Our approach to value for money (VFM) recognises that there are no gold standards when it comes to determining whether a policy, program or social investment is worth doing, and that good resource use can be more complex than return on investment alone. Our ‘Value for Investment’ approach combines good evaluation practice with economic methods of evaluation to support well-evidenced, well-reasoned judgements about VFM. We do this by joining the forces of:
- Explicit evaluative reasoning – using rubrics to define dimensions of VFM and levels of performance, providing a transparent basis for making sound judgements
- Mixed methods – combining quantitative and qualitative evidence to support a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of program costs, processes, consequences, and value
- Economic methods of evaluation (e.g., cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis) where feasible and appropriate, without limiting the analysis to economic methods and metrics alone
- Bringing the full ‘evaluation toolkit’ to support credible evidence and reasoning – for example, culturally responsive evaluation, participatory approaches, systems thinking and complexity-informed approaches, and multiple strategies for approaching causality and contribution.
Julian King offers workshops on how to address evaluative questions about value for money, combining economic analysis with other evaluation approaches. Please Contact Julian for more information on our Value for Money workshops.