nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2023‒09‒25
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura, Tartu Ülikool

  1. Foreign Aid and Female Empowerment By Perrotta Berlin, Maria; Bonnier, Evelina; Olofsgård, Anders
  2. All Aboard! Easier Transit Travel with Standardized Payments By Turner, Katherine; Chin, Staly; Nguyen, Andrea; Pike, Susan
  3. Dis/connectivity in the South Caucasus: Imaginaries, the effects of power, ambivalences By Smolnik, Franziska
  5. Monitoring the SDGs in Centro region, Portugal By ABREU Joana
  6. Monitoring the SDGs in Puglia region, Italy By ARMENISE Massimo
  7. Monitoring the SDGs in North-West Romania region, Romania By POP Daniel

  1. By: Perrotta Berlin, Maria (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics); Bonnier, Evelina (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics); Olofsgård, Anders (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)
    Abstract: We estimate the community-level impact of foreign aid projects on women’s empowerment in the country with the most complete recent record of geo-coded aid project placement, Malawi. Our estimates can thus be interpreted as the average impact of aid from many different donors and diverse projects. We find that aid in general has a positive impact, in particular on an index of female agency and women’s sexual and fertility preferences. Gender-targeted aid has a further positive impact on women’s sexual and fertility preferences, and more tentatively on an index focusing on gender-based violence. However, the positive impact of gender-targeted aid disappears in patrilineal communities, and men’s attitudes towards female agency in the areas of sexuality and fertility are even negatively affected. This suggests that donors need to consider that the impact of aid on female empowerment can depend on the community context when they decide on aid project design and placement.
    Keywords: foreign aid; gender; development; geo-coded data; impact analysis
    JEL: F35 J16 O19
    Date: 2023–08–31
  2. By: Turner, Katherine; Chin, Staly; Nguyen, Andrea; Pike, Susan
    Abstract: This study explores interest in, and the challenges faced by transit agencies and operators in the adoption of open-loop payment systems. The research team focuses on the ways that agencies view passenger needs in the context of adopting open payments. Challenges with cash payments, an increasingly cashless society, and the expanding offerings of digital payment options have spurred increased interest in open-loop payments among transit operators. Paying for transit with cash can require additional time at boarding, add extra steps for passengers who must pay with exact fare, and result in service inefficiencies. It presents security concerns for drivers, and administrative burdens for agencies. While the full costs of cash handling vary per agency, the cost of handling and moving cash may be considerable. Pioneering transit agencies are adopting open payment systems that accept credit cards, debit cards, and smartphone/watch-based transactions. However, there is a huge diversity among transit agencies and as such, agencies face different challenges and to different degrees when considering the adoption of open payment systems. Challenges can include financial barriers, capacity limitations, technological challenges, the duration of existing contracts, competing needs, and a number of passenger challenges such as lack of credit cards or smartphones, or lack of familiarity with the technology. This study uses data collected from California transit agencies in the fall of 2022 that gathered information about agency perceptions of open-loop payments and the challenges with adopting open fare collection systems, and whether assistance programs would benefit transit agencies interested in adopting open-loop payments. Results of the present study indicate that the majority of agencies are considering or have considered implementing open payment systems, but agencies are not fully aware of the assistance available from the California Integrated Travel Program to help in the transition to digital and open payment systems. This study sheds light on the challenges facing small to medium transit agencies in the transition of California’s transit systems to open-loop payment systems. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Business, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Transit payments, open-loop payment, cashless transit, California Integrated Travel Project
    Date: 2023–09–01
  3. By: Smolnik, Franziska
    Abstract: Connectivity, especially in the transport sector, has become a ubiquitous issue in the South Caucasus in recent years. Transport connectivity also plays a central role in the European Union's policy towards the region. As part of its Global Gateway Initiative, the EU has made a commitment that is both value-based and geostrategic. To do justice to this commitment, the EU should consider the different dimensions of transport connectivity and their implications on several levels and in an integrated manner. In particular, the EU should take into account the link between connectivity and questions of political power. The EU could provide support in establishing genuinely inclusive and transparent multi-stakeholder processes and independent project monitoring. This could point the way towards a more holistic approach to connectivity. The EU should also critically examine its commitment to connectivity for possible conflicts of objectives. The policy debate in Berlin and Brussels would benefit from a more intensive exchange with critical logistics, infrastructure and connectivity studies. Their findings could contribute to a more nuanced view of transport connectivity and its complexities and ambivalences.
    Keywords: South Caucasus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, transport connectivity, infrastructure, geopolitics, Trans-European Transport Network, TEN-T, International North South Transport Corridor, INSTC, Kvesheti-Kobi, Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia, TRACECA, Global Gateway, Südkaukasus, Georgien, Armenien, Aserbaidschan, Transportkonnektivität, Infrastruktur, Geopolitik, transeuropäisches Verkehrsnetz, Transportkorridor, Kvesheti-Kobi, TRACECA, Global Gateway
    Date: 2023
  4. By: BIANCARDI Daniele (European Commission - JRC); MARTINEZ CILLERO Maria (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This note presents the latest trends in the investment behaviour of multinational enterprises focusing on non-EU (foreign) investors. It looks at merger and acquisition (M&A) deals and other equity investments of at least 10% of capital of the target company in the EU, as well as at greenfield projects.
    Date: 2023–08
  5. By: ABREU Joana
    Abstract: Αt the midpoint to 2030 and the foreseen achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) launched the REGIONS2030 pilot project. This initiative aims to develop a common monitoring framework for the NUTSII regions of the European Union. By successfully creating and implementing this framework at the regional level, it will be possible to better understand regional disparities and obstacles. This knowledge will facilitate the development of tailored and specific strategies, promoting relevant cooperation within and between countries and regions. Ultimately, this will contribute to harmonious and sustainable development across the European Union. The present report contributes to this project by presenting a thorough analysis of the initial set of regional indicators designed by the JRC and describing the challenges encountered while implementing it in the Centro Region of Portugal. Additionally, recommendations are provided for defining a European-wide regional monitoring framework and improving SDG monitoring in the regions. The work presented here has also led to the creation of a monitoring set that aimed to adapt to the realities and priorities of the Centro Region. Hopefully, this framework will be utilized, sustained, and further improved to raise awareness and promote the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the Centro Region.
    Date: 2023–07
  6. By: ARMENISE Massimo
    Abstract: This report presents and discusses the methodological approach for validating the regional monitoring set for the SDGs in the framework of the REGIONS2030 project for the Puglia region. It describes available indicators and criteria used to select proxy and additional indicators to the ones proposed by the JRC. The initial JRC indicator set to monitor the sustainable development goals at the regional level appears to offer an adequate comprehension of the regional goals’ achievement. More specifically, collecting and analysing data for 65 indicators out of the 83 identified by the JRC was possible. Of these, 39 are perfectly aligned with the data source suggested by the JRC, while for the remaining 26, alternative data sources had to be used, but still based on official statistics. The analysis of statistical trends for both the short and long run shows how the Puglia Region is evolving between lights and shadows. Approximately half of the 65 indicators for which data were collected report a trend in the expected direction. The trend is particularly favourable in the following goals: 1 (no poverty), 7 (clean energy), 9 (innovation), 16 (peace) and 17 (partnerships). In contrast, the direction seems to go away from the desired direction in the following goals: 4 (education), 5 (gender equality) and 8 (decent work). These results may contribute to better recalibrating the monitoring plan of the Regional Sustainable Development Strategy in Puglia.
    Date: 2023–07
  7. By: POP Daniel
    Abstract: The research work contributes to establishing a relevant and applicable set of indicators for monitoring the achievement of the SDGs at the regional level. The analysis was developed within the “REGIONS2030: project, launched by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in collaboration with DG REGIO and ESTAT, and supported by the European Parliament. The principal finding of the review is the identification of 47 indicators for which statistical data are readily available for Nord-Vest. This core group of indicators provides insight into the progress made by the region towards achieving 13 SDGs. Complementarily, a group of 28 additional proxy indicators are proposed for the region, which provides further details on the performance of Nord-Vest. Last, 18 indicators falling under 11 SDGs have been identified with readily available NUTS0-level data that could also be reported at the NUTS2 level. The main challenges faced during data collection include scarcity of readily available NUTS2-level data, inconsistencies in data availability and low levels of harmonisation across available data sources. Possible steps to address the existing challenges and gaps include • ensuring that all data are expressed in standardised form across NUTS2-level jurisdictions, • aligning the periods for which statistics are published with the multiannual planning cycles, and • ensuring that administrative data are communicated annually to conduct trend analysis.
    Date: 2023–07

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