Social impact bonds


25 May 2017

What steps can the government take to help access more private capital to address some of our greatest social issues?

Research report

14 Feb 2017

This report forms part of an AHURI Inquiry into the funding and delivery of programs to reduce homelessness. It provides evidence from case studies of homelessness services into how services supporting those experiencing homelessness are funded, and how different forms and levels of funding impact...

Briefing paper

10 Feb 2017

Recidivism is not a topic that has traditionally been associated with the world of high finance. Yet, in recent times, recidivism and other intractable social challenges have become the subject of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs); a novel form of investment that makes use of private...

Discussion paper

27 Jan 2017

The purpose of this discussion paper is to explore ways the Australian Government can develop the social impact investing market.

This discussion paper proposes that the Australian Government could primarily support social impact investing by creating an enabling environment for private sector-led social impact...


5 Oct 2016

This Topic Guide provides an overview of the development of social impact bonds, a mechanism for using private investment funds to finance social programs, together with links to reports and articles in the Policy Online archive.

APO Topic Guide




4 Oct 2016

The concept has spread like wildfire but the results, here and overseas, are mixed, reports Mike Steketee

NSW PREMIER Mike Baird says they have the “potential to change the world.” When he was still social services minister, Scott Morrison said he was “very...

Research report

22 Sep 2016

Governments, insurers and service providers all stand to benefit from savings in future health costs if spending is directed to prevention of road trauma.

New analysis commissioned by the FIA Foundation shows that investing early to prevent injury can deliver real financial dividends as...


20 Jul 2016

The Victorian Government is exploring Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) to trial innovative interventions in complex areas of social disadvantage.

As part of the 2016-17 Victorian Budget, $700,000 was provided to help to deliver market testing and the procurement phases of Victoria’s first SIBs....

Working paper

31 May 2016

Social Impact bonds (SIBs) have attracted much attention in the aftermath of the financial crisis. They have been implemented in a number of countries as they seem to be an attractive proposition for financing the delivery of social services.

But SIBs remain a fairly...

Research report

11 May 2016

Social impact bonds (SIBs) can be defined as “a mechanism that harnesses private capital for social services and encourages outcome achievement by making repayment contingent upon success.” Since 2010, which marked the advent of the first SIB, 43 have been set up in 11 countries...

Discussion paper

30 Apr 2016

On 4 February 2015, the NSW Government launched its Social Impact Investment Policy. The policy builds on the success of NSW’s social benefit bonds and sets out the Government’s intent to support a broader social impact investment market in NSW. As part of the policy,...



25 Jan 2016

There has been considerable interest recently, at both state and federal government levels, in using social impact bonds (SIBs) as a way of funding social programs. This in turn has generated a lot of discussion in the not-for-profit sector as to how this will flow...



15 Oct 2015

The announcement of a partnership between HESTA and SVA with the launch of a $30m Social Impact Investment Trust represents a coming of age for impact investing in Australia. The Trust is the largest Australian impact investing commitment made by a superannuation fund. This article...

Research report

14 Sep 2015


Social impact bond projects are the latest new ‘buy-now, pay later’, off-balance sheet schemes to increase private finance of public services and the welfare state, driven by austerity policies and neoliberal ideology.

They are a complex venture capitalist model applied to...

Research report

9 Jul 2015

While we have seen considerable progress over the past decade in some indicators of well-being, the gravity of the social challenges the world continues to face today requires serious consideration of innovative ways to finance and deliver services more efficiently and cost-effectively. Some key contributions...

Briefing paper

6 Jul 2015

A number of policy initiatives aimed at reform of primary health care financing are currently either being debated nationally, or trialled in different jurisdictions.

Commonwealth Government austerity and an interest from a wide range of stakeholders to mobilise capital from different parts of the...

Research report

26 Jun 2015

In this speech to the 2015 Australian Council of Social Service congress, social security minister Scott Morrison outlined a series of initatives consistent with the government’s view that it should reduce its role on social welfare provision, including via social impact bonds.


19 Jun 2015

The UK government is increasingly using outcome-based payment schemes – often called “payment by results” – to deliver public services. PbR is a mechanism where all or part of the payment depends on the provider achieving outcomes specified by the commissioner. Providers are, to a...



10 Jun 2015

The social impact bond (SIB) innovation is gathering pace around the world and here in Australia, but it is still very early in the development of this nascent market. Expectations are high – from investors and service providers alike – but implemented contracts are thin...



25 May 2015

The NZ government sees economic as well as social benefits in breaking cycles of poverty and imprisonment. Although the policy has its critics, it’s worth watching, writes Tim Colebatch .

Imagine a country in which a government of the centre-right decided to...