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A practical framework and model for promoting cost-inclusive evaluation

Persaud, Nadini

Nadini Persaud

Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation





cost-analysiscostscost studiesbenefitsevaluationframeworkmeasurement


Cost studies are an important component of any serious professional evaluation. Regardless to whether an evaluation is being conducted in the public or private sector, decision-makers want answers to two fundamental questions: (1) Is the program, project, or investment worthwhile? and (2) Can funds be utilized in a better way? The answers to both questions rely on the use of cost analytical techniques. However, according to the literature, most evaluations do not include any type of cost study (see Christie & Fleischer, 2010) and when studies are included, very few are of high quality and rigor (see Madsen, Eddleston, Hansen, & Konradsen, 2017). This may in part be as a result of the relatively limited emphasis placed on this important topic in the evaluation specific literature, coupled with the reality that many evaluators lack expertise to conduct cost analytical studies. This paper presents a practical framework/model to help evaluators understand fundamental issues that must be considered when thinking about some form of cost-inclusive evaluation.



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