24 July 2007

Post 399

It's my 399th post on this blog, and maybe time to take stock. In the past couple of years there have been the odd flurries of interest in the Social Policy Bond concept, including at political levels maybe one degree of separation away from the very highest, but to my knowledge nothing has so far come of any of them. There seems to be a bit more interest in judging the performance of some agencies by outcomes, but I'm not aware of anything like the contracting out of outcomes (as against outputs) to the private sector, and especially not via anything like Social Policy Bonds, which would facilitate a fluid, protean structure subordinated entirely to the targeted social goal. My own work in Social Policy Bonds is therefore something of a holding operation. I write about one or two essays a year for the occasional competition. I maintain this blog, but after years of trying I rarely seek the interest of politicians, the media, and (especially) philanthopic organisations and publishers. I'm most disappointed by the philanthropists. My dozens of emails to anyone connected with established philanthropic bodies are, without a single exception, ignored.

For these reasons I'm particularly glad to read comments on this blog. To a degree, having made the work available is an end in itself. And I take some comfort from reading the lives of people like Thomas Bayes, whose contribution to probability theory was discovered only after his death.

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