Better Outcomes, Better Value

Bridges  has issued a white paper examining the way forward for social impact bonds (SIBs). Entitled ‘Better Outcomes, Better Value: the evolution of the SIB market in the UK’, the paper is based on lessons learned from the thirteen SIB contracts that Bridges has backed to date, and is primarily aimed at those who commission services at local or national government level.

Bridges hopes that the paper can help to break down some of the barriers preventing the SIB market from achieving greater scale.

Some of the key points in the paper include:

  • SIBs/outcomes contracts should be seen as a tool to drive greater efficiency in existing services, not just to de-risk innovative new ones
  • There are a few policy areas in particular where the early SIBs have already delivered improved outcomes – including youth employment, children’s services, homelessness and health & social care
  • There is a substantial portion of current Government spending where there is almost no outcomes-based contracting; it makes sense to at least try outcomes-based approaches in some of these areas
  • Outcomes contracts will ultimately have to offer better value than any available alternative, or there is no reason to think they will succeed at scale

Andrew Levitt, Bridges partner responsible for social impact bonds, said:

“Our experience to date suggests that introducing more outcomes-based payment mechanisms within specific policy areas could help commissioners improve service delivery and get a better understanding of which approaches work best. Over time, this should help governments achieve better value for public money and, crucially, better outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

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