nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2020‒12‒14
five papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Impact evaluation, social performance assessment and standardisation: reflections from microfinance evaluations in Pakistan and Zimbabwe By Joana Silva Afonso
  2. Mandatory Disclosure of Managerial Contracts in Nonprofit Organizations By Michael Kopel; Marco A. Marini
  3. An affordance perspective to understand the relationship between organization and IT By Ferran Pérez; Claudio Vitari
  4. A Pervasive Economic Fallacy in Assessing the Cost of Public Funds By Marcel Boyer
  5. The Impact of Research Funding on Knowledge Creation and Dissemination: A study of SNSF Research Grants By Rachel Heyard; Hanna Hottenrott

  1. By: Joana Silva Afonso (Portsmouth Business School)
    Abstract: Heterogeneity associated with the microfinance and financial inclusion sector discourages the application of ‘one-fits-all’ evaluation models. However, under certain conditions, there can be advantages in adopting a ‘common project approach’ to evaluation. This paper is based on my participation as academic consultant on a project led by the crowdfunding platform Lendwithcare, which aimed to assess the outcomes at client level of two microcredit programmes developed by its partner microfinance institutions in Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Applying qualitative methodologies, including participant-observation and interviews, I analyse the conditions in which some degree of standardisation is feasible, its advantages and limitations and how this experience can add to the knowledge on impact evaluation and social performance assessment in the sector. In doing so, I establish a parallel with previous evaluation projects in the sector, namely the AIMS, Imp-Act and Microfinance for Decent Work projects. The findings show that the approach followed in the Lendwithcare project contributed to change mind-sets regarding evaluation and trigger the process of social performance management in the participating institutions, which had incipient experience in measuring social performance and were not familiar with the evaluation process. It attracted also the attention of other Lendwithcare partner MFIs whose managers showed interest in replicating the process in their institutions.
    Date: 2020–12–02
  2. By: Michael Kopel (Institute of Organization and Economics of Institutions, University of Graz); Marco A. Marini (Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: Nonprofit organizations have been recently mandated to disclose the details of their executives' compensation packages. Contract information is now accessible not only to current and prospective donors, but also to rival nonprofit organizations competing for donations in the fundraising market. Our aim is to investigate the impact of publicly available contract information on fundraising competition of nonprofit organizations. We argue that, although such provision makes contract information available to multiple stakeholders and increases the transparency of the nonprofit sector, it also induces nonprofits to use managerial incentive contracts strategically. In particular, we find that the observability of incentive contracts relaxes existing fundraising competition. This is beneficial in terms of nonprofits' outputs, in particular when these organizations are trapped in a situation of excessive fundraising activities. However, we show that publicly available contract information distorts nonprofits' choice of projects, thus potentially inducing socially inefficient project clustering.
    Keywords: NonproÖt Organizations, Mandatory Contract Disclosure, Fundraising Competition, Strategic Incentive Contracts, Project Clustering, Project Specialization.
    JEL: L31 D64 F35 L13
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Ferran Pérez (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management); Claudio Vitari (AMU - Aix Marseille Université)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to enrich the Affordance Theory application on Information Systems literature. This paper follows the implementation of a CRM project, which includes ambitious Big data and Business Intelligence components, on an international organization. This research focuses on exploring the relationship between the organization and the Information System implemented project under the lens of the Affordance Theory. In result several affordances are identified, and their actualization analyzed under the Process-based Framework for Affordances. The results are used to improve the theoretical framework for future research on Information Systems.
    Abstract: L'objectif de cet article est d'enrichir la théorie des affordances dans son application aux Systèmes d'information. Du point de vue empirique, cet article suit la mise en oeuvre d'un projet de CRM, qui comprend des composants Big Data et Business Intelligence, au sein d'une organisation internationale. Cette recherche se concentre sur l'exploration des relations entre l'organisation et la TIC mis en oeuvre en s'appuyant sur le cadre théorique des affordances. En conséquence, plusieurs opportunités sont identifiées et leur actualisation analysées suivant le processus d'actualisation des affordances. Les résultats sont utilisés pour améliorer le cadre théorique de référence pour des recherches futures en Systèmes d'Information.
    Keywords: Affordance,Affordance Theory,Affordance Actualization,Affordance Effect,IS projects Affordance,théorie des affordances,actualisation des affordances,effets des affordances,projets informatiques
    Date: 2020–06–11
  4. By: Marcel Boyer
    Abstract: In the assessment of the cost of public funds, there is a pervasive economic fallacy, which is frequently repeated by officials in both the private and public sectors as well as in academia: since the cost of borrowing is higher for a private sector firm than it is for a public sector firm, the cost of carrying out an activity (investment, production, distribution, provision of goods and services) will necessarily be lower ceteris paribus in the public sector than in the private sector. The statement is erroneous because part of the government’s cost of borrowing is hidden from the casual observer of interest rates or yields. The all-inclusive borrowing cost, more generally the all-inclusive cost of capital, is the same for both the public and private sector. I discuss four specific real cases where the error is present, the first three more succinctly and the last more more extensively: the Quebec Generations Fund; the Québec CDPQ Infra REM project; the Infrastructure Ontario methodology to assess the riskiness of costs; the BC Hydro’s Site C hydroelectric megaproject. I discuss also a general fifth case, namely governement support programs for business (grants, loans, guarantees, subsidies, etc.). Those are often justified on the fallacious claim that the cost of financing is samller for the government than for the private sector. I propose an auction process by which the true cost of business support programs could be made transparent. I conclude with an appeal for a more rigorous use and management of public fiunds. I expect that miscalculation, misinformation, mismanagement, and fallacious analysis will backfire, as always.
    Keywords: Cost of Capital,Public Debt,Site C Project,Generations Fund,REM,Infrastructure Ontario,
    Date: 2020–12–02
  5. By: Rachel Heyard; Hanna Hottenrott
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of competitive project-funding on researchers' publication outputs. Using detailed information on applicants at the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and their proposals' evaluation, we employ a case-control design that accounts for individual heterogeneity of researchers and selection into treatment (e.g. funding). We estimate the impact of grant award on a set of output indicators measuring the creation of new research results (the number of peer-reviewed articles), its relevance (number of citations and relative citation ratios), as well as its accessibility and dissemination as measured by the publication of preprints and by altmetrics. The results show that the funding program facilitates the publication and dissemination of additional research amounting to about one additional article in each of the three years following the grant. The higher citation metrics and altmetrics of publications by funded researchers suggest that impact goes beyond quantity, but that funding fosters quality and impact.
    Date: 2020–11

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