Know your costs: An example from the UK

by , April 7, 2014

The nongovernmental organization New Economy, in partnership with the UK government, recently released a database of more than 600 cost estimates. This unit cost database—available at the Centre for Social Impact Bonds—covers crime, education and skills, employment and economy, fire, health, housing, and social services. Most are national costs derived from government reports and academic studies.


What do “smelly” spreadsheets have to do with cost-benefit analysis?

by , March 17, 2014

Our new white paper, Advancing the Quality of Cost-Benefit Analysis for Justice Programs, recommends a few ways to make cost-benefit studies clearer and more accessible. To paraphrase the Golden Rule, you should provide as much documentation for others as you would want them to provide you:

  • Be explicit about which costs and benefits the analysis includes.


Document for others as you would have others document for you

by , July 20, 2012

This month on the blog we’re focusing on methods used in cost-benefit analysis (CBA).

Cost-benefit analysts typically need to convey complex information succinctly to policymakers and may have reservations about bogging down readers with too much technical detail.

But a cost-benefit study without thorough documentation presents its own set of problems.