In order to make informed decisions and make the best use of limited resources, governments, civil society organizations and even individuals need objective ways to assess potential projects. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) can be a valuable tool to support decision making, by combining conventional financial analysis, with the project’s costs and benefits to society. Projects that can demonstrate both financial viability as well as a positive social outcome have a higher likelihood of being approved and maintained in the long-term.
This course presented the conceptual and practical framework for estimating private and economic benefits and costs in preliminary project implementation decisions.
The course was developed with the master class system and consisted of daily two-hour sessions held between August 15 and 29, 2022. These classes were supported with the case-based learning method, in which students were presented with a hypothetical case study to link the knowledge taught in the lectures to practice.
The course was geared towards small-scale fishing organizations seeking to strengthen their capacity to design community investment projects and/or evaluate fisheries management decisions.
Instructor: Myriam Vargas
SESSION 1: AUGUST 15, 2022
Examining needs and defining objectives: project formulation
How does a project arise? What are the types of projects? How is a project developed?
Establishing the point of view from which the costs and benefits of the project will be analyzed: project evaluation.
How is a project evaluated? What tools exist to evaluate a project?
SESSION 2: AUGUST 16, 2022
Understanding Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA): an introduction
What is CBA? Why learn CBA? What does a CBA do and what doesn't it do? What have CBAs been used for?
SESSION 3: AUGUST 17, 2022
Collecting the data: the structure of a CBA (part I)
What is a cash flow and how is it constructed?
SESSION 4: AUGUST 18, 2022
Collecting the data: the structure of a CBA (part II)
How to project revenues and costs?
SESSION 5: AUGUST 19, 2022
Determining Project Costs and Revenues (Part I)
What are financial revenues and costs? What are economic revenues and costs? What are social revenues and costs?
SESSION 6: AUGUST 22, 2022
Determining Project Costs and Revenues (Part II)
What are ecosystem services?
How are ecosystem services valued?
SESSION 7: AUGUST 23, 2022
Adding up and comparing results: project feasibility
How to measure whether a project is good or bad? How to consider time preferences regarding the use of resources? What indicators can be used to measure the feasibility of a project?
SESSION 8: AUGUST 24, 2022
Facing the unknown: project threats and contingencies
What is scenario analysis? What is a sensitivity analysis? What is a risk analysis?
SESSION 9: AUGUST 25, 2022
Challenges and innovations in cost-benefit analysis