September 03 2015

PLY: Well the summer break has clearly left the SIB parish refreshed, no need for me to add anything today apart from cheery enthusiasm to read the articles – enjoy!

America’s Incarcerated Economy
Laura Tyson & Lenny Mendonca – Project Syndicate

The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population – about 2.2 million people, five times as many as in 1980. One out of every 100 American adults is incarcerated – the highest per capita rate in the world, 5-10 times higher than in Western Europe or other democracies. The social and economic toll is similarly high.

From Cashable Savings to Public Value – Pricing Program Outcomes in Pay for Success
Jitinder Kohli, Megan Golden, Joe Coletti, Luke Bo’sher – Center For American Progress

At the heart of Pay for Success, or PFS—also called social impact bonds—is a government contract in which the government agrees to pay for specific outcomes. It is the fact that the government only pays when social outcomes are achieved that makes the concept especially appealing in tight budgetary times. Likewise, it is the government’s promise to pay when the contracted outcomes are achieved that attracts investors to provide capital to programs that they believe can achieve those outcomes.

Two questions that have proven particularly important for every PFS arrangement are: What is the right price for an outcome? And how should government calculate that price? This issue brief provides guidance for government agencies on how to value outcomes.

Social Impact Bonds: Investor-Funded Community Programs Could Balance Government’s Budget
Alison Branley & Norman Hermant – ABC

Investors could hold the key to addressing some of Australia’s most challenging social problems through funding community programs.

A new kind of funding model that has had success in New South Wales is being taken up around the country.

Queensland and South Australia have announced programs, and the approach is also being considered in Western Australia.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has also flagged the Federal Government is interested.

The model is based on issuing new financial instruments called “social impact bonds”, and involves investors providing funds.