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The CBA Summer School has been designed to allow participants to acquire a solid background in different aspects:

  • the general CBA principles and methods (how to design and run a financial, economic, sensitivity and risk analysis);
  • to get an in-depth knowledge of its sectoral application (the typical benefits to consider by sector and the techniques used most frequently to evaluate them);
  • to learn how to efficiently review the quality of a CBA and improve it (practice on real-life cases);
  • to learn about the application of CBA in several contexts: practical examples from EU institutions and national contexts.

The duration of the attendance can be adjusted depending on availability and specific interest of attendees:

  • The full course (5 days) is the best solution for those who want to be acquainted with both a solid background on CBA and an applied experience on real-life cases.
  • A shorter (of 3 or 4 days) attendance is also possible. Participation only to the first three days of the school – focusing on the general principles and methods of the CBA – or four days with an additional day on sectoral applications, allows not investing a full week if not feasible.
  • The Friday morning session 'The use of Cost-Benefit analysis in different institutional and policy settings' is open also to external participants and can be attended as a stand-alone seminar of one day.

The course combines face-to-face (lectures and presentations) and hands-on sessions (practices) During the application process, participants will be invited to indicate their preferred sector amongst the following: Environment, Transport or RDI. Since the first day of the school, they will be divided into groups to practice on the application of CBA in the chosen sector (Days 1-3), to review the quality of a real CBA (Day 4) and to report the results (Day 5). The last day will feature contributions from the EU and national institutions reporting on the use and relevance of CBA in practice. Participants of the school will present results of the work carried out during the hands-on sessions and discuss with representatives from the invited speakers.

To know more, see the Summer School Draft Programme.


The training approach is interactive and practice-oriented. The programme combines face-to-face lessons (lectures and presentations, including presentations of real-life cases), with hands-on workshops. Participants are required to participate in the course actively, and before the official start of the school, they are recommended to read a set of materials.
During hands-on sessions (in the afternoon), participants will be divided into small sectoral groups. They will practice – under the guidance of a tutor - on CBA application in the assigned sector. During days 1-3, hands-on sessions will focus on developing a full-fledged financial and economic analysis and calculation of performance indicators starting from basic assumptions and key input data. During days 4 and 5, hands-on sessions will focus on a critical review of a real-life case, including the overall design and rationale of the project, the calculation of economic benefits and performance indicators. Public material and ad hoc prepared report will be made available to participants (before the start of the school) to guide the critical analysis of the project.
During the final day, each group will discuss their findings with EU representatives, the school faculty and other sectoral groups. Discussions will focus on how to improve the quality of the projects applying for EU funding and how to feed CBA analysis into the decision-making process.

The hands-on workshops will possibly be structured along with the following sub-sectors (depending on the number of requests received from applicants):

  • Urban transport
  • Railway
  • Water and wastewater treatment
  • Solid waste management
  • Research & Innovation

During the application process, participants will be required to express their preferences for the sectoral group they would like to be assigned to, as well as to express their interest in possible alternative sectors. The composition of sectoral groups will be decided by trying to accommodate as far as possible the participants' preferences, as well as by ensuring a balanced number of participants and expertise among all the groups.

Participants are recommended to bring their laptop with Excel installed. The School will make available two PCs for each group.


The School is principally designed for public-decision makers involved in design, preparation, assessment and implementation of investment projects (managing authorities, intermediate bodies, etc.) at different levels of government. However, it may be also beneficial to researchers and practitioners who are willing to learn the at-the-edge international CBA techniques and methods. A mixed audience with practitioners coming from different organisations – such as desk officers in the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, civil servants (from public institutions, managing authorities, intermediate bodies) in the Member States and Candidate Countries, the staff of financial institutions and consultants - is particularly welcome

No previous exposure to CBA is needed to attend the School.

All applicants should have: (i) basic knowledge of economics and/or social sciences; (ii) excellent knowledge of English, (iii) excellent knowledge of standard office tools, in particular, Excel.

Admittance will be based on the assessment of the background and experience of the trainees as evidenced by their CV. The organising committee reserves the right not to accept an application of a candidate trainee based on the assessment of CV and organisational reasons linked to available seats. Details on the application process are available here.


All teaching and instructional materials are in English.


To draw the maximum benefit from the course, participants should possess basic knowledge of economics and/or social sciences. Excellent knowledge of English and standard office tools is required. In particular, good knowledge and command of Excel are essential.

Participants are welcomed to bring their personal experiences with practical examples of projects they may have come across in their professional experience, to boost the discussion on challenges faced with the application of the methodology across different sectors.

A useful self-study material before joining the school is the European Commission, DG REGIO, 2014, Guide to Cost-benefit Analysis of Investment Projects (click hereto download it) which provides a good introduction to Cost-benefit analysis principles and applications across sectors.

Additional reading material will be provided before the start of the school (around two weeks before), including teaching material for hands-on sessions. Trainees are recommended to carefully read all the provided material to better profit from the support provided by the tutors during hands-on sessions.


A well-established tool for supporting the decision-making process. The cost-benefit analysis has gained a lot of ground for the assessment of investments ‘desirability and sustainability’. In several countries, it is embedded in the national public investment system.

Prime competencies and expertise. Trainers are leading experts in cost-benefit analysis. The faculty includes academics and consultants boasting more than 20 years of experience in preparing and reviewing cost-benefit analyses.

Practice-oriented approach. You will attend face-to-face lectures but also hands-on workshops to practice CBA applications. You will be engaged in active participation at each stage of the course, including discussion of real-life cases with lecturers and representative of EU and national authorities.

Learning interactively and supported. A tutor will guide you since the first day of the course by providing continuous feedback and support during the hands-on workshops.

You get knowledge of CBA application at general, sectoral and country level. You will be introduced to the main principles and steps to carry out CBA, the typical benefits to consider by sector and the techniques used most frequently to evaluate them and country applications, learning about the variability of CBA principles and rules.

Networking and sharing of experiences. You will meet participants with different backgrounds (institutional, private sector, academia) from all over the world, bringing different experiences of CBA applications. At the end of each day, social/cultural events will foster informal networking.

Opt for the best solution for you. Adjust your attendance duration on the basis of your availability and interest. Four options are available: i) a full course (5 days); ii) 3 days (on general principles and methods of the CBA); iii) 4 days (including an additional day on sectoral applications); iv) a one day seminar to learn on CBA application in different institutional and policy settings.

Wide CBA community. You will become part of a vast community of more than 400 Alumni. This year, a unique event will celebrate the 10th edition of the CBA Summer School.

Suggested readings

cba guide
Download the Guide
[ PDF required].

Massimo Florio, Applied Welfare Economics. Cost-Benefit Analysis of projects and policies, Routledge, February 2014

The book is now available at amazon.com for purchase.