4/8 - Appraising the budget



When APPRAISING THE BUDGET you need to ensure that the project budget is complete, realistic, accurate and cost effective. This assessment can be of significant help in identifying any shortfalls or weaknesses of the budget so that these can be addressed accordingly. The review should be performed by an experienced member of staff or external service provider.

The quality check should concern all aspects and calculations used and include a cross-check with the project description to ensure consistency and full coverage of project activities.

If used in connection with a funding application, the appraisal should also relate closely to the specific budget definitions and requirements of the funder.


This tool is a list or template of universal appraisal questions to be asked when conducting a review of a project budget.


Who is this tool for ?When should the tool be used?

A colleague/partner who has been directly involved in the project design and with experience in project budgeting and implementation of similar projects.

Any internal or external person with the relevant experience in budget planning and/or appraisal.

When all the project budget cost lines have been completed and the project budget table has been finalised and when further changes in project design are less likely to happen.


Click on the stations to navigate throught the Costing line!

Costing line metro 1Costing line metro 2Costing line metro Costing line metro 4Costing line metro 5Costing line metro 6Costing line metro 7Costing line metro 8


Key challenges of this step

  • Checking a project budget in detail and cross-checking it carefully with the planned project activities takes time, particularly if the project is complex, long in duration and large in partnership.
  • It is essential that a cross-check with the other involved partner organisations is also undertaken as the budget allocations for each partner have to be in line with their allocated roles and activities, they must match the project description.
  • Timing of the appraisal should be at a point where you are reasonably sure that no major changes will occur to the project design, otherwise you will have to repeat the appraisal.

Main risks

  • There is a risk that if the person in charge of the appraisal is not experienced in this type of project, it is unlikely that he/she will be able to spot any issues regarding the realism of the estimated costs.

Helpful tips

  • Instruct the appraiser to be as critical as possible, while at the same time he/she should also provide explanations for his/her assessment.
  • Ensure that the appraiser knows the project design well, so that he/she can assess whether the budget is comprehensive and covers all project activities.
  • Set time aside for a feedback meeting with the appraiser and time for attending to the recommendations of the appraiser.