity. In particular, we solve the problem of an optimal R&D portfolio by employing Approximate Dynamic Programming, through multiple runs of an integrated assessment model (IAM) for the purpose of computing the value function, and expert elicitation data to quantify the relevant uncertainties. We exemplify the methodology with the problem of evaluating optimal near-term innovation investment portfolios in four key clean energy technologies (solar, biofuels, bioelectricity and personal electric vehicle batteries), taking into account the uncertainty surrounding the effectiveness of innovation to improve the performance of these technologies. We employ an IAM (WITCH) which has a fairly rich description of the energy technologies and experts’ beliefs on future costs for the above-mentioned technologies. Focusing on Europe and its short-term climate policy commitments, we find that batteries in personal transportation dominate the optimal public R&D portfolio. The resulting ranking across technologies is robust to changes in risk-aversion, R&D budget limitation and assump- tions on crowding out of other investments. These results suggest an important upscaling of R&D efforts compared to the recent past.
    Keywords: Energy, Innovation, Technological Change, Uncertainty, Climate Policy
    JEL: O30 O33 Q40 Q41 Q50 Q55
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Johnson, Nancy L.; Balagamwala, Mysbah; Pinkstaff, Crossley; Theis, Sophie; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Quisumbing, Agnes R.
    Abstract: Increasing numbers of development agencies and individual projects espouse objectives of women’s empowerment, yet there has been little systematic work on mechanisms by which interventions can enhance women’s empowerment. This gap exists because of the lack of consensus on indicators as well as the lack of attention paid to measuring the effects of different types of interventions on empowerment. This paper identifies the types of strategies employed by 13 agricultural development projects within the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Gender, Agriculture, and Assets Project Phase 2 (GAAP2) that have explicit objectives of empowering women. We distinguish between reach, benefit, and empowerment as objectives of agricultural development projects. Simply including women does not necessarily benefit them, and even activities that benefit do not necessarily empower. To identify strategies to empower women, we build on the domains included in the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) and are working with the GAAP2 portfolio of projects to develop an empowerment metric that is applicable in the project setting (a project-level WEAI, or pro-WEAI). We have identified the following potential domains to be included in pro-WEAI: input into production decision making, control over resources, control over income, leadership, time, physical mobility, intrahousehold relationships, individual empowerment, reduction in gender-based violence, and decision making on nutrition. The GAAP2 projects address these domains through a wide variety of activities that can be grouped into four main types: (1) direct and indirect provision of goods and services; (2) forming or strengthening groups, organizations, or platforms and networks that involve women; (3) strengthening knowledge and capacity through agricultural extension, business and finance training, nutrition behavior change communication, and other training; and (4) changing gender norms through one-way awareness raising or two-way community conversations about gender issues and their implications. In general, projects with activities in more activity areas target more domains of empowerment, and most projects target a core set of six empowerment domains. With the exception of intrahousehold relationships, which is always targeted by activities designed to influence gender norms, projects target domains with different types of activities or combinations of activities. This setup suggests that there may be no one-to-one link between a specific activity and empowerment benefits, and that implementation modalities will determine whether and how an activity contributes to women’s empowerment. The effectiveness of these project strategies will be assessed using both quantitative and qualitative methods throughout the GAAP2 research project.
    Keywords: indicators; women; empowerment; agricultural development; strategies; monitoring; evaluation; gender; nutrition; capacity building, women’s empowerment; agricultural development projects; project strategies; monitoring and evaluation,
    Date: 2017

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