We have just published a new Guide, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Education and Health Interventions in Developing Countries written by Patrick McEwan, who teaches at Wellesley College.
Cost effectiveness analysis is a straight-forward but hugely under-utilized tool.
This paper reviews the framework and methods of cost-effectiveness analysis, emphasizing education and health interventions, and discusses how the methods are applied in the literature.
The surge of impact evaluations in the last decade is primarily driven by the need to understand if a specific intervention – an investment, a project, a policy – has an effect on a chosen variable of interest. But there are many alternative ways to “purchase” that effect.
With Cost Effectiveness Analysis we can compare these possible alternatives and choose the alternative with the least cost per effect.