14 August 2016

Social Policy Bonds: state of play

I don't think any Social Policy Bonds have yet been issued, despite their having been in the public arena for 28 years. That said, more national and local entities are issuing or considering Social Impact Bonds, the non-tradable variant of Social Policy Bonds. This wikipedia page summarises the history and current deployment of SIBs. I'm pleased to say that they are becoming more widespread. Countries in which they have been issued include the UK, Australia, the US, and they are also being considered in Brazil, Israel and New Zealand. Dan Corry of New Philanthropy Capital in London summarises the current (9 August) state of play with SIBs in the UK here, while Patrick Young, in Australia puts out the Daily SIB Newsletter.

I do have reservations about SIBs, which I have expressed here, here, and in several blog posts (search this page for Social Impact Bonds). Perhaps necessarily, they are narrow in scope and, in my view, will be prone to manipulation and gaming, especially if they become so commonplace that they escape public scrutiny. Because of their limitations they are also, as I expected, relatively costly to administer, as Alliance 54 reported in July: 'SIBs are gaining traction with 57 models operating, but they have proven complicated and costly to design and implement.' I haven't been consulted about, and have no involvement in, any of these SIB issues. My hope is that SIBs, will advance, rather than discredit, the Social Policy Bond concept.

1 comment:

ngozi said...

Success is indeed good
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