Humanitarian organizations do not routinely use cost data to compare the efficiency or effectiveness of different interventions and delivery models, and as a result policy makers and practitioners have little data with which to make infromed decisions about where to spend in a humanitarian response. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is committed to maximizing the impact of each dollar spent to improve clients' lives. If we have better information about the cost efficiency and cost effectiveness of our interventions, we will be more effective at doing so.
To ensure that the IRC is making the best use of its resources, the organization is undertaking cost analyses of key interventions for use in our programming decisions and advocacy work. To compare the costs of a program against the outputs it produces, the IRC is conducting cost efficiency analyses, which compare the costs of a program to the impact that program caused. Both cost efficiency and cost effectiveness enable practitioners to make comparisions across programs and discern the approaches that make the most progress towards humanitarian objectives for a given cost. Because the goal of such calculations is comparative, it is essential to use a consistent methodology to calculate the total costs and total outputs of a program.