nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2019‒09‒23
five papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Real estate investors’ maturity in using corporate social responsibility to develop sustainable properties By Rowie Huijbregts; Erwin Heurkens; Fred Hobma
  2. Promoting sustainable real estate development through financial engine¬ering instruments – assessing the impact of an innovative EU urban policy initiative By Michael Nadler; Claudia Nadler
  3. Skill Development in Indian Agriculture and Food Processing Sectors: A Scoping Exercise By Ganguly, Kavery; Gulati, Ashok; von Braun, Joachim
  4. Melbourne's East West Link: A Missed Opportunity By Koorosh Gharehbaghi; Kathryn Robson; Neville Hurst; Maged Georgy
  5. Sharing Research with Pleasure (ShaRP) and Sharing Knowledge Forward (SKF) to Peers – A SKEMA1 Initiative By Isabelle Walsh; Amitabh Anand

  1. By: Rowie Huijbregts; Erwin Heurkens; Fred Hobma
    Abstract: Pressing societal and environmental challenges influence real estate investment and development. Due to urbanization, gentrification, climate change and resource scarcity, the global call for more responsible and sustainable market behaviour has grown. As such, the notion of CSR has gained global attention in the real estate industry. Today, real estate investors voluntarily explore corporate solutions to societal and environmental issues. They setup organizational units to manage CSR programmes and report on CSR achievements. This has resulted in a vast amount of socially responsible behaviour and investment policies and reports, based on frameworks such as GRI, GRESB, ESG, LEED, BREEAM and WELL, which, in turn, appear to influence the chance for market success, reputation and value of companies.Although this suggests that CSR has become a common feature in the global real estate sector, the origin of CSR and its meaning and implementation in business practice are often unclear to practitioners – especially within Continental Europe. This stems from the fact that CSR is associated with the Anglo-Saxon model of society, and not with the Rhineland model of society which exists in north-western Europe. Yet, due to the connectedness of social and economic systems, the real estate sector in Continental Europe is under influence of AngloSaxon characteristics such as liberalization, privatization and deregulation – ingredients for CSR to flourish. This leads to the following research question: How do real estate investors use CSR to develop sustainable properties?In order to answer the research question, a cross case analysis is performed based upon semi-structured interviews and document review. The cases (i.e., real estate investment companies) are chosen from Anglo-Saxon countries, being the USA and Hong Kong, and from a Rhineland country, being the Netherlands. CSR usage is analysed on (a) the strategic level of the case companies, (b) the institutional level (CSR reporting) and (c) the project level (construction projects). Based upon the common CSR characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon and Rhineland practices – as far as represented by the selected cases – a CSR maturity model for real estate investors is developed. The model is used to rank the maturity of the CSR programmes of the three real estate investors studied.A number of common characteristics are found in the use of CSR. All real estate investors studied (a) use a formal materiality assessment to determine important core business related CSR issues; (b) aim to formulate CSR goals that are specific and measurable; (c) strive to find a CSR management structure that fits the characteristics of the company; and (d) use CSR and sustainability certification methods and reporting guidelines as a structuring device for setting up a CSR policy. Furthermore, it became apparent that only a minor part of the material issues used by the case companies relates to the actual built environment. Finally, the maturity of CSR use by the three real estate investors differs substantially, as illustrated by the higher level of maturity of, in order, the Hong Kongese, American and Dutch case.
    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility; Development; Maturity; real estate investors; sustainable properties
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2019–01–01
  2. By: Michael Nadler; Claudia Nadler
    Abstract: Between 2007 and 2016, the European Commission invested € 1.8 billion in a new policy initiative called JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas). Since especially European cities perceived a shortage of investment dedicated to urban regeneration projects, JESSICA shall finance more than 2,000 higher risk projects in order to create an economic stimulus. At the same time, JESSICA is part of a general paradigm shift in EU-policy, since its most innovative element is to introduce an alternative to traditional grant funding by providing financial instruments – namely loans, guarantees and equity capital – on a revolving base. This means that instead of financing sustainable urban development projects with grants that are – once paid out – lost for good, revolving financial instruments for successful projects may generate a capital backflow enabling Managing Authorities to reinvest in new urban development projects. In order to channel funds effectively to sustainable urban projects, the institutional framework of the JESSICA-initiative intends to set up urban development funds as financial intermediary. The special challenge of JESSICA is to combine these financial engineering instruments with integrated urban planning issues in a sustainable fund model. Thus, the three main objectives of the JESSICA- initiative are (i) to promote urban development projects as economic stimulus, (ii) to provide cost-effective, long-term financing to support urban transformation in a sustainable fund model and (iii) to mobilize private capital for public-private partnerships. Concerning the latter, the JESSICA-initiative shall attract private investors and banks to finance sustainable urban development by providing catalytic first-loss capital via UDFs that lowers the risk and enhances the return of private investors, therefore making more projects feasible and overcoming existing market failures. However, at the end of the first EU-programming period to introduce revolving financial instruments (2016) it is not yet clear whether the new policy approach is as effective as European decision-makers believe. This is mainly because up to now there is no empirical evaluation available on how successful JESSICA has been so far in achieving its ambitious objectives. Therefore, we first develop a conceptual base to efficient urban development funds. Our succeeding empirical approach is the first one to cover the impact of this innovative EU-initiative in all 28 EU member states by making outcomes of the policy change measurable in monetary terms through regression analyses. Our main findings reveal that absorption of funds to be invested in sustainable urban projects takes far longer than expected due to the complex structure of the fund model, which in return leads to higher costs. Impact measurement of external effects seems to be a great challenge for fund managers, too. Apart from that, no private investors or banks have contributed their own equity/risk capital in the JESSICA-initiative so far. Based on these findings, we develop practical implications on how to reform the JESSICA-initiative in the current EU-programming period. At the same time, our work is the first one to give research implications on how to derive key success factors for sustainable urban finance, especially addressing the challenge of impact measurement and ultra-long financing horizons.
    Keywords: European Cohesion Policy; Evaluation; Sustainable Finance; Sustainable Real Estate; Urban and Regional Analysis
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2019–01–01
  3. By: Ganguly, Kavery; Gulati, Ashok; von Braun, Joachim
    Abstract: The agriculture and food sector in India employ a significant proportion (about 44 percent) of the workforce, the majority of whom are not very educated and lack formal or informal skill training. Hence, they are unable to make the most out of their occupation. About 67 percent of the population in India is aged 15-64 years while 27 percent is aged 0-14 years (UNFPA n.d.). This offers both a challenge and an opportunity to skill the youth as well as the existing workforce in India with the objective to improve their productivity and enhance their incomes. This paper is a scoping study of policies and institutions that are operational in this context of skill formation in India, with a focus on the agriculture and food sector. It takes stock of ongoing initiatives and programs, their design and scope in achieving skill development in general and related to the agriculture and food sector in particular. In terms of policy, skill development has been accorded high priority with an objective to make the programs aspirational for youth as well as for them to recognize the value of experience and knowledge. The focus is laid on quality of training, assessment, and certification thus ensuring standards and greater market acceptability. These are prerequisites for investments in skills to bring higher returns in terms of remunerative jobs. The government has been a catalyst of change in this area in terms of designing, implementing and financing of such programs. The role of private players including both potential employers as well as global partners (government, business and non-governmental organizations) has been widely recognized in upgrading the scope, target and outcomes as well as ensuring sustainability of the national skill development program. As technology plays a very important role in sustainable value chains, it creates demand for a better skilled workforce, and accordingly rewards them with better paid jobs and higher returns in farming. Hence designing appropriate qualification packs and training programs with a focus on innovations all along the value chains (that help promote technology adoption, facilitate effective value chain management, etc.) are critical. Also, innovative models of outreach (for example, classroom training for agricultural professionals, agricultural entrepreneurs, farmer field schools, and e-platforms) can add substantial value to skills at very low cost. Hence, scaling up fast is necessary to benefit the agriculture and food sector in India. While this paper gives an overview of the landscape of various programs and projects, and how they are being implemented by various actors (government, domestic private sector and international agencies), there is dire need to evaluate their outcomes in terms of increased incomes and more stable jobs of those trained through these programs.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Labor and Human Capital, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession
    Date: 2019–09–16
  4. By: Koorosh Gharehbaghi; Kathryn Robson; Neville Hurst; Maged Georgy
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to review the abandoned "East West link road project" in Melbourne, Australia. Increased population growth, increasing life expectations and rates of family formation combine to place significant pressure on Melbourne’s infrastructure. In addition, the shift from rural to urban living -especially in Melbourne, exacerbates such impacts. Such demands expose the limitations of existing Melbourne transportation networks. As a consequence on-going transportation infrastructure planning is constantly required for greater Melbourne and its authorities, along with some alignment at the national level. Subsequently Melbourne transportation infrastructure planning needs to carefully adopt a long-term approach. While the processes of land acquisition, design and delivery of transportation infrastructure cannot be achieved in the short term, long-standing strategies need to be cautiously established. For Melbourne in particular, the financing of such long-term assets is problematic and thus possess uncertain conditions, especially when dealing with transportation forecasting and future modeling. Going back to mid-1990s such forward transportation planning was essential to ensure a high-level livability for Melbournians. As Melbourne continues to expand both in population and geographically it was to cope with such demand that the East West Link project was proposed. This project was seen as crucial, not only to uphold the livability status, but also to sustain and prolong Melbourne's ageing road transportation infrastructure. However, soon after their election win in late 2014, the Victorian labor government scrapped this project. In doing so, certain transportation outlook was unfortunately neglected. This paper investigates some of the key missed opportunities of the East West Link project.
    Keywords: Infrastructure; Traffic Analysis; Transport Infrastructure Development Modeling (TIDM); Transportation Planning and Implementation
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2019–01–01
  5. By: Isabelle Walsh (SKEMA Business School); Amitabh Anand (SKEMA Business School)
    Abstract: This project is not the project of one or several professors. First and foremost, it is the project of an institution: SKEMA Business School. Through the name that was chosen for our school (SKEMA = School of Knowledge, Economy and Management), it has been made obvious that knowledge has an essential place in SKEMA and is its main driver. In such a project, it is essential to pay tribute to all direct and indirect contributors and facilitators because each "node" of the resulting knowledge network is, indeed, essential for its survival and expansion. It is also important to highlight the essential role of our Dean, Alice Guilhon. This project would never have been born if she had not seen in it much more than some unrealistic idealism, if she had not considered the possible potency of the resulting knowledge network and, also, if she had not provided the means to institutionalize and encourage the simple endeavour of a few professors. The project highlights the importance of sharing knowledge with pleasure in a peer network and how this type of network positively encourages sharing knowledge forward.
    Date: 2018–09–05

This nep-ppm issue is ©2019 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.