Social Impact Bonds Expanding Global Reach, Study Finds

The use of social impact bonds (SIBs), or public-private pay-for-success schemes, to address social challenges is gaining momentum globally, a report from Social Finance finds.

The report, Social Impact Bonds: The Early Years (87 pages, PDF), found that since Social Finance UK launched its first social impact bond in 2010, sixty SIBs have been created in fifteen countries, collectively raising $216 million and impacting nearly ninety thousand individuals. Of those, twenty-two have posted their results, with twenty-one reporting positive outcomes for beneficiaries and twelve having made outcomes payments, four of which fully repaid investor capital and generated a positive return on that investment. Among other things, the report highlights performance data from the twenty-two projects that have posted results; explores the broader impact pay-for-success schemes have had among service providers and policy makers; and shares lessons learned from the sixty SIBs tracked by the report.

In addition to the report, Social Finance has released a database of social impact bonds — both launched and in development — that can be filtered by country, issue area, investor, and/or service provider and features an interactive map as well as project descriptions.

"Together, the report and the database chart the strong global growth of social impact bonds, providing insight into the diversity and variance in the way they have been used," said Social Finance UK CEO David Hutchison, Social Finance US CEO Tracy Palandjian, and Social Finance Israel CEO Yaron Neudorfer in a statement. "We hope that these resources will foster collaboration and the sharing of information to advance the market, and to deliver greater impact among the communities we aim to support."

"60 Social Impact Bonds Across 15 Countries Show Growing Global Reach." Social Finance Press Release 07/05/2016.