nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2020‒10‒05
four papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Fit for fragility: Practice to policy By Dan Schreiber; Seve Loudon
  2. The Social Return on Investment (SROI) of four microfinance projects By Grazioli, Riccardo; Pizzo, Giampietro; Poletti, Lucia; Tagliavini, Giulio; Timpano, Francesco
  3. Knowledge Networks and Strong Tie Creation: the Role of Relative Network Position By Maria Tsouri; ;
  4. Alkali-activated Materials: Environmental Preliminary Assessment for U.S. Roadway Applications By Kurtis, Kimberly E.; Lolli, Francesca

  1. By: Dan Schreiber; Seve Loudon
    Abstract: Engaging in fragile settings is challenging, but there is much to learn from the work Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members are doing to support fragile contexts on the ground. Drawing on case study research and a secondary literature review assembled as part of the Fit for Fragility project, this chapter offers guidance for navigating these substantively, strategically and institutionally complex environments. Though organisational fitness challenges are most visible at country level, they often reflect the quality of engagement by all parts of the organisation, from the local to the global level. Beyond individual organisations, the challenge also resides in strengthening coherence by ensuring effective co-ordination and – where relevant – collaborating across the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus. Being fit for fragility, in this sense, is strongly contingent on being fit for collaboration.
    Date: 2020–09–17
  2. By: Grazioli, Riccardo; Pizzo, Giampietro; Poletti, Lucia; Tagliavini, Giulio; Timpano, Francesco
    Abstract: The paper develops an SROI (Social Return on Investment) analysis of four microfinance institutions (MFIs) located in Spain, Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina. This work is part of the MeMI Project ("Measuring Microfinance Impact in the EU. Policy recommendations for Financial and Social Inclusion") funded by the EIBURS. It is an attemptto translate microcredit outcome indicators into a social return, quantified in monetary terms. After preliminary focus group analyses and staff interviews, data on outcomes of selected microcredit lines have been collected through a questionnaire administered to the borrowers. By comparing the monetary value of these outcomes (translated into an estimated impact) with the amount of related investment, we find that SROI is greater than 2 for all the credit lines analysed, meaning that every euro invested in microcredit generates at least 2 euros of social return. We also find SROI ranging between 2.33 and 6.97, mirroring the differences between MFIs in terms of target, operating model and country-level financial environment. Although the analysis is conducted on a limited number of cases and SROI calculation can be sharpened, it shows how different factors and outcomes drive the social return generated by microcredit.
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Maria Tsouri; ;
    Abstract: The proximity literature usually treats proximity in terms of common attributes shared by agents, disregarding the relative position of an actor inside the network. This paper discusses the importance of such dimension of proximity, labelled as in-network proximity, and proposes an empirical measurement for it, assessing its impact (jointly with other dimensions of proximity) on the creation of strong knowledge network ties in ICT in the region of Trentino. The findings show that actors with higher in-network proximity are more attractive for both other central actors and peripheral ones, which is further strengthening their position within the network.
    Keywords: knowledge networks, in-network proximity, strong ties, proximity dimensions
    Date: 2020–09
  4. By: Kurtis, Kimberly E.; Lolli, Francesca
    Abstract: The capital investment in the U.S. for construction and maintenance of the infrastructure road network is on the order of $100 billion/year. On average, investments in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries are likely to stabilize, while China will face an exponential growth of investments for new infrastructures driven by the development of metropolitan cities. Continued “business-as-usual” practice for portland and asphalt cement concrete pavement construction ignores the increasing warning calls for the identification of more sustainable and less energy intensive paving materials. It is therefore important to explore alternative pavement materials, which may have benefits in terms of environmental impact and durability performance over the current technology. Alkali activated materials concrete (AAM) exhibit these beneficial characteristics. AAM compositions have been studied with growing interest during the last three decades, and showing promising results in terms of mechanical performance, while also having a global warming potential impact 30-80% less than that of portland cement concrete. The global warming potential of these material is closely dependent on: 1) the alkali activating solution used to activate the raw material 2) the origin of the raw material. Specifically, the impact of the transport for both of these components has an impact quantifiable around 10% of its global warming potential. Hence, to increase the adoption of AAM for civil applications such as pavements, it is fundamental to analyze the existing literature to clarify the link between environmental and mechanical performance, identifying opportunities for applications that are tailored to the local availability of raw material, reducing transport environmental costs. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Engineering, Alkali activated materials, life cycle assessment, pavements, CO2 intensity
    Date: 2020–09–01

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