The evaluation of complex infrastructure projects: A guide to qualitative comparative analysis (2018)

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a new research method that is highly suitable for evaluation studies. Clear and concise, this book explains how researchers and evaluators can use QCA effectively for the systematic and thorough analysis of large infrastructure projects, while also acknowledging their complexity.

Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij present the key steps of this methodology to identify patterns across real cases. From collecting and interpreting data to sharing their knowledge and presenting the results, the authors use examples of many projects to emphasize how QCA can be used successfully for both single infrastructure ventures as well as more extensive projects. In addition to discussing the best practices and pitfalls of the methodology, further examples from current research are given in order to illustrate how QCA works effectively in both theory and practice.

Written with researchers and evaluators in mind, this book will be of great benefit for students and scholars of evaluation studies, public administration, transport studies, policy analysis, and project management. The book is also highly applicable for those working in public or private organizations involved in infrastructure projects looking for an effective, detailed, and systematic method of evaluation.

Reviews of the book have been published in Public Works Management & Policy and in the Australian Journal of Public Administration.

Gerrits, L.M. & Verweij, S. (2018). The Evaluation of Complex Infrastructure Projects: A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

The book can ordered at Edward Elgar or via other online booksellers.

Once the shovel hits the ground: Evaluating the management of complex implementation processes of public-private partnership infrastructure projects with qualitative comparative analysis (2015)

Much attention is being paid to the planning of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects. The subsequent implementation phasewhen the contract has been signed and the project ‘starts rolling’has received less attention. However, sound agreements and good intentions in project planning can easily fail in project implementation. Implementing PPP infrastructure projects is complex, but what does this complexity entail? How are projects managed, and how do public and private partners cooperate in implementation? What are effective management strategies to achieve satisfactory outcomes? This is the first set of questions addressed in this thesis. Importantly, the complexity of PPP infrastructure development imposes requirements on the evaluation methods that can be applied for studying these questions. Evaluation methods that ignore complexity do not create a realistic understanding of PPP implementation processes, with the consequence that evaluations tell us little about what works and what does not, in which contexts, and why. This hampers learning from evaluations. What are the requirements for a complexity-informed evaluation method? And how does Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) meet these requirements? This is the second set of questions addressed in this thesis.

Verweij, S. (2015). Once the Shovel Hits the Ground: Evaluating the Management of Complex Implementation Processes of Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Projects with Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Rotterdam: Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The book can be downloaded for free here.