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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) as well as
  • to learn how to efficiently review the quality of a CBA and improve it (practice on real-life cases).

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 in 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 will have a discussion with representatives from the invited speakers.


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 be structured along the following sectors:

  • Urban transport
  • Railway
  • Water and waste water 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.

Click here to read the 2019 full programme


The School targets professionals and practitioners involved in design, preparation, assessment, and implementation of investment projects in the framework of EU Cohesion Policy, including desk officers in the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, civil servants (managing authorities, intermediate bodies, etc.) in the Member States and in Candidate Countries, staff of financial institutions and consultants. It may be also beneficial to researchers and practitioners who are willing to learn the at-the-edge international CBA techniques and methods.

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.

A mixed audience with practitioners coming from different organisations (institutional and non-institutional ones) is particularly welcome.
Admittance is subject to a selection process, and it 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 favour 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, Economic appraisal tool for Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 click here to download it). Additional reading material will be provided before the start of the school, 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.

Further information about the course and additional reading materials will be provided two weeks before the start of the school.

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