This course is about the process of scoping and planning public sector investment projects and the basic knowledge and skills required for their financial and economic appraisal (‘ex-ante’ evaluation).
The focus is on urban infrastructure projects identified, prioritized, and appraised through local/municipal planning processes. Case studies include water supply and sewerage, urban transport, solid waste management and green infrastructure.
While offered as part of the Wagner’s Master of Urban Planning (MUP) International Planning Specialization and aligned with current practices of international development banks, the UN and other Aid Agencies, the course is intended for policy analysts, urban planners, and engineers working in both developed and developing countries, as most of its technical content is relevant to both contexts.
By taking this course, students should be able to:
Understand how urban infrastructure projects are identified, prioritized, and appraised within the broader public sector investment programming and capital budgeting processes.
Appreciate the need for well prepared “business cases” for urban infrastructure projects.
Become familiar with the basic finance and welfare economics concepts underpinning the analysis of public sector investments and learn the basics of the Multi-criteria Analysis (MCA) and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) techniques.
Understand how to assess the financial feasibility and bankability of development projects.
Understand how to identify, quantify, and value the economic, social, and environmental externalities associated with development projects.
Practice the integrated (technical, financial, institutional, economic, social, and environmental) appraisal of selected urban infrastructure projects of moderate scale and complexity and carry out a relevant risk analysis.
The course combines lectures and computer lab sessions for financial modeling of projects (in Excel) and the application of industry-standard software for probabilistic risk analysis (Oracle’s Crystal Ball).