The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has been working with governments, business associations and individual companies to solve industrial problems — and equip them to help themselves — for more than 30 years. One of the tools developed by UNIDO to serve this purpose is COMFAR, the Computer Model for Feasibility Analysis and Reporting.
In 1983, the first version of the software was released. Since then, UNIDO has been constantly working on development and improve¬ment of this tool. The third generation, COMFAR III Expert for Windows, was released in 1995. Since then, in order to meet the technical developments as well as users requests, it has been annually upgraded. This software is based on the experience, recom¬mendations, comments and needs of more than 8,000 users in 160 countries.
COMFAR is a valuable aid in analysis of investment projects. The main module of the program accepts financial and economic data, produces financial and economic statements and graphical displays and calculates measures of performance. Supplementary modules assist in the analytical process. Cost- benefit and value-added methods of economic analysis developed by UNIDO are included in the program, with allowance made for the methods used by major international development institutions.
The program is applicable for the analysis of investment in new projects and expansion or rehabilitation of existing enterprises as, e.g. in the case of re-privatization projects. For joint ventures, the financial perspective of each partner or class of shareholder can be developed. Analysis can be performed using a variety of assumptions concerning inflation, currency revaluation and price escalations.
COMFAR, which is already available in 19 languages, is accompanied by manuals, teaching materials and interlinked software for project identification and preparation. COMFAR also offers specialized modules, for example on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and on Environmental Management Accounting (EMA).
In over 30 years of COMFAR development, two main development impacts were recorded: classic investment benefits, such as increased employment, technology spillovers/innovation and better environmental performance, and improved institutional capabilities to ensure the feasibility and economic benefits of investments in developing countries.