Building Healthy Dialogue: New FAQ and Essay from Utah’s Project Evaluator, Dr. Mark Innocenti (Nonprofit Finance Fund)

By Nonprofit Finance Fund

Last October, the Utah High Quality Preschool Project announced a major milestone, reporting that positive interim results had been met, thus triggering repayment to investors. This milestone marked the first US Pay for Success project to repay based on agreed upon milestones. Since these results were announced, questions and challenges to the program’s evaluation methodology, costs, and success metrics have been raised in recent articles.

At Nonprofit Finance Fund, we are committed to building greater dialogue on project development, results, what the field is learning and how to utilize these learnings in the future. Transparency and pointed reflection is especially critical during these still early days of Pay for Success. To help foster this dialogue and provide important perspectives from key Utah project stakeholders, we’ve added two new resources on the Utah High Quality Preschool project developed by the project evaluator Dr. Mark Innocenti: Project Frequently Asked Questions and an Essay describing the approach taken by the UT team.

We recognize that innovations like Pay for Success are not straightforward and simple to execute. Pay for Success pioneers are charting unpaved territory, but the ultimate goal is to make progress on deeply entrenched social problems in our communities. Along this road, there will be no straightforward directions. As we transition to a more outcomes-driven social sector, we encourage stakeholders to not lose sight of our bigger goals on the horizon when we encounter bumps on the road. We hope you’ll join us in further, transparent dialogue and debate.

Additional links:

United Way of Salt Lake response to New York Times article (11/5/2015)