FEASIBLE Environmental Finance

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FEASIBLE is a software decision support tool that provides a systematic, quantitative framework for analysing alternative targets related to environmental performance of infrastructure or to the level of its services.

Wouldn’t it be good to have decision support tool like this for protected areas? At present FEASIBLE can be used on water, wastewater and solid waste services projects.

It was developed by COWI in collaboration with OECD and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.

The basic approach underlying FEASIBLE is to take public policy targets in areas like water supply and sanitation, determine the costs and timetables of achieving them and compare the schedule of these expenditure needs with available sources of finance.

This analysis generally reveals “finance gaps” during planned implementation. FEASIBLE can then develop various scenarios to determine how these gaps could be closed. This could be by: identifying policy reforms that could help achieve the targets at lower cost; identifying ways of mobilising additional finance; adjusting the ambition level of the targets; or extending the time period for achieving the targets.

An important feature of FEASIBLE is the emphasis on realism and affordability. The model can assess the levels of finance (public, private, domestic, foreign) that might be available under different macro-economic conditions. In this way, it provides a check on what public budgets might realistically be expected to contribute. It can also help to assess the potential social implications of increasing tariffs by determining the impacts of such price increases on household income.

By focussing on these issues, the application of FEASIBLE is more than a technical exercise: it also supports a process of dialogue and consensus building among the key stakeholders involved in financing environmentally-related infrastructure. In this way, it can build a bridge between policy development and implementation.

One of the key features of FEASIBLE is the use of generic expenditure functions. Generic expenditure functions are used to estimate the cost of a given type of infrastructure. The expenditure functions are based on international prices and on a standard set of assumptions. The model then modifies the cost results to reflect local prices. If local conditions vary from standard assumptions, the user can apply correction factors to some of the most important assumptions.

You can download FEASIBLE, it is available free of charge. However, it asks you for a lot of detailed information related to local costs of land, fuel, labor, building materials, equipment, building materials, etc.

Links: OECD FEASIBLE page, COWI (with program download and documentation files).

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