June 25, 2015 Print

Social impact bonds represent an innovative way of funding and delivering social services. They shift the risks associated with social service funding and implementation to private sector service providers and investors, and have the potential to save taxpayer money.

Atlas Network Partner The New Zealand Initiative outlined and advocated for social impact bonds in its recent report, Investing for Success: Social Impact Bonds and the Future of Public Services. On June 1, New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman introduced a social impact bond for the mental health sector based on The New Zealand Initiative’s report.

Executive Director at The New Zealand Initiative Dr. Oliver Hartwich said, “Social impact bonds are unique because investors are only paid if the measurable outcomes are successfully achieved. Taxpayers only pay for what works, and there is a strong incentive for service providers to perform well to improve social outcomes...This is a relatively new model and it is promising to see government taking the lead on exploring new ways to secure better social outcomes for recipients.”