Is a given treatment, intervention, or program worth it? How can a program do more or better with less? Evaluating the costs of a program can be the missing link between a superficial evaluation and one that will get changes made and funding delivered. In accessible language and without complex formulas, this book provides a roadmap for measuring program costs and outcomes and analyzing cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, and cost-utility. Also explained are simplified ways to use economic appraisal methodologies--such as net present valuation, internal rate of return computation, and payback period determination--in a cost-inclusive evaluation. Instructive examples span a range of human services, education, and health care contexts. Other evaluator- and student-friendly features include helpful graphics, procedure steps, end-of-chapter discussion questions, a list of acronyms, and a glossary of key terms.
Nadini Persaud, PhD, CPA, CGA, is a tenured Lecturer in Evaluation in the Department of Management Studies at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. She teaches primarily at the graduate level and has served as Coordinator of the Master of Science Program in Project Management and Evaluation. The recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, Dr. Persaud is an Advisory Council member for the Barbados Chapter of Chartered Professional Accountants Canada and a board member of the American Evaluation Association, Caribbean Evaluators International, and the Faster Forward Fund. Her research focuses on blending the tools of project management and accounting to improve the practice of professional evaluation. Dr. Persaud has published numerous journal articles and book chapters, as well as several books, and has presented over 20 conference papers on the importance of cost analysis in program evaluation. Brian T. Yates, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychology at American University in Washington, DC. Working with colleagues in his Program Evaluation Research Lab (PERL) and other universities, Dr. Yates has applied his resources-activities-processes-outcomes (RAPO) model to measure and improve costs, cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, and cost-utility of diverse health and human services and their accreditation processes. He has published 93 articles and book chapters, and 5 books, and authored a manual on cost accounting published by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. At American University, Dr. Yates developed the Masters Program in General Psychology and served as Acting Chair of the Department of Psychology and as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has served as board member and treasurer of the American Evaluation Association.
"This is a great book for a graduate evaluation topics course or for practitioners who want to expand their capabilities. Easy to follow, the book takes the reader through the process of cost-inclusive evaluation step by step, as well as discusses the pitfalls."--Kimberly A. Fredericks, PhD, Dean, School of Management, Russell Sage College "In a time of heightened focus on results-driven managerial accountability, this book delves into program costs through a genuinely evaluative lens, strengthening evaluators understanding of program outcomes and impacts. It takes examination of costs outside the exclusive domain of economists and accountants and explores cost types and dynamics that are seldom considered in decision making. In seemingly effortless prose, the authors provide a straightforward, user-friendly guide for novice to seasoned evaluators. The book elucidates the logic of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis tools--and, most important, their usefulness in real-world evaluation endeavors."--Mita Marra, PhD, Department of Social Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Italy; Editor-in-Chief, Evaluation and Program Planning -