"What is the return on investment for this program?”
"We really need to see an ROI before we can make any funding decisions.”
"Show us the economic value of your program.”
Chances are you have heard something along these lines before from decision-makers, funding sources, government officials, or politicians. If not, it’s just a matter of time before the topic of return on investment (ROI) comes up. In the past, ROI was typically reserved for the business world. Today, ROI is becoming more common within the public health community.
ROI answers the question "Is there a financial return for investing in this program?” With the right tools and knowledge, ROI is not as difficult as it seems. More than a single measure, ROI allows program staff to gather and analyze a wide range of important data which can assess a program’s impact and reveal those factors which inhibit or promote success.