Keywords: evaluation models, transport infrastructure, international comparison, politics, usage of policy analysis
Cost-effective use of evaluation models: an empirical cross-national investigation
Despite the existence of methodologically sound evaluation models for infrastructure projects, it is far from certain if these methods are used at all. In fact, political motives seem often to play a more important role when it comes to "real decision-making". This paper provides an answer to the question of why certain evaluation methods are used as the basis to allocate funds and others are not, even if they are qualitatively of high standing. The evaluation methods used in six different countries and corresponding authorities (France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK and the MTC/Bay Area) have been analysed. As a result, seven explanatory factors which determine the effective use of appraisal methods have been derived: range of different criteria, understanding and dispersion, contributions of lower government tiers, contribution of pressure groups, agreement among actors on usage, flexibility of usage, and legal recognition. A country-specific discussion is carried out in terms of these seven factors. The paper closes with a cross-national comparison and practical considerations for successful implementation of evaluation methods.