Inciter | 2011 April
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Paying for what works

In February, President Obama proposed the use of social impact bonds for seven pilot programs to elicit better results from social services. In an effort to reduce support for programs that are not effective, social impact bonds would create accountability for programs to succeed. Specifically, nonprofits, particularly foundations, would pay for the programs up front with the support of the government. The nonprofit and government would agree on performance measures used to evaluate the program's success. If, several years later, those performance measures determine that the program is a success, the government would repay the nonprofit, and possibly provide interest with the repayment. This would reduce the burden of taxpayers' funds being utilized to back ineffective programs.The implementation of social impact bonds could open doors for the role of evaluation...

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