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An International Review of Ex-Post Project Evaluation Schemes in the Transport Sector


  • Morten Skou Nicolaisen

    () (Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Skibbrogade 3, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark)

  • Patrick A. Driscoll

    (Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Skibbrogade 3, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark)


There are a number of ex-post (or post-opening) project evaluation schemes used by national transportation authorities in, among others, England, Scotland, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Norway and the US. Additionally, many of the multilateral and bilateral lending institutions, such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank conduct ex-post project reviews of transport projects in the rail and road sectors. This paper presents a literature review of the various ex-post evaluation schemes in order to establish a state-of-the-art in ex-post road and rail project evaluation, develops an analytic typology of ex-post evaluation schemes and finally presents an in-depth case study of two ex-post evaluation schemes in Norway and England in order to provide a more detailed analysis of the process, structure and policy learning potential within ex-post project evaluation. In comparison to the extensive focus on ex-ante project appraisal, ex-post evaluations have received significantly less attention from academics and practitioners alike. The main findings are as follows: (1) Despite the widespread use globally of ex-post evaluation schemes in the transport sector, there remain significant differences in quality, coverage and comprehensiveness of the schemes. There is a striking lack of standardised methods of conducting ex-post evaluations at the national level, inhibiting the comparability and learning potential; (2) Even with legal mandates and decades of practice, data archiving and retrieval is a widespread problem for national transport planning agencies and (3) How to handle the counter-factual option (i.e. do-nothing/do-minimum/null option) is still very much an open question, which has significant impacts upon the forecasted and outturn benefit/cost ratios and environmental/social impacts.

Suggested Citation

  • Morten Skou Nicolaisen & Patrick A. Driscoll, 2016. "An International Review of Ex-Post Project Evaluation Schemes in the Transport Sector," Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 18(01), pages 1-33, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:jeapmx:v:18:y:2016:i:01:n:s1464333216500083
    DOI: 10.1142/S1464333216500083

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    References listed on IDEAS

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