nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2019‒07‒29
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Data for development: an agenda for German development cooperation By Schwegmann, Claudia; Holzapfel, Sarah
  2. The development policy system under pressure: acknowledging limitations, sourcing advantages and moving towards a broader perspective By Gonsior, Victoria; Klingebiel, Stephan
  3. Planning transport infrastructures in an uncertain context. Analysis and limits to contemporary planning in France. By Geneviève Zembri-Mary
  4. Monitoring and evaluation in South-South Cooperation: the case of CPEC in Pakistan By Ali, Murad
  5. Pre-Feasibility Study of Sarawak-West Kalimantan Cross-Border Value Chains By Lord, Montague; Chang, Susan
  6. Is Favoritism a Threat to Chinese Aid Effectiveness? A Subnational Analysis of Chinese Development Projects By Axel Dreher; Andreas Fuchs; Roland Hodler; Bradley C. Parks; Paul A. Raschky; Michael J. Tierney
  7. The devil is in the detail: administrative and fiscal challenges in implementing River Basin Management in Mongolia By Dombrowsky, Ines; Rodríguez de Francisco, Jean Carlo; Schoderer, Mirja; Lkhagvadorj, Ariunaa

  1. By: Schwegmann, Claudia; Holzapfel, Sarah
    Abstract: Data is a central but underestimated prerequisite for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda. Although technical innovations such as smartphones or the internet of things have led to a data explosion in recent years, there are still considerable gaps in the availability and use of data in developing countries and development cooperation (DC) in particular. So far it is not possible to report regularly on the majority of the 230 indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Already in 2014 an independent panel of experts, called for nothing less than a data revolution to support the implementation of the SDGs in their 2014 report to the UN Secretary-General, A World that Counts. Data is one of the key requirements for planning, managing and evaluating development projects and strategies. The aim of the data revolution for sustainable development is 1) to close data gaps with the aid of new technologies and additional resources, 2) to strengthen global data literacy, promote data use and enable equality of access, 3) to create a “data ecosystem” that follows global standards in order to improve data quality, enable data aggregation and prevent abuse. The data revolution for sustainable development is a challenge for all countries. There is a lot of room for improvement in both partner countries and all areas of German policy making. This paper focuses on German DC. Overall, the subject of data has to date received little attention in the organisations of German DC and their projects. The demand for evidence- and data-based work is often limited to evaluation. A results framework to support portfolio management in German DC does not exist. Monitoring at project level is often not sufficient, as data quality is frequently poor and capacity is lacking. In the partner countries the implementing organisations (IOs) often introduce parallel structures for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in order to keep track of the measures implemented, instead of using and strengthening national statistical systems as much as possible. Collected data and project progress reports are usually not published. The following recommendations can be derived from the analysis: German DC should agree on common data standards and principles for data use, such as Open Data by Default. At the same time, personal rights should also be ensured. The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) should work with all German DC actors (other ministries, IOs, non-state actors) to develop a data strategy that takes into account the different data sources and types, builds upon common standards and principles and aims to promote a data culture in all areas of German DC. At international level the German government should take an active role in the realisation and further development of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data. Germany should increase its financial contribution to the development of data and statistics in partner countries, stop the use of parallel M&E systems in the medium term and promote the support of national statistical systems in all DC measures.
    Keywords: Wirksamkeit und Evaluierung,Agenda 2030
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Gonsior, Victoria; Klingebiel, Stephan
    Abstract: This paper uses the development policy system as an entry point assuming that various fundamental changes along three dimensions – narratives (why?), strategies (what?) and operational approaches (how?) – can be observed over recent years. Changes are diverse, ranging from new narratives translated to the development policy context (such as the migration narrative) to strategic considerations (for instance, developing countries’ graduation implications), new instruments (in form of development finance at the interface with the private sector), and concepts for project implementation (including frontier technology). We discuss the implications and effects of these trends in terms of holistic changes to the wider development policy system itself. Do these changes go hand-in-hand with and ultimately build on and re-inform each other? Or are we actually observing a disconnect between the narratives that frame the engagement of actors in development policy, their strategies for delivery, and operational approaches in partner countries? Based on a consultation of the appropriate literature and information gathered during a number of expert interviews and brainstorming sessions, this paper sheds light on these questions by exploring current trends and by highlighting continuing disconnections between the “why”, “what” and “how” in the development policy system. Further, we argue that the importance of such disconnections is increasing. In particular, the persistent or even increasing disconnections in the development policy system can be more problematic in the face of a universal agenda and the need to upscale delivery to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    Keywords: Agenda 2030,Regionale + globale + transnationale Governance
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Geneviève Zembri-Mary (LATTS - Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, UCP - Université de Cergy Pontoise - Université Paris-Seine)
    Abstract: Introduction : The planning of transport infrastructures in France has been marked by three major developments: the European reform concerning the opening of rail transport to competition, the privatisation of semi-public motorway concession-holding companies, and the use of public-private partnership contracts. This article proposes examining the following research question: how to plan a series of infrastructure projects within an uncertain context? The methodology (i) analyses whether the objectives (traffic, travel time, safety, cost, socio-economic profitability, financial profitability) of the 12 motorway and HSL projects built since the 1990s have been attained with the new planning procedure (such as risk management methods, financial risk assessment, impact assessment, public consultation) (ii) compares the additional costs and delays for three HSL projects according to their type of financing and whether or not they have used these planning procedures. Results The analysis shows that traffic levels are lower than forecasts for 8 projects. The cost is greater than the forecasts for all infrastructures. The socio-economic profitability and the financial profitability are also lower than forecasts for approximately two-thirds of the projects. Conclusion The social, political, institutional and environmental risks are generally well identified and treated by the client, no matter whether public or private.. The risk of additional cost is less well covered. The traffic risk remains a topical issue. Anticipating risks is liable to produce other risks, such as overcosts or opposition. It seems necessary to deepen the traffic forecast studies and to develop the multi criteria analysis method that can take account of the different points of view from the consultation.
    Keywords: Motorways . HSL . Planning . Risks . Uncertainty . France
    Date: 2017–10–18
  4. By: Ali, Murad
    Abstract: Pakistan is one of the key countries in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) where the latter is implementing a multibillion-dollar, multiyear investment plan known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). A collection of projects aimed at developing energy, industry and communication infrastructure, costing over USD 46 billion, CPEC is expected to contribute significantly to socio-economic development and poverty reduction in Pakistan. The main research question is, while implementing development projects in Pakistan, to what extent China adheres to its avowed principles of international development cooperation comprising features such as mutual respect, non-conditionality, equality, building local capacity and addressing actual needs of partner countries. Based mainly on the analysis of primary data collected during fieldwork in Pakistan, this research explores the extent to which the official narrative guides and influences the actual practice of China’s development cooperation on the ground. Although still evolving, the BRI and its constituent the CPEC, which is an investment-grant-loan model of financing in Pakistan, is an example of South-South Cooperation (SSC): the form of international development cooperation whereby “two or more developing countries pursue their individual or collective development through cooperative exchange of knowledge, skills, resources and technical expertise” (UNDP, 2007, p. 1). For the analysis of CPEC-related Chinese investment in Pakistan, this study uses an analytical framework developed by researchers from the South Africa chapter of the Network of Southern Think Tanks (NeST), a group of key research institutions from various developing countries dedicated to generating standardised, systematic and clearly comparable knowledge on SSC (Besharati & Rawhani, 2016; Besharati, Rawhani, & Rios, 2017). Established in 2015, and then refined and finalised in 2017 after a number of expert group meetings and field-based SSC case studies, the framework operationalises various conceptual issues related to the quality and development effectiveness of SSC. The framework, which is discussed later in some detail, comprises five dimensions and a set of 20 indicators. The overall framework and associated dimensions and indicators not only offer valuable parameters to assess the quality and effectiveness of SSC, but these are also closely related to the key principles and features of China’s foreign aid policy. The five key elements of the analytical framework are inclusive national ownership, horizontality, self-reliance and sustainability, accountability and transparency and development efficiency. Within this framework and associated parameters, this research examines the China-Pakistan development partnership under CPEC and explores the extent to which SSC principles are practiced. By systematically examining SSC in the form of Chinese investment and development cooperation projects in Pakistan, this study contributes to the limited body of academic literature on Chinese development cooperation with its key South Asian ally.
    Keywords: Aufstrebende Mächte,Entwicklungsfinanzierung und öffentliche Finanzen,Agenda 2030,Handel und Investitionen,Wirksamkeit und Evaluierung
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Lord, Montague; Chang, Susan
    Abstract: This pre-feasibility study on Sarawak-West Kalimantan cross-border value chains covers six topics: It analyzes existing trade patterns and competitive advantages of Sarawak and West Kalimantan, as well as government objectives in promoting cross-border commercial activities. It proposes a border economic area spread over a wide geographic area that covers a network of interrelated activities and provides a fully integrated approach to the border economic area design and implementation. It identifies potential cross-border value chains that can serve as high-profile projects for the border economic area. It determines the preference orderings of project features by key stakeholders such as government and development partners, commercial entities, and the local population. It estimates the net monetary returns for the project portfolio, a cost-effectiveness analysis of the stand-alone capacity-building projects, ranks stakeholders’ non-monetary preferences, and incorporates the the preference ranking order into the project portfolio’s net monetary returns. It provides an overall program appraisal for the set of projects. Based on pre-feasibility results, it lays out a plan for implementation of the border area development program.
    Keywords: pre-feasibility, Sarawak, West Kalimantan, Kalimantan, cross-border value chains, trade, competitive advantage, cross-border commercial activities, border economic area, network of interrelated activities, integrated approach, high-profile projects, preference orderings, project appraisal, net monetary returns, project portfolio, cost-effectiveness analysis, capacity-building projects, non-monetary preferences, preference ranking order, net monetary returns, program appraisal, border area development program, cost-benefit analysis.
    JEL: F12 F14 F15 F17 F21 L1 L11 L7 L70 L80 O5 O53
    Date: 2019–02
  6. By: Axel Dreher; Andreas Fuchs; Roland Hodler; Bradley C. Parks; Paul A. Raschky; Michael J. Tierney
    Abstract: Chinese aid comes with few strings attached, allowing recipient country leaders to use it for domestic political purposes. The vulnerability of Chinese aid to political capture has prompted speculation that it may be economically ineffective, or even harmful. We test these claims by estimating the effect of Chinese aid on subnational economic development - as measured by per-capita nighttime light emissions - and whether this effect is different in politically favored jurisdictions than in other parts of the country. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, we do not find that the local receipt of Chinese aid undermines economic development outcomes at either the district level or provincial level. Nor does political favoritism in the allocation of Chinese aid towards the home regions of recipient country leaders reduce its effectiveness. Our results -from 709 provinces and 5,835 districts within 47 African countries from 2001-2012 - demonstrate that Chinese aid improves local development outcomes, regardless of whether such aid is allocated to politically consequential jurisdictions.
    Keywords: foreign aid, development finance, aid effectiveness, favoritism, economic growth, Africa, China
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Dombrowsky, Ines; Rodríguez de Francisco, Jean Carlo; Schoderer, Mirja; Lkhagvadorj, Ariunaa
    Abstract: The concept of river basin management calls for managing water resources at the river basin level in order to promote the sustainable use of water resources. Often this goes along with the introduction of river basin organisations (RBOs) as special purpose organisations. However, particularly in developing countries, RBOs often suffer from insufficient funds. Fiscal decentralisation involves shifting certain fiscal responsibilities to lower levels of government. Decentralisation could thus provide a source of funding for RBOs, depending on how tasks and funds are allocated among RBOs and general-purpose jurisdictions. This briefing paper examines administrative and fiscal aspects of river basin management and analyses whether fiscal decentralisation supports or counteracts the funding of river basin management. We present the example of Mongolia, where in recent years the processes of RBO institutionalisation and fiscal decentralisation have occurred in parallel. More specifically, we analyse i) how competencies for various water governance functions between RBOs and other bodies at the sub-national level are formally allocated, ii) which de jure and de facto funding arrangements are in place, and iii) what this implies for the coordination and sustainability of water resource use. We find that despite a broad division of labour among administrative units, a high level of overlap exists, for instance in the areas of data management, water law enforcement and implementation of water protection measures. In terms of financing water governance, River Basin Authorities (RBAs) are primarily financed through the national budget and aimag (province-level) environmental authorities (AEAs) through sub-national province budgets. However, uncertainties exist regarding the allocation of water-use fees. In practice, funds available to RBAs only cover fixed costs. AEAs have somewhat higher budgets, but do not necessarily use these funds for water-related projects nor do they earmark water-use fees. Inconsistent legal provisions on water-use fees have led to competition between AEAs and RBAs, but also to initial collaborative arrangements. We conclude that in Mongolia, fiscal decentralisation and river basin management are, so far, hardly mutually supportive and we recommend a number of legal and financial adjustments. In particular, we recommend that responsibilities be distributed more clearly to reduce overlap and uncertainty; legal inconsistencies regarding water-use fees be clarified; funding be arranged according to tasks; and funding for RBAs be increased and minimum state-funding be provided to river basin councils (RBCs), so they can fulfil their mandates.
    Keywords: Governance,Wasser
    Date: 2018

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