• The existing pay-for-success (social impact bond) projects

    In my previous post on pay-for-success social impact bonds, I noted that Ian Galloway wrote about the four existing pay-for-success projects. What are they?

    1. A New York City effort to reduce recidivism at Rikers Island prison. Launched: August 2012. Investor: Goldman Sachs at $9.6 million. Intervention: An evidence-based behavioral therapy program over six years. Performance target: Reduction in recidivism rate by more than 10 percent. Repayment: NYC will pay Goldman a return commensurate with the extent to which recidivism is reduced beyond 10 percent.
    2. A Massachusetts workforce training and prision aversion program for at-risk young men.
    3. A New York State recidivism reduction and workforce reentry program for recently released adult prisoners.
    4. A Salt Lake County early childhood education program.

    These four programs were mentioned by David Leonhardt in his reporting at The New York Times here, with mentions of other, forthcoming pay-for-success initiatives. David also discussed social impact bonds here, with commentary on their limitations. A follow-up on the Economix blog is here. Many of these programs are discussed in this piece by Caroline Preston, with emphasis on the Rikers Island program, and, again, with discussion of limitations.

    Forthcoming pay-for-success projects focused on health-related outcomes are being negotiated in Fresno, California (asthma emergencies); South Carolina (birth outcomes); and New York State (diabetes prevention). Galloway’s paper has details on each of these, as well as a bunch more that are in the development phase in the areas of asthma, mental health, teen pregnancy and maternal education. Finally, Galloway notes the potential for additional pay-for-success projects in the area of childhood obesity and homelessness. The paper ends with commentary on challenges.


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