Introduction to Cost-Benefit Analysis (Ongoing, Self-Paced)

Conservation Strategy Fund has developed a new self-paced course, Introduction to Cost-Benefit Analysis, based on the module content from our flagship Economics and Finance for Environmental Leadership. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a powerful economic tool for communicating the potential gains and losses of pursuing development projects to decision-makers. This course, taught by former CSF Training Director Kim Bonine, will introduce participants to cost-benefit analysis, the difference between financial and economic analyses, and the process of conducting a cost-benefit analysis on one’s own. This course is ideal for conservation professionals who would prefer to learn on their own schedule. 

This course will be entirely self-paced and available on the online Numbers for Nature Training Institute. It consists of six chapters, or about 11-13 hours of self-paced work total. Each chapter combines lectures with supplemental readings, quizzes, and reflections. The penultimate chapter features a variety of case studies, demonstrating the multiple uses of cost-benefit analysis. The final chapter involves an engaging exercise to show how CBA can be used to evaluate development impacts and inform decision making. Optional additional resources are also available throughout the course.


  • Overview and Perspectives
  • Financial and Economic Analysis 
  • Indicators of Feasibility
  • Uncertainty, Risk, and Equity
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis in Action
  • Esperanza Sam Exercise
Participants will gain
After completing all chapters, participants will have a strong understanding of what cost-benefit analysis is, the difference between financial and economic analyses, the process of conducting an analysis, and how it can be used to meet conservation objectives.
How to register

Those interested in this course can learn more and register on the Numbers for Nature Training Institute platform here