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Monday, September 16 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
The role of evaluation in social impact bonds

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Sue Leahy (ARTD Consultants), Ruby Leahy Gatfield (ARTD Consultants), Claudia Lennon (ARTD Consultants)

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are spreading worldwide, receiving bipartisan political support as an innovative financial instrument that can align public and private interests while addressing complex social problems (Fraser et al, 2016).

In a SIB, a non-government investor supplies the capital for a new social program and, if this program is deemed successful according to agreed measures, the government repays the initial investment plus an agreed amount of interest. The return on investment is dependent on the degree of improvement in social outcomes, and the precise structure of the bond. Outcomes measurement for the bond is conducted through a financial lens, linked closely to repayments.

So, what is the role for evaluation? In this paper, evaluators and program staff reflect on a five-year evaluation of the first SIB to mature in Australia. They describe some of the challenges for evaluation in a bond context. They also highlight the key benefits of evaluation in identifying learnings and improvement for both the program and the bond mechanism itself.

avatar for Gill Westhorp

Gill Westhorp

Professorial Research Fellow, Charles Darwin University
Gill leads the Realist Research Evaluation and Learning Initiative (RREALI) at Charles Darwin University. RREALI develops new methods and tools within a realist framework, supports development of competency in realist approaches and provides realist evaluation and research services... Read More →

avatar for Ruby Leahy Gatfield

Ruby Leahy Gatfield

Manager, ARTD Consultants
Ruby is passionate about working with communities to ensure they have a voice in the services that effect their lives. She uses participatory, empowerment and developmental approaches to evaluation and building evaluation capacity, particularly in the Aboriginal and community development... Read More →
avatar for Sue Leahy

Sue Leahy

Managing Director, ARTD Consultants
Sue is an accomplished evaluator, policy analyst and facilitator and managing Principal at ARTD, a leading evaluation and public policy company based in NSW. She joined ARTD in 2009 from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, where she managed a wide-ranging program... Read More →

Claudia Lennon

The Benevolent Society
Claudia Lennon is a qualified social worker with 20 year’s experience. She has worked for the health system, not for profit and non government agencies. She has 14 years of management experience across a variety of areas including family preservation, youth homeless, asylum seeker... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm AEST