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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Nadini Persaud
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: The Evaluation Center
Title: Conceptual and Practical Analysis of Costs and Benefits in Evaluation: Developing a Cost Analysis Tool for Practical Program Evaluation
Dr. Michael Scriven, Chair
Dr. Subhash Sonnad
Dr. Liliana Rodriguez-Campos
Date: Monday, June 4, 2007 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
4405 Ellsworth Hall
Cost-effectiveness, cost-feasibility and comparative superiority are important cost issues that need to be addressed in ex-ante, in medias res and ex-post evaluations. A review of the evaluation literature, however, indicates that cost analysis is not always done—and when it is done, it frequently is not done well. This partly may be a result of its complexity, coupled with the fact that many evaluators do not possess the requisite skills to conduct cost analysis. This research developed a new tool to simplify the procedures considerably for conducting serious cost analysis in program evaluation. In developing this tool, the conceptual and practical analysis of costs and benefits in evaluation were analyzed in detail. Scriven’s 1991 cost cube that was illustrated by E. Jane Davidson in 2003 was also redesigned to make it more applicable to the Cost Analysis Checklist tool. The modified model is referred to as the Costs Identification Model. A Benefits Identification Model was also developed to facilitate benefits identification. In developing the tool, special care was taken to ensure that the tool is user-friendly for non-economists. The targeted audience for this tool is novice evaluators and evaluation students.