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Step 1 of 7

1. Define the problem

To establish whether it is feasible, taking into consideration the quality of data available, that the authority will be able to develop both a robust business case for the outcome contract and transfer risk to a service provider.

Main Activities

Locate and analyse good quality data that defines impact and cost.

Key Considerations

  • Establish whether there is sufficient data or evidence to create a good counterfactual case (the 'do nothing' or alternative option).
  • Establish whether there high quality data is available to accurately forecast the level of need for the new intervention.
  • If the contract is a social impact bond (SIB), check whether the value of the current service is likely to meet a minimum viable value (circa £1m over a contract period).


  1. Establish a broad consensus amongst key stakeholders of the cost and impact of the problem.

Links to Resources