Know your costs: An example from the UK

by , April 7, 2014

The nongovernmental organization New Economy, in partnership with the UK government, recently released a database of more than 600 cost estimates. This unit cost database—available at the Centre for Social Impact Bonds—covers crime, education and skills, employment and economy, fire, health, housing, and social services. Most are national costs derived from government reports and academic studies.

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Nov. 5 panel discussion in DC focuses on social impact investing

by , October 30, 2013

A discussion of social impact investing, “Getting to Results by Investing for Impact,” will feature speakers from Goldman Sachs, the Office of Management and Budget, and other government, private, and nonprofit organizations, at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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An interview with Kristin Misner of the NYC Mayor’s Office about social impact bonds and the ABLE project

Last August, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the nonprofit organization MDRC, announced the first project in the United States that is funded by a social impact bond (SIB). The Osborne Association and Friends of Island Academy will deliver the program—the Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience (ABLE)—at the city’s Department of Correction facilities at Rikers Island, and the Vera Institute of Justice will evaluate it.

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Is what’s measured what matters? Pitfalls with performance measures

by , November 28, 2012

The private sector uses one metric—profit—to determine whether an investment is worthwhile. The public sector, in contrast, cannot determine whether government programs are worth the money by using only one measure. Answering how much we should we spend on public goods—such as health, education, justice, and social services—is a difficult task, and one we face every year.

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Keeping the “social impact” in social impact bonds

by , November 26, 2012

Governments are experimenting with a new financing model for social services called social impact bonds (SIBs). The first SIB was developed in the United Kingdom to fund prevention services for repeat offenders. And just this summer, the first SIB in the United States was launched to finance a New York City program designed to reduce recidivism for young men in jail.

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