Assessing Value for Money in DFID’s Health Portfolio across States in India

2013; India; DFID

DFID is supporting health sector budget programmes in three focus states in India (Bihar, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh) with the aim of improving access to essential health services, particularly for maternal and child health, nutrition, and vector borne disease control, with a focus on poor and excluded groups.

Responding to recent recommendations from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact on the need to further improve the value for money (VFM) of UK involvement in India in the health and education sectors, DFID has commissioned Itad to conduct an independent evaluation to assess the overall impact and value for money of these three health sector budget programmes.

The key objectives of this evaluation are to: a) Identify and assess the key outcome, economy and efficiency drivers at the sectoral level; and to undertake internal/ international benchmarking on unit costs, as well as providing relevant sectoral evidence on what works to achieve good value for money; b) assess and update the health sector portfolio performance against the sectoral/unit cost benchmarks and recommend ways forward, including guidance on methodology and benchmarks for evaluating VFM annually; and c) evaluate the incremental impact of the health sector budget support in three states.

A key consideration of this project is the value for money of technical assistance and how this can be optimised, given that post-2015, direct financial assistance to India from the UK will cease. The evaluation is synthesising data from benchmarking, interviews with key state-level informants and case studies, and generating multiples lines of evidence through a review of public expenditure, a political economy analysis, attribution analysis and the performance of a VFM diagnostic. This will allow DFID to better understand how sector budget programmes are demonstrating delivery of VFM, what it is achieving with the money it spends and how VFM might be improved. For this assignment we have brought together a world-class evaluation team drawn from in-house and external sources, who bring with them wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary expertise in evaluation methods, VFM assessments, the health sector, and India. The evaluation is expected to last six months with a possibility of further extension of 12 months.

Image © Giving advice on safer childbirth. Photo credit: Nick Cunard/DFID

For more information please contact:

Sam McPherson
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