Cost-benefit analysis: concepts and practice

Spending decisions can be made for political reasons, but rigorous cost-benefit analysis ensures that ministers make decisions with their eyes wide open.

ANU Crawford School’s Dr Leo Dobes will help participants understand theory and practice.

“Many agencies lack the expertise to carry out a cost-benefit analysis or even commission one,” Dr Dobes says. “This is leading to ineffective policy and white elephant infrastructure.”

Key benefits

Participants attending Cost-benefit analysis: concepts and practice will develop a firmer grasp of the theory and practice of cost-benefit analysis, which incorporates environmental, social and financial considerations.

You will learn that rigour in cost-benefit analysis serves ministers well – better informing them of the relative social merits of different proposals. You will come away with new tools to guide your analysis, and the ability to argue a business case persuasively based on a cost-benefit study.

Who should attend

Cost-benefit analysis: concepts and practice will be useful for managers and officers in policy and service delivery roles across the sector. You don’t have to be an economist or have a financial background to benefit.

A really good, solid program. Well‐presented and planned. Thoroughly enjoyed it! - Part participant

Course details

Over two days, Dr Dobes will review the key concepts of cost-benefit analysis, and the tips and traps in conducting a study. The workshop includes lecture-style presentations, discussion, real-world examples and practical exercises.

Cost-benefit analysis: concept and practice modules will include:

  • basic investment analysis, such as discounting, annuities, and perpetuities
  • probabilities and decision trees
  • opportunity cost, consumer and producer surplus, decision rules
  • revealed and stated preference techniques for estimating benefits
  • uncertainty and real options approaches
  • alternative methods – cost-effectiveness analysis, multi-criteria analysis.


$AU 1,650 (incl GST)

ANZSOG Alumni receive a 15% discount*

Receive a 25% discount for registrations of four or more people*

*Only one discount is redeemable for each registration. Please contact us for more information

To enquire about this workshop, please complete the executive workshop enquiry form.

Read our cancellation, transfer and refund policy.

Don't miss out — register now!


Venue information

  • Venue: The Australian National University - Crawford School of Public Policy
  • Address: 132 Lennox Crossing,
    Acton ACT 0200
  • Venue Website:
  • Location: Map