CIPFA launches value for money toolkit with the University of Oxford’s GO Lab


CIPFA has partnered with the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) from the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government to develop the innovative GO Lab-CIPFA Value for Money (VfM) Toolkit.

Based on the UK National Audit Office's standard definition of value for money, the toolkit offers a consistent approach to programme evaluation and has been developed in response to recent trends towards the use of outcomes-based contracts (OBCs) and impact bonds.

The toolkit provides public managers with a framework to help assess the economic validity of public programmes, while also serving as a self-assessment instrument. The toolkit promotes thinking about the longer-term effects of interventions, such as outcomes and impacts, during the design and planning stage of public sector programmes.

The GO Lab-CIPFA VfM toolkit is available for free download on the CIPFA website.

Jeffrey Matsu, Chief Economist at CIPFA, said:

"The pandemic has intensified budgetary pressures on public bodies, and this toolkit is part of our wider commitment to support the public sector in a practical, equitable and outcomes-centred way. We've also worked to design additional resources and guidance to make using the toolkit that much easier for users."

Dr. Mehdi Shiva, Economist at GO Lab, said:

"How states build back their economies post-COVID, and how they plan to cover the huge costs involved are key discussions that will shape our societies and economies over the decades to come and beyond. Here we have an opportunity to rethink how value is created and distributed, how to reconcile and successfully pursue productivity and socio-spatial inclusion. This toolkit is designed for learning and practice, especially around outcome-orientation, effective partnerships and innovation in public finance."

A 'Value in Public Finance' peer learning group, co-organised by GO Lab and CIPFA, has also been created to discuss and explore ways to improve value creation of public expenditure. The group will meet quarterly with participation open to individuals and organisations interested in improving public finance and how economies perform.

Notes to Editor

The Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) is a practice-based research centre at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. It supports innovative public sector commissioning to achieve social outcomes through world-class academic research and practitioner engagement.

The GO Lab-CIPFA VfM Toolkit is available here.

The Value in Public Finance peer learning group is available here.

The UK National Audit Office defines value for money as the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes. The full criteria can be accessed here.

For further information please contact the CIPFA press office on 07557593147 or email


CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. CIPFA shows the way in public finance globally, standing up for sound public financial management and good governance around the world as the leading commentator on managing and accounting for public money.

Webchat is available Monday to Friday, 09:00 - 17:00 (excluding UK bank holidays).