Profile of Miss Beukers University of Amsterdam

Beukers

I am a PhD-student, working at the University of Amsterdam under supervision of Prof. ir. dr. L. (Luca) Bertolini. In the summer of 2009 I have started my research. Before I became a PhD-student, I have worked as a consultant in different places in the Netherlands with a focus on local and regional economic development. Performing economic appraisals was one of my tasks, whereby I have experienced several problems that I will focus on in my research as a PhD-student.

General research interests

Economic appraisals, like the social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA), are planning tools with great influence on design and evaluation of projects. To perform an SCBA is an aim to reduce uncertainty about projects outcomes and effects. In Dutch practice, the SCBA has an increasing important role in planning. Nonetheless, many Dutch planning actors are not satisfied and feel frustrated when performing the SCBA. I find it very interesting to work within this struggle for useful information through economic appraisal on the one hand and on the other hand find ways to deal with the limits of an instrument like the SCBA.

PhD Abstract

The social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA) is an ex-ante evaluation tool with plays an important role in Dutch and European planning to evaluate infrastructure projects. Although it is recognized that robust economic appraisal is necessary (ECMT, 2003), many problems occur when performing the SCBA, especially when the SCBA is used for evaluation of more complex infrastructure projects with a wider goal for economic development. The contested elements of the SCBA can be divided in content related and process related problems. My research will focus on the process related problems. Experienced process related problems are for example the use of the SCBA as final assessment instead of learning tool; the lack of transparency, also formulated as the experience of the SCBA as black-box; and the lack of participation of planning actors. In theory and in Dutch planning practice different possible explanations and solutions are formulated to understand and overcome these process related problems. The solutions are however mostly quite vague formulated considering the questions who and what kind of information should be involved when in the SCBA-process. Moreover, these solutions evolve rarely from theory to practice.
The general goal of my research is to find-out what form of the SCBA-process is most useful to support planning practice. Dutch planning practice is thereby functioning as a test case and will provide interesting knowledge and experience for the performance of SCBAs in other countries. The aim of the research is not only to understand and explain the problems related to the SCBA-process, but also to experiment how formulated solutions will work in practice.

Latest deposited documents

Improving trust and communication between experts to facilitate the use of the cost benefit analysis as a learning tool  image
Improving trust and communication between experts to facilitate the use of the cost benefit analysis as a learning tool (February 2012)

The CBA (cost benefit analysis) is a controversial tool for assessing integrated transport plans. Research on CBA assessment processes of...

Social Cost Benefit Analysis – Process: Learning tool instead of final assessment image
Social Cost Benefit Analysis – Process: Learning tool instead of final assessment (May 2010)

The SCBA has an increasing important and formalized role in Dutch planning practice for appraisal and is obligatory for large infrastructure...

What form of the SCBA-process will support planning practice best? image
What form of the SCBA-process will support planning practice best? (January 2010)

The SCBA has an increasing important and formalized role in Dutch planning practice for appraisal and is obligatory for large infrastructure...