The USAID Center for Education provides a set of tools and guidance resources that facilitate the establishment of systems and processes for capturing and analyzing the costs of education intervention, increasing transparency to allow for the linkage of costs to outcomes, and enabling value-for-money analysis, thus providing a pathway toward resource optimization across programs and contexts.  

The Cost Analysis Guidance Tools and Templates_Excel tool is accompanied by a  detailed USAID Cost Analysis Guidance. This cost analysis tool follows a theory of change framework from inputs and activities to outcome level. The sections of the tool are organized following what the cost analysis guidelines outlined as “six-steps needed to successfully perform analysis of cost data sets, from the perspective of a cost analyst… while some of them could be (and should be) implemented by people other than a cost analyst, the analyst will need to ensure that all six steps are completed when managing a cost study.”

Costing approach: Micro-costing/Ingredients-based costing

Developer: USAID Center for Education

Platform and Format : Downloadable excel based

Type of analysis: Retrospective and prospective

What questions does it answer?

Cost economy analysis Cost efficiency analysis Planning, budgeting, scaling


The Excel tool covers the first four steps and can assist in conducting a retrospective (consisting of cost economy, cost efficiency, and cost-effectiveness) and prospective (scale-up, replication and transfer) cost analysis.

Intended potential users include country partners, the donor community, USAID staff, implementing partners and all development practitioners.