Although the term efficiency was coined by economists, it applies to all spheres of planned activities directed towards given objectives. In any activity, it should be possible to define one’s objectives, or, in other words, the output expected from that activity. To achieve the objectives thus defined, an individual or organisation has certain resources or inputs available and will seek to employ them in such a manner as to produce the desired outputs with minimum cost and effort. Efficiency is thus defined as the optimal relationship between inputs and outputs. An activity is being performed efficiently if a given output is obtained with a minimum of input, or, conversely, if a given input yields maximum output.

example of use

There are few really persuasive efficiency studies of multigrade education in developing countries (Brunswic and Valérien, 2004: 20).

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