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About the Costing Task Order

The Costing Task Order (TO) works with policymakers and program managers to develop new tools, approaches, and analyses that help them to more accurately predict the cost and impact of their HIV programs and other public health responses.

In a time of limited development financing, competing priorities, and exciting scientific advances in global health, it is critical that partner governments and stakeholders have the information and technical assistance they need to make smart, evidence-based policy and programming decisions. By generating and disseminating realistic cost data we facilitate decision-making to improve efficiency and effectiveness in reaching PEPFAR’s HIV treatment, care and prevention goals.

To learn more about the Costing TO, view the project overview here.

The President's Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR) recently added to the development mantra, “Know Your Epidemic, Know Your Response,”  by drawing attention to two additional components: “Know Your Context, Know Your Costs.” The Costing Task Order generates cost data and impact projections that support the strategic planning and advocacy efforts of USAID missions and partner governments. These kinds of data directly contribute to PEPFAR’s “Four Knows” and help policymakers identify the optimal mix of interventions that can be implemented with the resources available to them. Click here to read more about how the Costing TO supports country's efforts to know their costs.

The Costing TO was proud to support the largest ever International AIDS Economics Network (IAEN) Pre-Conference in Washington, DC July 20-21. 150 economists, researchers and policy makers from around the globe came together for a two-day conference at which over 55 presentations were made on new research and emerging issues in the field of AIDS and economics. Presentations are available at the IAEN website. 


Current Activities

»   Conducting trainings to build regional- and country-level capacity to independently perform costing and modeling activities in support of national HIV planning processes.

»   Applying costing and modeling techniques to:

  • Assess the cost and relative impact of scaling-up innovative approaches to HIV and safe motherhood (male circumcision, early HIV treatment as prevention, the new GHI Saving Mothers Giving Life endeavor)
  • Objectively compare the costs and benefits associated with different delivery methods and implementation settings for proven HIV prevention interventions (HIV testing and counseling, pediatric treatment, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and general population prevention activities)
  • Increase the costing data available for targeted HIV interventions for which reliable costing data are lacking (interventions for most-at-risk populations and gender-based violence)

»   Conducting research into emerging issues affecting the United States’ broader global health policies and approaches:

  • Calculate the incremental costs of an expanded capacity development approach that promotes sustainable, country-owned and led responses.
  • Work with countries to develop alternative scenarios to reflect the shifting balance in funding from external donors to country-financed solutions.

Highlight on Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC):

The Costing TO provides policymakers with accurate information about the potential impact of VMMC on the epidemic in their countries and identifies ways in which the delivery of VMMC can be performed more efficiently and sustainably. Some project highlights include:

  • Sponsoring a special collection of articles in the on-line journals PLoS One and PLoS Medicine on Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention: The Cost, Impact, and Challenges of Accelerated Scale-Up in Southern and Eastern Africa. The nine articles highlight how scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention in eastern and southern Africa can help prevent HIV, not only at individual but also at the community and population level. The articles also describe the substantial cost savings that can be achieved as a result of averted treatment and care costs. Access the collection here: http://www.ploscollections.org/VMMC2011
  • Using the Decision Makers’ Program Planning Tool (DMPPT)  in Tanzania to estimate the cost and impact of scaling up male circumcision in averting new infections. Three different MC delivery models (static, campaign, and mobile) were considered, allowing for comparison of the unit costs across service delivery modes. A report on the findings will be released this spring.
  • Estimating the potential cost and impact of scaling-up services in 14 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. The results will be published in a series of Male Circumcision Costing Briefs which will be available this spring.

Coming Soon

Facilitator’s Guide to Conducting Trainings on Costing & Modeling: This guide will walk the user through key content and approaches that the Costing Task Order has used to train a cadre of costing experts across the globe.

Guide to HIV Costing Tools: The guide will include a comprehensive overview of the costing process for specific HIV interventions and copies of each of the costing tools developed by the Costing Task Order.

Contract Information

The Costing Task Order was awarded in June 2010 under the Health Policy Initiative indefinite quantity contract (IQC) funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Order No. GPO-I-00-05-00040-00. The Task Order supports USAID/Washington and USAID missions in the areas of HIV, family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH), and maternal health (MH). This project was developed in response to the Global Health Initiative and PEPFAR Country Teams’ requests for a mechanism to generate data on cost-effective interventions for health services and programs to support evidence-based decision-making. The project ends June 30, 2013. The lead implementing partner on this task order is the Futures Group with partners the Futures Institute and Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA).

How to Participate: Costing Task Order Programs can be accessed through field support (Task order #AID-OAA-TO-10-00012). If you have any questions about this mechanism, please contact the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR), Mai Hijazi (mhijazi@usaid.gov).