Cost Measurement in USAID Youth Development Programs
To address the current lack of information about costs of specific components of education programming across different context, USAID Office of Education has developed Cost Reporting Guidance (2018) and Cost Analysis Guidance (2020) that aim to transform how USAID-funded activities collect and analyze cost data and how USAID Missions use these data. These Guidance notes allow USAID to standardize the capture, reporting and analysis of cost data across the education portfolio and lay foundation for estimating levels of investment needed to produce desired outputs and outcomes across different contexts as well as calculating cost per outcome and cost-effectiveness of comparable interventions. USAID is working to include cost measurement in all USAID-funded education activities.
The webinar presented USAID’s approach to measuring costs and discussed implications of this new reporting requirement for the implementing partners of USAID-funded youth development activities.
Dr. Elena Walls is Sr. M&E Advisor with the Evidence Team, Office of Education (E3/ED), USAID. In this capacity, she is leading multiple strategic initiatives, including cost measurement of USAID-funded education interventions. She also provides technical assistance to USAID Missions on monitoring, evaluation and research. Prior to joining USAID, Elena served as Director of Monitoring, Evaluation and Research team at Education Development Center. Over the past 20 years she has conducted diverse research and evaluation projects in fields of education and public health, both domestically and internationally. While at EDC, she led the development of a division-wide system for tracking project results and managed multiple research and evaluation studies, including a randomized controlled trial of a technology-based early grade reading intervention in Zambia, a study of cost-effectiveness of vocational training models in Morocco, and national and regional assessments of early grade literacy and numeracy in multiple countries. She holds a Doctorate degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an M.A. in Society and Politics from Lancaster University, UK.