Good decision-making is a balancing act. It’s not just about having evidence about ‘what works’, though this is important. It’s equally about ‘what matters’ (values), ‘where and when’ (context) and ‘to whom’ (perspective). Good resource allocation decisions can’t be subbed out to a tool like cost-benefit analysis, though such tools can help us make well-informed judgments. Good decision-making involves a mix of technical and social, individual and collective, reductive and systemic thinking.

Imagine being able to make sound decisions, on a rational and transparent basis, bringing together all credible evidence and the values of stakeholders and communities. This book will present a new approach to determining value for money, building on well-established bodies of theory and practice. The approach is rigorous, intuitive to learn, and useful – supporting good decision-making that serves the public interest.

A work in progress…

Table of Contents:


Chapter One: What is Value for Money?

Chapter Two: What are economic methods of evaluation, and why should we use them?

Chapter Three: Why aren’t economic methods of evaluation enough?

Chapter Four: A more comprehensive approach

Chapter Five: Putting it into practice

Chapter Six: Tips and tricks

Chapter Seven: Now what?

A partially-completed, online book? Why?

One day, this will be a book you can buy and read and keep in your library. Sharing chapters here, as they develop, will help us get there.

A book is static and a little impersonal. I want a conversation. I want to share and invite feedback on chapters as I write them, so I can improve them. I want to meet my audience – find out who is interested, what you want to know, whether I’m explaining things well, and how I can better meet your needs.

If you’re interested in being part of this conversation, follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter. Or get in touch to let me know what you think of the book so far, and if you have any comments or questions.

For more on the ‘why’, I recommend Growth Hacker Marketing (2014, by Ryan Holiday). This article gives a quick overview and a link to the book. In true growth hacker spirit, I will take small steps forward, adding new chapters from time to time. I may go back and edit chapters. I might do the whole book this way, or maybe just some teaser sections. Come with me on this journey, and let’s see where it leads.

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