Putting value for money into practice

Fundraising, Project Management

Start date


End date



  • Do you often find yourself having to write a Value for Money (VfM) section for a commercial or technical proposal, but you’re not really sure what to write? 
  • Do you to want to know whether your programme is delivering VfM but are not really sure how to track it? 
  • Are you unclear about what to write in the VfM sections of reports required by DFID or other donors? 
  • Are you curious about how to make VfM something useful for your organization and to generate learning? 

If the answer of any of these questions is yes, then this is the right course for you! 

Since 2010, donors have increasingly required organisations to demonstrate the Value for Money of their interventions. While DFID has been the pioneer of the concept, many donors are following suit and now expect organisations they fund to be able to demonstrate VfM at different stages of the programme cycle. 

The course builds on very practical applications of VfM to respond to donor requirements and to foster learning, which have been tested by several organisations, including ActionAid, the Danish Refugee Council, the World Health Organization, Womankind Worldwide and Trocaire, among others. 

What you will learn

Who is it for?

Suitable for those who are new to or have little experience of managing and measuring VFM in programme design, proposal writing and the preparation of programme budgets.

What you will learn

  • Why VFM is important to NGOs and people living in poverty
  • The importance of different perspectives when assessing VfM
  • Donor approaches to VFM (with a focus on DFID)
  • Analysing the VFM of different programme design options
  • Analysing budgets and linking these outputs to outcomes
  • Articulating VfM arguments in donor proposals and reports
  • Enabling programme beneficiaries to assess VfM
  • Using appropriate tools to measure and assess VfM at different stages of the programme cycle
  • Designing VfM Frameworks and VfM indicators 


This course will be delivered entirely online, through facilitated live sessions (using Zoom) as well as individual and group activities on the Bond learning platform. We work hard to make sure you get the same level of interaction and facilitator support as you would in our training room. You’ll work in breakout rooms, use case studies and co-create documents – all online

1. What does VfM actually mean? 

  • What VfM means in practice 
  • Whose value counts 
  • How DFID and other donors approach VfM 
  • The 4Es Framework 

2. How do we apply VfM in proposals? 

  • Collecting evidence for options analysis 
  • The VfM lens when developing budgets 
  • Bringing costs and results together: improving programme quality 

3. Implementing programmes: How do we measure VfM? 

  • Contextualizing the 4Es 
  • Indicators to measure VfM 
  • VfM Frameworks 

4. Implementing programmes: What is a participatory approach to VfM? 

  • Enabling stakeholders to assess VfM 
  • Step-by-step process to conduct participatory VfM assessments 
  • Advantages and disadvantages of participatory VfM 

5. Reporting of VfM 

  • Key themes of 4Es reports 
  • Alternative approaches to VfM reporting 

6. What is the VfM debate? 

  • Applying VfM: trends across the sector 
  • ICAI’s review of DFID’s approach to VfM 
  • What the VfM debate means for my organisation

What you require

All live session times refer to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Check the live session start and end time in your timezone here (please ensure you choose the right date when checking timezones).

Thursday, 5 November 2020: meet and greet session (10.00 - 11.00 am, GMT)

Tuesday, 10 November 2020: live online session one (10.00 - 11.30 am, GMT)

  • Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours)

Friday, 12 November 2020: live online session two (10.00 - 11.30 am, GMT)

  • Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours)

Tuesday, 17 November 2020: live online session three (10.00 - 11.30 am, GMT)

  • Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours)

Friday, 20 November 2020: live online session four (10.00 - 11.30 am, GMT)

  • Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours)

Tuesday, 24 November 2020: live online session five (10.00 - 11.30 am, GMT)

  • Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours)

Friday, 27 November 2020: live online session six (10.00 - 11.30 am, GMT)

  • Individual work (approx. 1.5 hours)