New Financing Models in the Social Services: Profit for Good?

There are a lot of unproven claims about social impact bonds (SIBs). Does funding social programs through SIBs lead to different implementations or outcomes? Does it encourage open governance? This project rigorously tests these claims.

Fiche signalétique

  • Département HESB | Travail social
  • Pôle de recherche Sécurité sociale et intégration
  • Champ de recherche Intervention Sociale
  • Durée (prévue) 01.05.2017 - 31.07.2018
  • Direction du projet Debra Hevenstone
  • Mots-clés Social Impact Bonds, Pay for Success, Social Policy, Active Labor Market Programs

Contexte initial

A recent development in social policy finance is the “Social Impact Bond” which is a way to fund public goods through private investments that can yield a profit. SIBs began in the UK in 2010 and have since spread rapidly with no less than 74 programs today. This expansion has been accompanied by many unsubstantiated positive and negative claims about SIBs. This project sets out to rigorously test these claims in an international comparative study.


The goal of this project is to examine whether SIBs lead to open governance and to prepare a proposal for a project that will examine how financing impacts implementation, outcomes, and net costs.

Compétences clés

Quantitative and qualitative program evaluation, competencies in comparative social service design and active labor market programs