Value for Money of Different CSO Delivery Options

10th June 2022
Author: William Avis

Value for Money (VfM) is a concept that broadly defines how to maximise and sustain equitable and quality outputs, outcomes and impact for a given level of resources. VfM is a frequently misunderstood term, often associated with complex economic analysis methods. The literature reviewed in this report shows no clear consensus concerning how VfM should be defined. This rapid literature review collates available literature on the value for money of different CSO delivery options. It draws on a diverse range of sources from academic and grey literature. The review draws heavily on a number of sources including Coffey (2015), Laws and Valters (2021) and INTRAC (2020).Despite a range of definitions of VfM being developed and refined, there exist a dearth of detailed attempts to understand how best to conceptualise, measure and manage VfM for programmes which aim to be adaptive.How VfM is interpreted continues to evolve, for example, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact has broadened how VfM is assessed by requiring different types of accountability and transparency commitments to ensure that CSOs use funding responsibly (ICAI, 2018).The availability of VfM evidence across many funding arrangements is lacking or incomplete. Additionally, while the effectiveness and impact of specific funding mechanisms was typically explored and assessed in the literature, the relationship between the design and execution of the broader funding arrangement in relation to VfM was usually inferred rather than explicitly assessed.

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Suggested Citation

Avis, W. (2022). Value for Money of Different CSO Delivery Options. K4D Helpdesk Report No. 1138. Institute of Development Studies. DOI: 10.19088/K4D.2022.087


10th June 2022


Continent: Global