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WHY CBA. Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a quantitative analytical tool used to evaluate investment decisions. It is a commonly used methodology adopted by the European Commission and other institutions (e.g. the World Bank) or governments (e.g. the UK) for the selection and/or prioritization of investment projects. It consists of assessing whether socio-economic benefits accrued from project implementation exceed the estimated socio-economic costs, thereby showing if the project represents a net benefit to the whole society.


The CBA has been a mandatory requirement for taking the financial decision on major investment projects applying for co-financing within the European Investment and Structural Funds (ESIF) from 1994 until 2020. Following the EU request to establish quality standards for project selection, CBA has gained a lot of ground for the evaluation of public investment projects. This is also proved by several manuals/guidelines on how to conduct CBA that have been published at national level. In some cases, CBA has been even embedded in the national investment system (e.g. Lithuania, Malta, France, UK, etc.).

Recent editions of the Milan Summer School confirm that national administrations are in need of a robust tool to assess the investments ‘desirability and sustainability’ beyond the Cohesion policy framework (e.g. at national level to meet budget’s constraints, for applications under the Connecting Europe Facility, etc.).

The X edition of the Milan Summer School will meet this emerging need with a revised training course focused on the use of CBA as a tool for supporting the decision-making process at different levels of governments. The course will provide a general methodological framework for project appraisal as well as sectoral and country applications by showing the variability of CBA principles and rules.

WHY CSIL? CSIL has more than thirty years of experience in CBA methods and application. Under the Scientific Direction of Professor Massimo Florio, CSIL experts have authored all the five editions of the Guide to Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investment Projects implemented by the European Commission of DG REGIO since 1994, including the updated and expanded CBA Guide adopted in 2014. Moreover, CSIL has a long track record of technical assistance services to public authorities both for appraising project dossiers and carrying out CBA. Among others, CSIL experts have prepared/reviewed more than a hundred CBA reports for major projects to be co-funded under the European Investment and Structural Funds in different sectors.

The Milan Summer School on Cost-Benefit Analysis is the single event in Europe where participants have the opportunity to learn about general principles and sectoral applications of CBA as well as practice on it by developing a full-fledged financial and economic analysis starting from key inputs and assumptions. Lecturers have performed several training sessions on evaluation methodology and CBA (e.g. in Italy, Malta, Croatia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Czech Republic, FYROM, Ghana). These experiences allowed them to develop a participatory approach, focusing on a wise interaction of theory and practical case studies, which is reflected in the Summer School’s structure.

To know more about CSIL experience in this field, click here.


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.