Supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Dr. Mehmet Uzunkaya (MIDP ’06) joined Duke Center for International Development (DCID) on August 5th, 2019 as a visiting scholar for a nine month period. Before joining DCID, Uzunkaya served for 21 years as a public sector official in Turkey. His work has included public investment management, sectoral development policy formulation and infrastructure finance. He has been involved in appraisal, financing and evaluation of more than 450 public investment projects from a variety of sectors, including general administration, transportation and logistics. Uzunkaya has also taken part in formulating short, medium and long-term national development strategies in areas such as transportation, construction, technical advisory, management consulting and public-private partnerships (PPPs). He is particularly specialized in alternative financing methods for public infrastructure investments, especially PPPs.
He has (co)-authored scholarly and working papers on subjects combining finance and international development, including appraisal and evaluation of PPPs, economic opportunity cost of capital, relationships between country risk ratings and stock markets, and economic performance in market-based and bank-based financial systems. His Ph.D. thesis on international cost of equity won him an incentive award from the Central Bank of Turkey.
Since 2013, he has led the Thematic Working Sub-Group on Evaluation of PPPs (TWsG-PPP) on a voluntary basis within the European Evaluation Society. The group consists of experts worldwide who specialize in evaluation and PPPs. He is also a board member of the Turkish Monitoring and Evaluation Society.
At Duke’s DCID, Uzunkaya will focus on developing a novel approach in Value for Money (VfM) analysis of PPPs in infrastructure. Classical VfM approaches that are being used throughout the world to test whether PPPs create value for money as compared to traditional public financing utilize a financial viewpoint; Uzunkaya aims at developing a novel VfM model with a more holistic approach that takes greater account of socio-economic factors.
Uzunkaya holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (high honor) from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, a master’s degree in international development policy from Duke University and a Ph.D. in finance from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Along with his career in the public sector, he has taught part-time graduate and undergraduate courses at Middle East Technical University’s Institute of Applied Mathematics and Department of Business Administration. He has taught courses in Financial Management and Principles of Finance and Project Finance.