Evaluation of the Social Impact Bond Trailblazers in Health and Social Care

Document type
Fraser, Alec; Tan, Stefanie; Kruithof, Kristy
Policy Innovation Research Unit
Date of publication
2 July 2018
Social Policy, Community Development and Regeneration, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services, Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

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Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are a relatively new type of payment for performance (P4P) contract focused on outcomes (i.e. ‘payment by results’ (PbR)) in which public service commissioners partner with private for-profit or philanthropic social investors to finance interventions to tackle social problems. These services are often delivered by third sector provider organisations. SIB specialist organisations may play important coordinating roles.

The investors provide the up-front finance to mount the intervention and are repaid, including an agreed premium, if specified client outcomes are achieved. Sometimes, the intention is that the premium to investors should be paid wholly or in part from cashable savings generated for the commissioner. If the outcomes are not met, the investors stand to lose all their initial investment.

The overall aim of this evaluation was to assess the potential costs and benefits, for different actors involved, of the SIB Trailblazer programme in health and social care over three years from the planning stage to their early years of service provision, June 2014 – May 2017.

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