What types of issue can SIBs help to address?

Youth and education interventions have historically dominated the distribution of SIB funding in the UK. Indeed, four major central government programmes (DWP Innovation Fund, Department for Communities and Local Government Fair Chance Fund, DWP Youth Engagement Fund, and Life Chances Fund) have focused on supporting disadvantaged young people. Reasons include:

  • The sector’s existing experience of payment by results in the Work Programme and European Social Fund (ESF)
  • Relatively simple-to-measure outcomes (e.g. entry into jobs) and short delivery-to-result times
  • Abundant historical data to assess success and support attribution
  • The value of successful early or preventative intervention, in terms of future savings

Social investment markets in other sectors with equivalent features are beginning to develop too. Healthcare, for example with its often binary or relatively simple outcomes and its emphasis on prevention, can be well suited to SIBs.

Next: What are the reasons to consider a SIB?