Better Value for Money: An organising framework for management and measurement of VFM indicators

This paper, written by Julian Barr and Angela Christie for ITAD, outlines an organising framework as a means for better understanding, expressing and enabling judgements to be reached on Value for Money in development programmes. The overall aims of the framework are to bring the dimensions of value for money together consistently and outline two ways to categorise indicators to help assess their utility in managing and measuring Value for Money.


"Our analysis is that many of the implementation difficulties relating to VFM stem from a shorthand that essentially says ‘economy = money; effectiveness = value’. This leads to various scalar and temporal disconnects. Structurally, one set of people (procurers, programme staff and finance and administration teams) have granular discussions about money, while a different set of people (technical advisers, team leaders, and specialist consultants) have discussions about results and value – often at a macro-scale, often to be achieved several years hence.

The message here is simply that money (i.e. cost) and value are important considerations within each of the 3Es, contributing ultimately to cost-effectiveness."


  • Value for money suffers from being a phrase that is more used than understood
  • Bringing Value and Money together
  • Knowing When VFM is Being Offered
  • Categorising VFM Indicators
  • Indicator Typology
  • Measurement Typology
  • The Diagnostic Framework
  • Systems and Processes Indicators
  • Strong VFM Offers
  • Using the Framework
  • Movement within the Framework
  • Improving VFM Offers 


Julian Barr and Angela Christie (2014), Better Value for Money: An organising framework for management and measurement of VFM indicators, ITAD. Retrieved from: