Research to identify high-potential Social Impact Bond areas in Ireland
Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are generating significant interest – both as a public policy instrument and as an emerging source of support and learning for the community and voluntary sector. They have engaged support across governments, the C&V sector and socially-motivated investors worldwide. SIBs are included in the Programme for Government (2011 - 2016).
The background paper, Using Social Impact Bonds to Finance Better Social Outcomes (see below to download) introduces the concept and explains how SIBs can be used to deploy private capital to improve social outcomes. We consider briefly current and possible areas for SIBs, and their potential for use in Ireland.
A call for ideas in Ireland
We would like your support to identify the social issues and / or interventions that you believe have most potential for SIBs in Ireland. We believe SIBs could be applied to a wide variety of pressing social needs (unemployment, health, criminal justice, housing, etc.) and have the potential to unlock new sources of private and philanthropic capital to support public purposes.
Please download below, a questionnaire, Potential SIB projects in Ireland – Call for Ideas to identify social issues and interventions that may fit the criteria for SIBs.
Responses should be returned to email@example.com by September 9th.
All responses will form a key part of a research project (led by Clann Credo - the Social Investment Fund, The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Centre for Effective Services), to identify high-potential SIB areas in Ireland. It is envisaged that this research project will culminate in a report identifying two-to-three high-priority, high-potential areas for Irish SIBs.
Social Finance in the UK, the first organisation to launch an SIB, is advising us in this process.
The UK’s lead in this area has been followed by the USA, where President Obama announced a $100m fund for ‘pay for success’ bonds. Other countries, notably Australia, are also exploring the potential for SIBs. And, as has already been noted, in our own country the Programme for Government (2011 to 2016) commits to establish Social Impact Bonds.
We ask you to circulate this material and call for proposals widely, not just within your own organisation, but to anyone whom you feel may usefully contribute to the process.
A Social Impact Bond is a contract with the public sector in which a public sector entity commits to pay when significant improvements in social outcomes for a defined population are achieved. On the basis of this contract, private capital is raised from socially-motivated investors to fund interventions and preventative services that aim to deliver these improved social outcomes. The exchequer payments are financed from a share of the public sector benefits and / or exchequer savings that could result from the improved social outcomes (e.g. reducing future demand for high cost services or decommissioning ineffective services).
A high-level roundtable conference on SIB in Ireland was held recently. A copy of the report of the ROUNDTABLE TO EXPLORE THE POTENTIAL FOR SOCIAL IMPACT BONDS IN IRELAND is available for download.
This research, Scoping the Potential for SIBs in an Irish Context, is a follow-on action arising from the roundtable. It will assess their potential applicability in an Irish context.
An Advisory Group, chaired by Gerry Kearney, former Secretary General, Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs is overseeing and supporting the research. Other members of the Advisory Group include Sheila Nordon, Executive Director, ICTR; Toby Eccles, Founder and Development Director, Social Finance; David Moloney, Assistant Secretary, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Tom Costello, Programme Executive, The Atlantic Philanthropies; Katie Burke, Principal Fellow, Centre for Effective Services and Paul O’Sullivan, CEO, Clann Credo - the Social Investment Fund.