Skip to main content

Addressing the Benefits and Costs of Evaluations

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project


Practice Advice in Evaluation and Performance Measurement

Addressing the Benefits and Costs of Evaluations (OECD)

Description: Benefits of evaluations should outweigh their costs and limitations. Both costs and benefits can be affected by careful management of evaluations and by choosing the appropriate evaluators and evaluation methods.


  • The key value of evaluations is that they allow for in-depth study of performance and independent assessment of effectiveness of other performance management instruments. Potential benefits are the greatest for large policies or programmes.
  • On the other hand, experience shows that evaluations have often been too costly and time-consuming compared to their real use and effect. There is also a risk of evaluations being used to slow the process of decision-making and justify inaction.

Source: OECD (1998). Best Practice Guidelines For Evaluation at (accessed 23 November, 2012).

Page Created By: Matthew Seddon on 23 November 2012. Updated by Ian Clark on 2 January 2013. The content presented on this page is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases. This material does not necessarily reflect the official view of the publishing organization.

 Concepts relevant to this Best Practice

 Other Best Practices relevant to this Best Practice

 Other Resources relevant to this Best Practice

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance