Date and Time: Wednesday 16 September 2015, 5:30 pm to 7pm.
Topic: A practical approach to evaluating the Value for Money of development program
Presenter: Michelle Besley, Independent Consultant
Venue: VicHealth Seminar Room, Ground Floor, 15‐31 Pelham Street, Carlton Victoria 3053
Register online by: 15 September 2015
Fee: no charge

Increasingly, organisations are required to demonstrate the Value for Money of the programs which they implement. Such expectations impact on public, private and non-government organisations. For international development initiatives, pressures to show value for money are pronounced. As a consequence, Value for Money is becoming a standard component of evaluation wherein evaluators are expected to develop expertise in applying Value for Money concepts and approaches. There is an increasing need for organisations and evaluators to define and assess the central elements of Value for Money within an established framework. This is a relatively new area, with different organisations trialling different theoretical frameworks such as Social Return on Investment, the Basic Efficiency Resource, forms of Cost-Benefit Analysis, and other experimental methodologies.

The international development context provides heightened challenges for evaluation of Value for Money where development organisations support longer term programs that aim to bring about less tangible results such as changes in attitude and empowerment. This presentation will share an example of how such challenges can be addressed. It will draw on a case study from the presenter's experience. This involved the identification of a conceptual framework and a tool that was applied to evaluate Value for Money of a development program supported by a non-government organisation.

This session will explore the:
• Notion of Value for Money and its implications for the evaluator
• Criteria that can be used in the evaluation of Value for Money
• Different types of data that are needed to make a Value for Money assessment
• Impact of a heightened focus on Value for Money for the overall practice of evaluation


Michelle Besley is an independent Australia-based consultant specialising in design, and monitoring and evaluation. Michelle previously worked at Oxfam Australia in the Program Quality Unit. Prior to this, she was based in the Middle East for 7 years where she worked for national and international development agencies. In 2014, Michelle was engaged by an Australian NGO to develop a practical tool to assess the Value for Money of a development program. In 2015, she worked with staff and partners across three different programs to test, refine and strengthen this tool.

For a copy of the presentation click here