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Cost evidence is essential for deciding how scarce resources can best be used to alleviate poverty. Yet, despite strong policymaker interest, fewer than one-in-five published impact evaluations estimates the cost per impact of the evaluated program. When impact evaluations do include cost estimates, often the poor quality of underlying cost data and lack of reporting transparency make them unreliable.

The Costing Community of Practice (CCoP) is a response coordinated by CEGA to this challenge that addresses the barriers to generating more, and better, cost evidence produced in conjunction with development impact evaluations. CEGA leveraged modest funding from USAID, which supported a convening to jumpstart the CCoP, as well as the time and effort of CEGA staff to manage its inaugural year (2020). This USAID funding was tied to CEGA’s Cash Benchmarking initiative which informs decision-makers with rigorous evidence of impact and cost-effectiveness. By promoting the wider adoption of standards of rigor for cost-effectiveness analysis, the CCoP will improve the generalizability and use-value of the evidence emerging from these cash benchmarking studies and other impact evaluation studies.


The CCoP is developing curated content on cost analysis resources, and inaugurating a forum to expand access to expertise and build the cost evidence base in the field of international development.

CCoP members published the article The State of Cost-Effectiveness Guidance: Ten Best Resources for CEA in Impact Evaluations, which includes a curated list of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) resources for researchers and practitioners

CEGA works with the CCoP to organize our annual “Cost-ober” event, as well as regular CCoP Brown Bag Lunches:


International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Evidence Action

The Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF), World Bank

The Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) in Tanzania

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)


Liz Brown (

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