Are cost-inclusive evaluations worth the effort?

Patricia M. Herman, Deirdre J. Avery, Crystal S. Schemp, Michele E. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Relative costs are as important as relative effectiveness when choosing between program alternatives or among a set of programs competing for scarce funds. Nevertheless, the number of cost-inclusive evaluations remains comparatively small. This article presents the results of three first-time cost-inclusive evaluations each performed by an experienced evaluator. Each evaluator performed a different type of cost-inclusive evaluation using different tobacco control programs as examples: "standard" cost-effectiveness analysis, threshold or break-even analysis, and a simulation model. Results are presented in terms of the challenges faced, and informational and insight benefits gained, as well as in terms of program cost-effectiveness. All three evaluators agreed that the benefits from performing cost-inclusive evaluations are well worth time and effort involved. They also found that this type of evaluation provides abundant information that can be used to improve program effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Break-even
  • Cost-benefit
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Efficiency
  • Simulation model
  • Tobacco control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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