What Is Resource Analysis?

by Gene Fisher

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One of the main objectives of resource analysis is to assist in the determination and evaluation of equal-cost alternatives or the least-cost means for attaining desired objectives. These are called, respectively, the "fixed budget" approach and the "fixed effectiveness" or "specified level of benefit" approach. Though these approaches are similar in principle, it is usually much easier in practice to normalize the alternatives with respect to cost than with respect to effectiveness, because cost may often be measured in dollars--a convenient common denominator--for complex and disparate entities. In fact, if adequate parametric cost models are available, it is not only easier but even desirable to develop equal-cost program mixes. Since the alternatives are normalized with respect to cost, the decisionmakers can concentrate on judging the relative utility or worth of the alternatives. Resource analysis is rarely conducted as an end in itself; rather, it is an integral part of a systems or policy analysis. 17 pp. Ref.

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