Roundtable: Federal Perspectives on Pay-for-Success: Findings and Lessons, Challenges and Opportunities
(Public and Non-Profit Management and Finance)

Friday, November 9, 2018: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
McKinley - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Moderators:  John Tambornino, White House Office of Management and Budget
Speakers:  Megan E. Lizik, U.S. Department of Labor, Lily Zandniapour, Corporation for National and Community Service, Yennie Tse, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Jonathan Ng, U.S. Agency for International Development

The rapidly growing interest in Pay-for-Success (PFS; also known as “pay for results” or “social impact bonds”) is one of the most significant developments in government funding and social policy in decades.  PFS offers a radically new program model for leveraging resources, shifting risk, focusing on outcomes, producing future savings through prevention, catalyzing innovation and improvement, and ensuring evaluation and cross-sector collaboration.   In recent years there have been substantial federal investments in new PFS demonstrations, studies and evaluations, and related federal activity, which has begun to provide lessons and new findings regarding the promise, challenges and limitations of this ambitious new program funding model.  Recently passed legislation and funding (the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act/SIPPRA) represents a major expansion in federal investment and involvement in further developing and testing this model.  To be successful and informative, this new PFS program will need to build upon recent lessons in this field - from researchers, administrators and experienced practitioners - and designed to ensure additional learning. 

Thus it is an opportune time to take stock of the lessons learned by federal agencies in order to inform the next generation of PFS projects that will be implemented by states and localities participating in federal PFS programs.  The roundtable focus fits perfectly the conference theme, Evidence for Action: Encouraging Innovation and Improvement, as the PFS model is premised on using evidence for innovation and improvement, and this roundtable would use recent evidence and lessons from PFS to inform future innovation and improvement.

The roundtable will consist of key senior staff experts in PFS – variously engaged in policy analysis and development, program design and implementation, and research and evaluation - at the Executive Office of the President, and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Education, USAID, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.   The specific projects to be discussed span housing, homelessness, recidivism, employment, education and early child development, organizational capacity-building, and international development.  A similar roundtable was held at the Fall 2016 APPAM conference, and generated considerable attendance and interest.  Given the rapid development of the PFS field, much has happened and been learned since then, such that the proposed roundtable will be fresh and timely.