nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2023‒01‒30
three papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. The relationship between social innovation and digital economy and society By Szabolcs Nagy; Mariann Veresne Somosi
  2. Women's voice and agency in choosing assets: A new study on MGNREGA in India By Karachiwalla, Naureen; Kosec, Katrina; Kyle, Jordan; Narayanan, Sudha; Raghunathan, Kalyani
  3. Conceptualizing women’s empowerment in agrifood systems governance: A new framework By Ragasa, Catherine; Kyle, Jordan; Kristjanson, Patricia; Eissler, Sarah

  1. By: Szabolcs Nagy; Mariann Veresne Somosi
    Abstract: The information age is also an era of escalating social problems. The digital transformation of society and the economy is already underway in all countries, although the progress in this transformation can vary widely. There are more social innovation projects addressing global and local social problems in some countries than in others. This suggests that different levels of digital transformation might influence the social innovation potential. Using the International Digital Economy and Society Index and the Social Innovation Index, this study investigates how digital transformation of the economy and society affects the capacity for social innovation. A dataset of 29 countries was analysed using both simple and multiple linear regressions and Pearsons correlation. Based on the research findings, it can be concluded that the digital transformation of the economy and society has a significant positive impact on the capacity for social innovation. It was also found that the integration of digital technology plays a critical role in digital transformation. Therefore, the progress in digital transformation is beneficial to social innovation capacity. In line with the research findings, this study outlines the implications and possible directions for policy.
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Karachiwalla, Naureen; Kosec, Katrina; Kyle, Jordan; Narayanan, Sudha; Raghunathan, Kalyani
    Abstract: In 2005, India passed the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA, “the Act†), a law guaranteeing all rural households 100 days of work at a minimum wage through the building of durable assets, which created one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the world. Now known as the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA (MGNREGA), a notable feature of the program is that it envisions a democratic, bottom-up process of choosing which durable assets would be built within a community. Toward this end, the Act gives citizens the right to participate in the process of identifying potential projects and delegates responsibility to village governments in selecting which assets to build. Yet, in the long history of public works programs, there has been limited research on how assets created under such workfare programs are selected, or how to increase the role of women or other marginalized groups in the decision-making process. The Act provides a list of permissible works that span natural resource management, individual and community assets, common infrastructure for women’s groups, and rural infrastructure more broadly. Given the scale of the program, the assets selected at the village level have tremendous potential to enhance rural resilience to unexpected shocks and crises, especially those related to climate change. This is important, as extreme weather events on the Indian subcontinent are increasing, both in frequency and in the magnitude of their impacts on agricultural productivity, household livelihoods, assets and incomes, and health and nutrition. These events, as well as their impacts on incomes, often affect women more severely (Mason and Agan 2015; Kosec et al. forthcoming). Understanding how to enhance women’s voice and agency within the process of selecting community assets is important for three major reasons. First, women and men may have different asset preferences (Chattopadhyay and Duflo 2004). Recent time-use survey data from India find that women spend far more time on unpaid domestic and care work than men (eight times as much) (India, NSO 2019). Thus, women may place relatively more value on projects that reduce effort in collecting fuel and water, for example. If their voices are not included in the asset selection process, the village could miss out on a range of development projects that would improve overall productivity, resilience, and well-being. Second, where projects are built affects who benefits from them. Households that had MGNREGA assets built on their own land or that live near an asset cultivate more land, use more inputs (including their own labor), and have higher agricultural output (Gehrke 2015; Muralidharan et al. 2021). Ensuring that women influence asset placement is thus critical. Third, greater participation and inclusivity in the process of selecting community development projects can increase the perceived legitimacy and satisfaction with projects, as well as willingness to contribute toward their construction and maintenance (Olken 2010). Within MGNREGA, households that report playing a greater role in project selection also report greater satisfaction with the usefulness, quality, and maintenance of the projects (Ranaware et al. 2015).
    Keywords: INDIA, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, agriculture, agricultural productivity, assets, data, data analysis, data collection, employment, households, extreme weather events, labour market, government, income, health, living standards, natural resource user groups, nutrition, remuneration, poverty, poverty alleviation, rural employment, rural poverty, surveys, women, working women, community assets, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), women’s voice and agency, workfare programs
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Ragasa, Catherine; Kyle, Jordan; Kristjanson, Patricia; Eissler, Sarah
    Abstract: This paper develops a new framework to measure and track women’s empowerment in governance of countries’ agrifood systems. All too often, women’s needs, priorities, and voices are missing from the policy process, even when women may be disproportionately affected by shocks or have distinct policy preferences. The Women’s Empowerment in Agrifood Systems Governance (WEAGov) is an assessment framework to help countries and stakeholders measure the extent of inclusion and leadership of women in agrifood systems governance and to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. WEAGov looks across three stages of the policy cycle: policy design, policy implementation, and policy evaluation. At each stage of the policy cycle, WEAGov asks three questions central to women’s empowerment in governance: Are women considered? Are women included? And are women influencing? This paper describes the process of conceptualizing and developing the WEAGov assessment framework by drawing together evidence, experience, and lessons from the literature and from over 30 stakeholder consultations across several countries and sectors to develop a practical and theoretically grounded framework.
    Keywords: gender, women, women's empowerment, empowerment, agrifood systems, food systems, governance, assessmentassessment framework, assessment tool
    Date: 2022

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