This paper is a policy report providing an overview of the recent Italian experience in the evaluation of the standard expenditure needs of municipalities (6702 elected local authorities of regions with ordinary statutes), discussing in detail the main technical choices and the final methodologies adopted in relation to the mainstream methods reported in the economic literature and developed by other countries. For simplicity, the paper is focused on the social care sector (which absorbs more than 20% of municipal current expenditure), the methodological approach being the same in the case of other local services.