Future of PFS: 3 takeaways for service providers interested in pay for success (Urban Institute)

Service providers are at the heart of every pay for success (PFS) project. It is the service provider who is expected to implement the intervention faithfully—even if it’s not an intervention they currently implement—as well as collect and provide data on their target population to other partners and, often, increase their staff or data collection capacity to meet the needs of the project. We discuss characteristics and experiences service providers should have in our frequently asked questions. 

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Pay for Success Legislation Becomes Law (Social Innovation Research Center)

By Patrick Lester

Legislation that will create a new $100 million program to fund pay-for-success projects was included in a budget bill that Congress passed in the early hours of February 9.

The legislation will provide competitive awards to states and local governments for pay-for-success projects and feasibility studies. The program will be run by the Treasury Department. The law directs the department to launch the competition within a year of the law’s enactment, with winners announced six months after that. (For more details, see the pay for success bill text).

The law also creates two advisory bodies:

  • Federal Interagency Council on Social Impact Partnerships: Chaired by the OMB director, this 11-member council is tasked with advising the Treasury Secretary on projects and policy-related matters. It is composed of representatives from most of the domestic cabinet-level agencies.
  • Commission on Social Impact Partnerships: This 9-member bipartisan commission is tasked with advising the Treasury Secretary on project applications and feasibility studies. It is composed of representatives appointed by the president and congressional leaders.

The new program will pick up where the Social Innovation Fund, which funded similar projects, left off. It was defundedby Congress last year.

The coordinating bodies created by this legislation could also help oversee other pay-for-success programs created over the past few years, including K-12 legislation, a major transportation authorizing bill, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Pay-for-success provisions were also proposed in recent bipartisan drafts of welfare legislation.

Correction: This story originally indicated that the new program was funded at $92 million. That was the last House figure, but the final version of the bill funded it at $100 million.

Congress Passes the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA) (US National Advisory Board for Impact Investing)

Included in the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 was the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA). This legislation is the result of more than five years’ worth of efforts by bipartisan lawmakers to create a standing pool of capital to support outcomes based financing. It builds on the work and learning of the Social Innovation Fund, state level pay for success projects, and the global movement to create social impact bonds. It was also highlighted as a priority in the National Advisory Board on Impact Investing’s report, Private Capital for Public Good.

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New federal budget package has big wins for kids (Institute for Child Success)

Over the last several days, Congress completed some important work for America’s young children.  That news was overshadowed in major news outlets by the controversies around the spending bill, DACA, and a government shutdown.  But as part of that broader bill, Congressional leadership included six components that are aimed at seriously improving outcomes for kids.

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Home Visiting Extension Authorizes Pay-for-Outcomes Transactions (Social Innovation Research Center)

By Patrick Lester

Legislation that would extend the federal home visiting program for another five years, which was included in a final budget bill that was passed by Congress earlier today, also includes provisions that would authorize the use of pay-for-outcomes transactions in the program.

The extension of the Maternal, Infant, & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program was included in the final version of the bill. The pay-for-outcomes provisions are in Section 50605 of the MIECHV section of the law.

The provisions are optional, but if they are used they must meet the following requirements:

(4) Pay for outcomes initiative.–The term `pay for outcomes initiative’ means a performance-based grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or other agreement awarded by a public entity in which a commitment is made to pay for improved outcomes achieved as a result of the intervention that result in social benefit and direct cost savings or cost avoidance to the public sector. Such an initiative shall include–

(A) a feasibility study that describes how the proposed intervention is based on evidence of effectiveness;

(B) a rigorous, third-party evaluation that uses experimental or quasi-experimental design or other research methodologies that allow for the strongest possible causal inferences to determine whether the initiative has met its proposed outcomes as a result of the intervention;

(C) an annual, publicly available report on the progress of the initiative; and

(D) a requirement that payments are made to the recipient of a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement only when agreed upon outcomes are achieved, except that this requirement shall not apply with respect to payments to a third party conducting the evaluation described in subparagraph (B).

The provisions would reauthorize MIECHV through 2022. The program technically expired late last year, which has reportedly caused some states to freeze new enrollments. The program is one of a handful of federal initiatives that are evidence-based.

America Forward Applauds Passage of Pay for Success and Evidence-Based Policies Included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (America Forward)

Members of the America Forward Coalition issued the following statement on the U.S. Congress’ passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 on Friday, February 9, 2018:

“Members of the America Forward Coalition applaud the U.S. Congress for including and approving critical Pay for Success and evidence-based provisions as a part of H.R. 1892 as amended by S. 1930, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. These provisions, which include reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program and the Family First Prevention Services Act and Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act, all focus on results through innovation, evaluation, and the use of evidence to drive funding decisions. Each of these programs emphasizes and resources interventions that are outcomes-driven and evidence-based. Additionally, we are pleased with the support for the use of Pay for Success/Pay for Outcomes contracting in the bill, which will bring a greater focus on outcomes and evidence across social programs. We commend Congressional leaders for their efforts and leadership to support evidence-based policies such as those included in this bill.”

The America Forward Coalition is a network of more than 70 social innovation organizations that champion innovative, effective, and efficient solutions to our country’s most pressing social problems. Our Coalition members are achieving measurable outcomes in more than 14,500 communities nationwide, touching the lives of 8 million Americans each year, and driving progress in education, workforce development, early learning, poverty alleviation, public health, Pay for Success, social innovation, national service, and criminal justice reform.  Since 2007, America Forward’s community of innovators has played a leading role in driving the national dialogue on social innovation and advocating for lasting policy change. 

To learn more about America Forward, please visit www.americaforward.org and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

One Month of Spending, Years of Child Welfare Reform (The Chronical of Social Change)

The continuing resolution (CR) signed by President Donald Trump this morning funds the government until March 23. But it changed the landscape of federal child welfare funding for the foreseeable future.

Here is Youth Services Insider’s breakdown of the many long-term implications for youth and family services in the spending bill.

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Three ways that impact investing can help end homelessness (Urban Institute)

Of all the challenges facing social services in the US, homelessness can feel particularly intractable: its drivers vary so much from person to person that a solution feels out of reach. Meanwhile, the continued visibility of people experiencing homelessness across the US may make the national goal of ending homelessness seem unattainable.

But what if the various resources used to manage the problem could join forces? That was the question explored at the Sorenson Impact Center’s Winter Innovation Summit, where panelists Maya Brennan, Danielle Cerny, and Stephanie Mercier took on the bold question posed in the session title–“Can Impact Investing End Homelessness?”–and identified the ways that pay for success (PFS) and other forms of impact investing can help get us closer to that solution.

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Driving Pay for Success as a Vehicle for Systems Change (Medium)

Across the United States, government-funded social service programs are critical in serving many of our most vulnerable populations. And innovative nonprofits delivering these services can have transformative impact on people’s lives.

In South Carolina, with support from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, Nurse Family Partnership works with first-time mothers in low-income communities to support healthy pregnancies and positive child development.

In partnership with Massachusetts, Jewish Vocational Service helps immigrants and refugees integrate into their local communities, develop skills, and get jobs.

In Oklahoma, Family & Children’s Services Women in Recovery program helps improve life outcomes for women who are facing long prison terms for non-violent offenses.

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