nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2022‒11‒07
fifteen papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. The Empirical Reality of IT Project Cost Overruns: Discovering A Power-Law Distribution By Bent Flyvbjerg; Alexander Budzier; Jong Seok Lee; Mark Keil; Daniel Lunn; Dirk W. Bester
  2. Characteristics, Antecedents, and Consequences of Agile R&D Units' Organization - A Conceptual Framework. By Meier, Andre; Kock, Alexander
  3. Building State Capacity : What Is the Impact of Development Projects ? By Di Maro,Vincenzo; Evans,David K.; Khemani,Stuti; De Gouvea Scot De Arruda,Thiago
  4. A Puzzle with Missing Pieces : Explaining the Effectiveness of World Bank Development Projects By Ashton,Helen Louise; Friedman,Jed; Goldemberg,Diana; Hussain,Mustafa Zakir; Kenyon,Thomas; Khan,Akib; Zhou,Mo
  5. Fiscal Risks from Early Termination of Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure By Herrera Dappe,Matias; Melecky,Martin; Turkgulu,Burak
  6. Governance Drivers of Rural Water Sustainability : Collaboration in Frontline Service Delivery By Thapa,Dikshya; Farid,Muhammad Noor; Prevost,Christophe
  7. Beyond the local turn: Local orderings and ordering of international organizations By Kluczewska, Karolina; Kreikemeyer, Anna
  8. Current approaches to the digital product passport for a circular economy: An overview of projects and initiatives By Jansen, Maike; Gerstenberger, Bastian; Bitter-Krahe, Jan; Berg, Holger; Sebestyén, János; Schneider, Jonas
  9. How realistic is Belt and Road Initiative for Kyrgyzstan and Central Asian Countries? By Akmoldoev, Kiyalbek
  10. Boosting the Productivity of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries through Parcelization of Collective Certificate of Land Ownership Awards By Galang, Ivory Myka R.
  11. Le Réseau de Recherche sur l'Innovation, acteur de l'innovation responsable By Fedoua Kasmi; Laurent Dupont
  12. Impacts of Energy Efficiency Projects in Developing Countries : Evidence from a SpatialDifference-in-Differences Analysis in Malawi By Naeher,Dominik; Narayanan,Raghavan; Ziulu,Virginia
  13. Knowledge spillovers from clean and emerging technologies in the UK By Ralf Martin; Dennis Verhoeven
  14. The Impact of Ethiopia’s Road Investment Program on Economic Development and Land Use :Evidence from Satellite Data By Alder,Simon; Croke,Kevin; Duhaut,Alice; Marty,Robert Andrew; Vaisey,Ariana Brynn
  15. Research howtos. Three fascicles for students, analysts and their supervisors By Minh Ha-Duong

  1. By: Bent Flyvbjerg; Alexander Budzier; Jong Seok Lee; Mark Keil; Daniel Lunn; Dirk W. Bester
    Abstract: If managers assume a normal or near-normal distribution of Information Technology (IT) project cost overruns, as is common, and cost overruns can be shown to follow a power-law distribution, managers may be unwittingly exposing their organizations to extreme risk by severely underestimating the probability of large cost overruns. In this research, we collect and analyze a large sample comprised of 5,392 IT projects to empirically examine the probability distribution of IT project cost overruns. Further, we propose and examine a mechanism that can explain such a distribution. Our results reveal that IT projects are far riskier in terms of cost than normally assumed by decision makers and scholars. Specifically, we found that IT project cost overruns follow a power-law distribution in which there are a large number of projects with relatively small overruns and a fat tail that includes a smaller number of projects with extreme overruns. A possible generative mechanism for the identified power-law distribution is found in interdependencies among technological components in IT systems. We propose and demonstrate, through computer simulation, that a problem in a single technological component can lead to chain reactions in which other interdependent components are affected, causing substantial overruns. What the power law tells us is that extreme IT project cost overruns will occur and that the prevalence of these will be grossly underestimated if managers assume that overruns follow a normal or near-normal distribution. This underscores the importance of realistically assessing and mitigating the cost risk of new IT projects up front.
    Date: 2022–09
  2. By: Meier, Andre; Kock, Alexander
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Di Maro,Vincenzo; Evans,David K.; Khemani,Stuti; De Gouvea Scot De Arruda,Thiago
    Abstract: Although research has established the importance of state capacity in economic development, lessis known about how state capacity comes about and the role of external partners in the process. This paper estimatesthe impact of an external project designed to build state capacity in a low-income country. Specifically, it evaluatesa multilateral development bank project in Tanzania, designed to incentivize investments in local state capacityby offering grants conditional on institutional performance scores. This program typifies many development projects tobuild state capacity implemented around the world by development agencies. The paper uses adifference-in-differences methodology to estimate the project impact, comparing outcomes between 18 project and 22non-project local governments over 2016–18. Outcomes were measured through two rounds of primary surveys of nearly 500local government officials and nearly 3,000 households. Over the course of the project, measured state capacity improvedin project areas, but due to comparable gains in non-project areas, the project’s value-added to change in state capacityis estimated to be zero across all the dozens of relevant variables in the surveys. The data suggest that improvementsin state capacity in Tanzania resulted from endogenous changes in trust and legitimacy in the country rather thanfrom financial incentives offered by external partners.
    Keywords: Regional Urban Development,National Urban Development Policies & Strategies,Urban Communities,Urban Economic Development,Urban Economics,City to City Alliances,Judicial System Reform,Legal Reform,Regulatory Regimes,Legislation,Common Property Resource Development,Social Policy,Legal Products,Public Sector Administrative and Civil Service Reform,De Facto Governments,Democratic Government,Public Sector Administrative & Civil Service Reform,Organizational Management,Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction,Macro-Fiscal Policy,Taxation & Subsidies,Economic Adjustment and Lending,Public Sector Economics
    Date: 2021–12–08
  4. By: Ashton,Helen Louise; Friedman,Jed; Goldemberg,Diana; Hussain,Mustafa Zakir; Kenyon,Thomas; Khan,Akib; Zhou,Mo
    Abstract: The identification of key determinants of aid effectiveness is a long-standingquestion in the development community. This paper reviews the literature on aid effectiveness at the project level andthen extends the inquiry in a variety of dimensions with new data on World Bank investment project financing. It confirmsthat the country institutional setting and quality of project supervision are associated with project success, asidentified previously. However, many aspects of the development project cycle, especially project design, havebeen difficult to measure and therefore under-investigated. The paper finds that project design, as proxied by theestimated value added of design staff, the presence of prior analytic work, and other specially collected measures, is asignificant predictor of ultimate project success. These factors generally grow in predictive importance as theincome level of the country rises. The results also indicate that a key determinant of the staff’s contribution is theirexperience with previous World Bank projects, but not other characteristics such as age, education, or country location.Key inputs to the project production process associated with subsequent performance are not captured in routine datasystems, although it is feasible to do so. Further, the conceptualization and measurement of the success ofproject-based aid should be revisited by evaluative bodies to reflect a project’s theorized contribution to development outcomes.
    Keywords: Financial Sector Policy,Educational Sciences,Economic Growth,Industrial Economics,Economic Theory & Research,Inequality,Non Governmental Organizations,Economics and Institutions,Public Sector Management and Reform
    Date: 2021–12–14
  5. By: Herrera Dappe,Matias; Melecky,Martin; Turkgulu,Burak
    Abstract: Public-private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure provision have expanded around the worldsince the early 1990s. Well-structured PPPs can unleash efficiency gains, but PPPs create liabilities forgovernments, including contingent ones. This paper assesses the fiscal risks from contingent liabilities from earlytermination of PPPs in a sample of developing countries. It analyzes the drivers of early termination and identifiessystematic contractual, institutional, and macroeconomic factors that can help predict the probability that a PPPproject will be terminated early, using a flexible parametric hazard regression. Using the probabilitydistributions from the regression analysis, it simulates scenarios of fiscal risks for governments from earlytermination of PPPs in the electricity and transport sectors, adopting a value-at-risk approach. The findingsindicate that the rate of early terminations decreases with direct government support, greater constraints on executivepower, and the award of the PPP by subnational governments; it increases with project size and macro-financial shocks.The simulations show that fiscal risks from infrastructure PPP portfolios are not negligible in some countries,reaching as high as 2.8 percent of GDP. A severe macro-financial shock substantially increases the estimates,with the value at risk the year after the shock 11–20 times larger.
    Date: 2022–03–15
  6. By: Thapa,Dikshya; Farid,Muhammad Noor; Prevost,Christophe
    Abstract: This paper contributes to a long-standing debate in development practice: Under whatconditions can externally established participatory groups engage in the collective management of services beyond thelife of a project Using 10 years of panel data on water point functionality from Indonesia’s rural water program,the Program for Community-Based Water Supply and Sanitation, the paper explores the determinants of subnational variationin infrastructure sustainability. It then investigates positive and negative deviance cases to answer why somecommunities have successfully engaged in system management despite being located in difficult conditions as perquantitative findings and vice versa. The findings show that differences in the implementation of communityparticipation, driven by local social relations between frontline service providers, that is, village authoritiesand water user groups, explain sustainable management. This initial condition of state-society relations influences howthe project is initiated, kicking off negative or positive reinforcing pathways, leading to community collective actionor exit. The paper concludes that the relationships between frontline government representatives and community actorsare an important and underexamined aspect of the ability of external projects to generate successful community-ledmanagement of public goods.
    Keywords: Hydrology,Small Private Water Supply Providers,Water Supply and Sanitation Economics,Town Water Supply and Sanitation,Water and Human Health,Water and Food Supply,Energy Policies & Economics,Regional Governance,Social Accountability,Local Government
    Date: 2021–10–07
  7. By: Kluczewska, Karolina; Kreikemeyer, Anna
    Abstract: It has become common knowledge that international organizations (IOs) are struggling with local ownership of their peacebuilding and development interventions worldwide. This happens despite the local turn which gained momentum in recent years in peacebuilding research and practice. Drawing on the post-liberal debate and area studies research focusing on conflict settlement, this paper argues that the continued difficulties of IOs to engage with the local needs to be seen in the context of multiple, diverse forms of ordering, namely structured and structuring processes of meaning-making and social interactions. To illustrate this argument, the paper refers to the case of Central Asia. Conceptualizing local orderings emerging from the ground up in communities which are targeted by internationally funded projects, on the one hand, and the underlying logic of ordering characterizing IOs and their interventions, on the other, allows us to see that there are structural differences between them. Following the Ethnographic Peace Research agenda, this paper compares these two ordering mechanisms by focusing on four specific components: cultural beliefs and norms, everyday practices, institutions, and issues of power.
    Keywords: Central Asia,ethnography,everyday peace,international development,international interventions,local orderings,peacebuilding,the local
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Jansen, Maike; Gerstenberger, Bastian; Bitter-Krahe, Jan; Berg, Holger; Sebestyén, János; Schneider, Jonas
    Abstract: A large number and variety of activities are being undertaken to introduce Digital Product Passports (DPPs). However, only a few DPPs have made it into practice so far, so there is some uncertainty about which impact DPPs will actually have. With this paper, we aim to provide a structured overview of the current development of DPPs. We provide insights of 76 current corporate, policy, and research activities that exist and their objectives. To allow for a structured assessment and discussion of the diverse approaches we defined 13 criteria for a comparable description, categorization and evaluation. We expect that this overview will not only encourage feedback and contributions from the DPP community, as well as valuable discussions with and among experts. It is also intended to help promote and facilitate the adoption of DPPs for the Circular Economy by facilitating collaborations and suggestions for ongoing activities.
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Akmoldoev, Kiyalbek
    Abstract: Due to the geographical location of the Central Asian countries and Kyrgyzstan, which do not have direct access to the sea, there is a dependence on the transport route via Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus to trade goods with the European market. The Chinese BRI project would offer an alternative for Central Asian countries to connect economically with European, Middle Eastern and West Asian countries. However, turning away from Russia and toward China holds potential for conflict. Therefore, the main objective of this article is to analyze the BRI projects in Central Asia and predict how realistic it is to implement them without the "permission" of the Russian Federation. In doing so, it takes a closer look at the strategic interest for China in Central Asia and how the BRI project in Kyrgyzstan is performing. The SWOT analysis points to a win-win situation, which, however, comes with a warning to be cautious. Particular attention should be paid to financial dependence on China, which could be due to a debt trap.
    Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative,Kyrgyzstan,Geopolitics,Debt-Trap,Silk Road Route
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Galang, Ivory Myka R.
    Abstract: This paper identifies the benefits and problems in the subdivision of collective land titles in the Philippines. In particular, it discusses how the parcelization of collective Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CCLOAs) can improve the agricultural performance of farmers. Baseline survey data from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)’s Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment provide evidence favoring to accelerate the subdivision of CCLOAs. This study encourages the adoption of other rural development strategies, such as farm consolidation, aside from the parcelization of land titles. DAR must also adopt a modern cadaster and record system to improve the country’s agrarian justice delivery system and efficiently implement the parcelization program.
    Keywords: CCLOAs;agrarian reform beneficiaries;agriculture;Project ConVERGE
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Fedoua Kasmi (ERPI - Equipe de Recherche sur les Processus Innovatifs - UL - Université de Lorraine); Laurent Dupont (ERPI - Equipe de Recherche sur les Processus Innovatifs - UL - Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: Les problématiques sociétales et environnementales occupent une place importante dans les préoccupations du Réseau de Recherche sur l'Innovation (RRI). En tant que société savante, de plus de 800 membres de 62 pays, le réseau est fortement impliqué dans la réflexion et l'anticipation des retombées négatives du progrès de la science et de l'innovation sur la société.
    Date: 2022–09–18
  12. By: Naeher,Dominik; Narayanan,Raghavan; Ziulu,Virginia
    Abstract: Spatial difference-in-differences analysis is used to study the impacts of a large-scaledevelopment intervention aimed at improving energy efficiency in Malawi. The estimation strategy takesadvantage of the geographical variation in the implementation of different project components and is basedon a combination of remote-sensing (satellite) data and national household survey data. The results suggest that acombination of demand-side and supply-side interventions was associated with a statistically significant increase inelectricity access, a decrease in the frequency of blackouts, and a switch from traditional fuels toelectricity as the main source of energy for lighting (but not for cooking). At the same time, there is no evidencethat the intervention caused households to pay more for electricity. The results are consistent with an emergingview in the literature that there are synergies between energy efficiency and energy access, especially in placeswhere the bottleneck to wider electricity access is limited electricity generation capacity rather than the cost ofconnecting more clients to the grid.
    Keywords: Energy and Environment,Energy Demand,Energy and Mining,Energy Policies & Economics,Electric Power,Energy Conservation & Efficiency,Energy Consumption,Environment and Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2021–11–05
  13. By: Ralf Martin; Dennis Verhoeven
    Abstract: The UK government has committed to increase R&D support for clean technologies in an effort to meet its net-zero target by 2050. The opportunity cost of such programs crucially depends on the value of knowledge spillovers that accrue from clean relative to other (emerging) technologies. Using patent information to measure the value of direct and indirect knowledge spillovers, we derive estimates for the expected economic returns of subsidising a particular technology field. Our method allows comparing fields by the returns a hypothetical additional subsidy would have generated within the UK or globally. Clean technologies are top-ranked in terms of within-UK returns, with Tidal and Offshore Wind showing particularly high returns. In terms of global returns, emerging technologies such as Wireless, as well as Electrical Engineering outperform Clean by a small margin. We also find that cross-border knowledge spillovers are important for all technology fields, with global return rates over ten times larger than within-UK ones. In sum, our results suggest that the opportunity cost of R&D support programs for clean innovation in the UK is low at worst.
    Keywords: innovation, knowledge spillovers, clean technology, innovation policy, patent data
    Date: 2022–03–02
  14. By: Alder,Simon; Croke,Kevin; Duhaut,Alice; Marty,Robert Andrew; Vaisey,Ariana Brynn
    Abstract: This paper studies the impacts of the large-scale Road Sector Development Program in Ethiopiabetween 1997 and 2016 on local economic activity and land cover (urbanization and cropland). It exploits spatial andtemporal variation in road upgrades across Ethiopia, together with high-resolution panel data derived fromsatellite imagery. The findings show that road upgrades contributed to increases in local economic activity, asproxied by nighttime lights and urban land area. However, there is significant heterogeneity in the results acrossbaseline levels of economic activity. Specifically, gains from road upgrades are concentrated in areas withmoderate-to-high initial levels of economic activity. By contrast, there was little, or even negative, growth inareas with low levels of initial economic activity. Finally, the findings show that road upgrades contributed to areduction in cropland in areas with medium-to-high baseline nighttime lights. The results suggest that Ethiopia'sambitious road infrastructure development program overall increased local economic activity and urbanization, but thatit also had important distributional implications that need to be taken into account when planning such infrastructure programs.
    Date: 2022–04–06
  15. By: Minh Ha-Duong (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Here is a compact handbook for learning and mastering the rules of quality in scholarly studies, based on more than thirty years of experience conducting interdisciplinary research, training Master and Doctoral students and supervising junior analysts. This handbook defines soft skills, the way of the researcher, in one-page practical notes covering all the need-to-know trade procedures. To learn about the fine art of data analysis, modelling, visualization, statistics or software engineering, you will find more specialised guidance elsewhere... This handbook shows how to conduct quality research at three levels: the article, the scientist, and the project team levels. Thus, the first fascicle explains how to write high-quality scholarly work. The second is about winning the reputation game. The third is about managing teams and research projects.
    Date: 2022–07–05

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