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At INASP we want to demonstrate the value for money of our programmes to donors. To this end, at the beginning of 2016 we conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis of the capacity-development approaches of our AuthorAID project. What seemed very compelling at first sight, however, proved to be an inadequate way to reflect the complexities and realities of how AuthorAID operates on a daily basis. For example, the sustainability aspects of the AuthorAID approaches are difficult to factor into current costs, and the organizational support provided to institutions may translate into measurable effects only in the mid- and long term. In addition, different approaches have their own particular advantages that play out in specific contexts only.