When considering whether a Social Impact Bond (SIB) is an appropriate mechanism to fund a social program, it is useful to understand how SIBs have been structured around the world. Since the very first SIB emerged in the UK in 2010, the concept has been trialled in more than half a dozen countries, and has been targeted at a diverse range of social issues.
At this point in the evolution of SIBs, there is no ‘standard’ way of structuring arrangements. Some SIBs are very large, with thousands of program participants, and some are very small. Some see government outcome-based payments made directly to a service provider, others see payments made to a special purpose vehicle. Some involve a wide range of investors, some only a couple. Across almost every feature, a range of approaches have been taken.
It is anticipated that this experimentation and innovation will continue over the years to come, driven by a deeper shared understanding of the options, benefits and challenges involved in creating and managing a SIB.
We have developed case studies summarising the key features of a number of SIBs from around the world. In putting these case studies together we have drawn from a number of sources and attempted to standardise information. For detailed information and verification of the summary provided, we would suggest the reader refer to the source documents, including via the links provided.
We hope these case studies are a useful source of information for those seeking to deepen their understanding of this fast changing market, and provide inspiration to governments and service providers interested in exploring the applicability of SIBs to their situation.