Our VfM Portfolio updates

Value for Money advice continues to be an important part of our portfolio. We have undertaken a number of interesting pieces of work this year, that continue to evolve our thinking on this area, as well as that of our clients.

Early in the year, we completed our study ‘Better Assessing VFM in DFID Nigeria Governance and Conflict Programming’; this developed a very practical diagnostic framework on the strength of programmes’ VFM offers. This has gone on to inform DFID Nigeria’s thinking on VFM and is being used in other sectors. The framework has also been used by Itad to structure the VFM approach in a number of the programmes on which we are working, including SAVI and M4D in Nigeria. This framework will be published as an Itad working paper early next year.

During the year, we have been working with Oxfam to develop an approach towards measurement and management of value for money, which includes criteria for forming judgements about the value for money of its programmes and projects, and developing guidance on how to effectively manage value. We also have just finished the inception phase of an evaluation to Assess the Value for Money in DFID’s Health Portfolio across three States in India. DFID has three large health sector programmes for which it wants to benchmark VFM and understand the comparative VFM of financial aid and technical assistance as DFID graduates from financial aid to India.

We have also been delivering training on our approach and thinking to VFM. We have run several training courses for the British Council to improve the VFM literacy of staff, and help them improve VFM in delivering services to their clients. In addition, Julian Barr from Itad presented a session on VFM at the DFID-UK Evaluation Society training course in November on ‘Development Evaluation in Practice.