Value for money

Balancing inclusiveness, rigour and feasibility: Insights from participatory impact evaluations in Ghana and Vietnam

Adinda Van Hemelrijck and Irene Guijt

How can we ensure that impact evaluation of complex programmes is rigorous and inclusive, and triggers reflection and learning about contributions, while also remaining feasible? This paper reflects on piloting a Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning Approach (PIALA) to assess the impacts of two pilot government livelihood programmes. It explores trade-offs in rigour, ...» more

Better Value for Money: An organising framework for management and measurement of VFM indicators

Julian Barr, Angela Christie

This paper provides an organising framework that attempts to provide a means to better understand, express and enable judgements to be reached on Value for Money (VFM) in development programmes.The framework is based on, but evolves around the 4Es approach (Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness and Equity). It aims to do two things: bring the dimensions of value ...» more

Lessons on Lessons: Why we haven’t learnt anything new for 68 years

Stabilisation Unit

This lessons brief is a summary of a workshop given by Dr. Robert Lamb in conjunction with the Stabilisation Unit. The workshop discussed how to identify recurrent systemic failures in lesson learning within fragile states and consider how they can best be addressed. The presentation systematically reviewed ‘lessons’ research since 1949 and established that researchers have ...» more

Measuring results


How can the impact of governance and social development programmes be assessed with a view to improving their efficiency and effectiveness? What particular challenges are involved in monitoring and evaluating development interventions, and how can these be addressed? How can the ‘value for money’ of a particular intervention be determined? Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) ...» more

Impact and VFM of Capacity Building Support for Conflict Parties in Negotiations

This report assesses the impact and value for money (VFM) of international support to government and rebel capacity building for negotiations. It finds that there has been little sustained analysis of the impact of this kind of support. Few donor evaluations focus specifically on these activities and those that do are often not made public (expert comments). No studies were ...» more

Measuring the Impact and Value for Money of Governance Programmes

Chris Barnett et al.

How can value for money best be measured in governance and conflict programming? This study reviews options for a VFM approach in relation to governance programmes, including those in conflict-affected and failed states, for the UK's Department for International Development. VFM involves examining economy, efficiency and effectiveness, identifying the links between them and ...» more

Value for Money

DFID appears to have gone the furthest among aid agencies in developing the concept of ‘value for money’ (VFM). It is the only agency that explicitly uses the terminology frequently in its policies and procedures and has a Value for Money department. DFID’s approach to VFM involves ‘assessing whether level of results achieved represent good value for money against the costs ...» more

Managing Fiduciary Risk When Providing Poverty Reduction Budget Support

Department for International Development

Do the potential developmental benefits of providing Poverty Reduction Budget Support (PRBS) justify the risks involved? DFID is accountable to Parliament for the use of taxpayers’ funds. Making sure that aid resources are utilised for the intended purposes, properly accounted for and that they deliver value for money is therefore part of DFID’s main responsibilities. This ...» more

Modern Policy Making: Ensuring Policies Deliver Value for Money

UK National Audit Office

Departments spend some 350 billion pounds a year on a range of services and activities intended to benefit citizens. If policies are not well designed and implemented the consequences can be serious. For example, public services may be of poor quality, may not meet users’ expectations, those intended to benefit may not do so, or groups in society may be excluded. What can be ...» more