Assessing and Managing Value for Money: Lessons for NGOs – summary paper

12 October 2016



 The drive to deliver value for money in aid spending has been a formal priority since 2011 and looks set to be an ongoing focus.

But beyond the common sense understanding of the term, what exactly does “value for money” mean? How can organisations assess it, manage it and demonstrate it?

The members of the Value for Money Learning Group within the learning partnership between DFID and its strategic grant holders have been at the forefront of grappling with these questions and making practical efforts to find answers. Mango was commissioned by the group to collate and make sense of their experiences and learning, which are reflected in “Assessing and Managing Value for Money: Lessons for NGOs”.

The summary report presents an overview of the new analytical framework for approaching value for money that can be applied at project, portfolio and organisational levels. It looks at tools, the importance of organisational leadership, integration of value for money into working practices, and knowledge, skills and behaviour needed. In keeping with emerging learning, the report shows that there is no single “right” approach, particularly given legitimate debates about what constitutes “value”. The report places an emphasis on managing for and making judgements about value for money, rather than focusing on strict measurement.

Those interested in improving value for money in their organisation will find a useful structure for thinking about it, along with a wealth of practical examples and lessons from Value for Money Learning Group members.

Download the full report here. The summary report is available below.

Want to learn new practical skills?

Join our Putting value for money into practice training course, held regularly throughout the year, to learn crucial value for money techniques to use when designing programmes and preparing proposals and budgets for institutional donors.

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