Cost-Benefit Analysis Program

Program Overview 

Developed in partnership with Community of Federal Regulators (CFR) and experienced Cost-Benefit Analyst practitioners, the Institute’s Certificate Program goes beyond theory and the basics to bolster the competencies and skills of those who undertake Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) in the federal government.

Participants will come together in a four-month, multi-faced program that will cover real-world challenges and best practices in the exercise of professional judgment. With a cohort of peers, the program offer provides a forum for CBA practitioners from across the federal government to learn about contemporary issues and different approaches to problem-solving.  As a program of applied learning, participants will go through exercises and simulations that are directly relevant to workplace situations.

The program emphasizes applied learning to acquire and bolster the following competencies:

  • CBA technical skills
  • Data identification and analysis
  • Communication, both oral and written in a CBA context
  • Problem solving, decision making, and exercising judgment
  • Collaboration, teamwork, consultation, emotional intelligence





Orientation and Professional Practice Session 1
Workshop 1: Leading Teams and Engagement Carole Norton
Workshop 2: Sensitivity Analysis: Dealing with Uncertain outcome Timothy Folkins
Workshop 3: Valuing Health and Longevity: Concepts and Application TBD
Workshop 4: Techniques for Communicating CBA and Economic Evidence to Policymakers TBD
Workshop 5, Part 1: Behavioral Economics for Cost Benefit Analysis Dan Acland
Workshop 5, Part 2: Incorporating the Perspectives of Indigenous Peoples in CBA Vic Adamowicz
Workshop 6: Environmental Valuation in CBA Vic Adamowicz
Action Learning Circles - Group 1 Session 1 & 2 Carole Norton
Action Learning Circles - Group 2 Session 1 & 2  Nikki Clarke
Graduation and Professional Practice Session 2


Featured Instructors


Dan Acland

Dan Acland is Associate Professor of Practice in Public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley. He is a behavioral economist whose research spans the intersections of Behavioral Economics, Benefit-Cost Analysis, and Economic Philosophy. Professor Acland teaches graduate courses in Economics for Policy Makers and Benefit-Cost Analysis, and a pair of undergraduate courses in Behavioral Economics. In addition, he leads a section of the Advanced Policy Analysis thesis seminar in the Master’s of Public Policy program.

Vic Adamowicz

Dr. W. L. (Vic) Adamowicz is the Vice Dean in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, and a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta. Adamowicz is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy II – Social Sciences (awarded in 2007). He became a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in 2019 and a Fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society in 2011. He is an expert in environmental valuation.

Nikki Clarke

Nikki Clarke, M.A., RP, ACC, is a professional coach and has a wide range of experience working in both the public and private sector. She has worked in human resource management in the high tech sector and as a coach with federal public sector employees and students at the University of Ottawa. She is certified as a coach through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and coaches professionals and executives in the areas of leadership development, effective communication, emotional and social intelligence, optimal performance, leading teams, transitions and career development

Steven Lize

Steven Lize, PhD, is Officer for Technical Assistance with the Results First initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Since 2011 he has consulted with US state and county government staff to assist them to conduct CBA, develop program evaluation, and report findings to legislative and executive branch policymakers. His technical assistance role involves hands-on trainings on CBA and evaluation methods and communicating findings for policymaker audiences.

Carole Norton

Carole Norton, M.A., PCC, CPCC, is a leadership and organizational development coach with considerable public sector leadership experience.  Carole’s curiosity in relation to team performance, engagement and organizational culture led her to obtain coaching certifications from the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI), along with enhanced training in Breakthrough and Narrative Coaching, along with Conversational Intelligence.

Timothy Folkins

Timothy Folkins is a Expert Advisor at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) within the Centre of Regulatory Expertise (CORE). He provides training, coaching and analytical expertise to departments and agencies on CBA to enable them to prepare regulatory submissions which comply with the Cabinet Directive on Regulation. He has worked with over 17 departments and agencies on hundreds of regulatory proposals, including under the Red Tape Reduction Act. Before coming to TBS, Timothy worked for over 6 years at Environment Canada as a Senior Economist specializing in the quantification and valuation of environmental impacts from air-quality and climate change.

Anna Alberini

Anna Alberini received her PhD in economics from the University of California San Diego. She is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resources Economics at UMD. She currently teaches PhD-level econometrics and an undergraduate course on the economics of climate change, and supervises numerous graduate and undergraduate research projects. She is an energy economist and an environmental economist with a major focus on the economics of health and safety and non-market valuation. Her energy economics research focuses on residential energy demand, energy efficiency decisions and consequences of such decisions, policies targeted as shaping residential energy demand, and on vehicle fuel economy and driving decisions. Alberini is currently a member of the Editorial Board of The Energy Journal, the International Advisory Board of Energy Policy, and an associate Editor of Energy Efficiency. She is also the Chair of the American Statistical Association’s Advisory Committee to the US Energy Information Administration, and has previously served two stints on the US EPA Science Advisory Board—Environmental Economics.

Kristine Wray

Kristine is the Canadian Mountain Network Fellow in Indigenous Knowledge and the Decolonization of Science, as well as a PhD Candidate in Environmental Sociology. She is working with Dr. Brenda Parlee in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) at the University of Alberta. A proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Kristine’s graduate work has focused on Indigenous approaches to resource management, specifically commercial and traditional fisheries (Great Slave Lake) and caribou co-management (Porcupine herd). She has a particular interest in the interface of Indigenous Knowledge and science. Finally, Kristine is developing and teaching a new course in ALES called RSOC 260: Indigenous Foundations for the Environmental and Conservation Sciences (Fall 2022).


Application Process


The program is designed for those who come with a strong understanding of core CBA concepts and practical workplace experience. This includes knowledge of the regulatory processes, microeconomics and statistics.

Attendance requirements

Participation in all scheduled activities of the program (workshops, action learning groups, simulation) is mandatory in order to obtain the University of Ottawa Certificate of Professional Development.  Exceptional circumstances will have to be discussed with the Program Director.



Certificate Program

Upon completion of the program, participants will be granted a University of Ottawa Certificate of Professional Development, which will serve to recongize newly acquired skills.