Conduct a Cost Analysis of Your Home Visiting Program
Section 1: Introducing the Tool
The goal of this tutorial is to describe the different types of cost analysis and to allow users to assess a program's "readiness" for conducting a cost analysis.
Welcome to the Home Visiting Cost Tool!
The goal of this tool is to provide a "step by step" interactive guide for home visiting program managers and researchers to learn about and, in some cases, conduct, cost and cost benefit analysis.
Will Get You Started »
What's Inside the Tool?
Once you start working on the tool, you will find 3 main sections. Because the tool is interactive, some pages require data entry for you to advance to the next sections.
Section 1. Introducing the Tool: Here you will learn the purpose of the tool and can read about different types of cost analysis.
Section 2. Calculating Program Costs: This section includes interactive questions so that you can identify what information you currently have – and what you might need to collect – in order to start doing cost analysis. You will be able to see, based on the data you have, what kinds of costs you can analyze for your program. This section allows you to enter your program’s data and actually begin calculating program and service related costs.
Section 3: Outcome Costs Example: The last section, for programs that have outcome data available, allows you to do a simple cost-benefit analysis (CBA). It also shows you how to estimate the program's cost-benefit ratio using estimated cost savings derived from 3 examples of outcomes whose costs have been estimated.
Who Should Use this Tool?
This tutorial and assessment is designed for early childhood home visiting program managers, directors, funders, and evaluators who want to learn more about how to conduct a cost analysis, assess a program's readiness to conduct a cost analysis, and to give you some examples for how to approach a cost-benefit analysis. You can use this tool to conduct an actual cost-allocation analysis, and to learn more about how to estimate cost savings for different kinds of program outcomes. It will also help you to better understand what data you need for cost analysis of your program.
Important Information About the Tool
You will have several opportunities to enter data and print out your results. But, your data will not be saved anywhere so once you start working on completing the tool, if you want a record of your input you will need to use the print features. Your data is not being recorded or kept in the tool for any purpose. Depending on the amount of data you have, the first two Sections of the tool will take an estimated 15-30 minutes to complete.
NPC Research and Portland State University's Center for the Improvement of Child and Family Services developed this tutorial and readiness assessment as part of a cost-benefit evaluation of Healthy Families America programs in Oregon.