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Social Outcomes Conference 2020
Programme

This was the programme for the Social Outcomes Conference 2020. You can access the session recordings here.

Event dates and session times are currently displayed based on Europe/London timezone

Welcome from the GO Lab

Mara Airoldi, Director of the GO Lab, and Nigel Ball, Executive Director of the GO Lab welcome you to the fifth edition of the Social Outcomes Conference 2020.

Keynote address by David Van Slyke

Many efforts to improve social outcomes involve partnership between a government and civil society or the private sector. That means money changing hands, and that means terms of engagement are needed: a contract.

But social outcomes, in the language of contracts, are 'complex products': they are hard to describe and hard to produce. That can make it hard to agree terms up-front - the parties may need to negotiate continually in the spirit of goodwill. Some contracts are set up for this well - they can be described as 'relational' - while others are not, with sometimes disastrous consequences.

In this keynote, Professor David Van Slyke, Dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a world-famous expert on contracting theory, will offer a framework for understanding this type of contracting, and explore how it might be applied in practice to cross-sector partnerships.

The keynote will be followed by reflections from a stellar panel which includes professors of public administration, law and economics, a non-profit executive and a World Bank Director. They will offer reflections on topics like:

  • Are outcomes-based contracts relational?
  • Is this form of contracting more common outside the public sector?
  • What are the legal implications? Is this form of contracting a pathway to court cases?
  • Is relying more on relationships a recipe for increased corruption?
  • What sort of skills should we be nurturing within and outside of government to be able to design and manage contracts for 'complex products'?

Theme: contracting and governance 

David Van Slyke, Dean of Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Professor of Public Administration, and the Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business-Government Policy, Syracuse University

Respondent panellists

Following David Van Slyke's keynote address the panel will discuss the themes presented and offer their perspectives. 

Anne Davies, University of Oxford Law Faculty
Carolyn Heinrich, Vanderbilt University
Naomi Hulston, Catch22
Sameh Wahba, The World Bank
Stéphane Saussier, Sorbonne Business School

Questions

The deep dive and the peer learning sessions are running at the same time, you will have an option to join either. During these sessions the speakers will contribute towards the broader topic in question rather than offer formal presentations. You can view an abstract or summary of their research or practical experience by clicking 'more details'.

DEEP DIVE

Back to the Future? Learning from the UK"s experience with impact bonds: what should we take with us and what should we leave behind?

Ten years after the first impact bond was launched, there are 82 IBs in the UK, and over 190 across the world. But what have we learned from the past decade? This session brings together a range of perspectives from the UK’s experience, which continues to lead on the development of SIBs. The session will go straight away into the distillation of key lessons. We will ask three key questions:  

  • What has been helpful and should be retained or expanded? 

  • What has been unhelpful and should be abandoned? 

  • What deserves further experimentation? 

Theme: impact bonds and outcomes funds

David Parks, The Skill Mill
Gail Gibbons, Sheffield Futures
Joy MacKeith, Triangle
Mehdi Shiva, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government
Neil Stanworth, ATQ Consultants
Samantha Magne, The National Lottery Community Fund
Tanyah Hameed and Eleanor Carter, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government
Tara Case, Ways to Wellness

PEER LEARNING

Resilient Social Services Systems & Supply Chains Matter – Who Knew?!! What’s Next? 

The Procurement of Government Outcomes (POGO) Club is an open, informal, and passionate mix of academics and practitioners focused on better government contracting for better social outcomes. Since our founding at last year’s conference, we have been pogoing through many salient issues, including emergency changes to government contracts, social value, market engagement, contract management, and corruption. This 2020 roundtable session is in two parts: First, we will reflect upon what the global pandemic means for government procurement. Second, we will co-design our work for the next twelve months. Should we advance strategic public procurement for more resilient social services systems and supply chains? Should we focus on how services users might become more directly involved in public spending and contracting? Action on these and other issues will be defined. Comments and ideas from new voices are welcome. 

Theme: contracting and governance 

Abby Semple, Public Procurement Analysis
Aris Georgopoulos, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham
Benjamin Taylor, Public Service Transformation Academy
Christopher R. Yukins, The George Washington University Law School
Daniella Jammes, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Ian Makgill, Spend Network & OpenOpps
Malcolm Harbour CBE,
Mark Roddan, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils
Oscar Hernández, Open Contracting Partnership, Colombia
Ruairi Macdonald, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government
Sope Williams-Elegbe, Stellenbosch University
Tanya Ganguli, Law Offices of Panag and Babu and Vidhi Khanijow, Law Offices of Panag & Babu

Please stay in the zoom meeting from the deep dive or peer learning session that you just attended. There will be two groups for online networking that follow on from the concurrent sessions. 

The deep dive and the peer learning sessions are running at the same time, you will have an option to join either. During these sessions the speakers will contribute towards the broader topic in question rather than offer formal presentations. You can view an abstract or summary of their research or practical experience by clicking 'more details'.

DEEP DIVE

If impact bonds are the answer, then what is the question?

Over 190 impact bond projects have been launched to date in 30 countries across the world. Places as diverse as Japan, Russia, Germany and France have adopted and adapted the model first pioneered in the UK to tackle a growing range of social issues. What are the drivers that are fuelling the adoption of impact bonds in such different jurisdictions? How is this approach understood and used by policymakers and practitioners in different social and economic contexts to address specific challenges? What are the shared opportunities but also the system-level barriers that are shaping the way in which impact bonds are being implemented in new geographies?  

This session will draw on the insights of experienced practitioners and researchers from six different countries to explore these issues and what they mean for the development of outcomes-focused public services around the world. 

Theme: impact bonds and outcomes funds 

Alexandra Lebedeva, VEB.RF
Ken Moriyama, K-three Inc.
Kevin Tan, Tri-Sector Associates
Mathilde Pellizzari, Impact Invest Lab – Center for the Sociology of Innovation, Mines ParisTech
Nakamura Ryota and Tojo Yasuaki, Development Bank of Japan
Nina Zündorf, German Red Cross

PEER LEARNING

Mix and match: comparing means and motives for measuring social outcomes 

There is a rich pedigree of efforts to increase collaboration between organisations and to work across whole ‘systems’ in the pursuit of improved social outcomes. Such efforts are sometimes set in contrast with more ‘linear’ approaches, where a single organisation running a clearly defined ‘intervention’ aims to improve social outcomes through a pre-determined causal chain or ‘logic model’. Both approaches can claim evidence-based legitimacy, and they need not necessarily contradict. Nonetheless, they potentially call for quite different approaches to measuring social outcomes, both in terms of motive – why measurement might be useful – and means – how it might be done. 

Measurement can be useful to help those providing services to continually adapt delivery to respond to ongoing learning. It can also help to demonstrate that resources have been well spent in pursuit of outcomes. Yet in collaborative, system-level delivery environments, these learning and accountability purposes can conflict. Starting with the UK experience and moving on to look at experiences in Poland, Australia, and Italy, we will aim to draw out pragmatic insights on how these tensions might be reconciled. 

Theme: measurement and metrics 

John Burgoyne, Centre for Public Impact
Karolina Osterczuk, University of Warsaw
Katie Rose, Centre for Public Impact
Lavinia Pastore, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Nigel Ball, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government
Rob Wilson, Northumbria University
Tim Reddel, University of Queensland

Please stay in the zoom meeting from the deep dive or peer learning session that you just attended. There will be two groups for online networking that follow on from the concurrent sessions. 

In this session we will explore efforts to  catalyse the broader adoption of outcomes-based partnerships, particularly through the use of ‘outcomes  funds’. We will consider how those responsible for developing and nurturing the ecosystem of outcome-based partnerships and  impact bonds  have responded to the Covid-19 emergency. We will look at whether and how approaches have been adapted and how practitioners are seeking to use outcomes-based approaches to respond to the crisis and support social and economic recovery.

Abha Thorat-Shah, The British Asian Trust
Amel Karboul, Education Outcomes Fund
Avnish Gungadurdoos, Instiglio
Christine Ternent, Inter-American Development Bank
Inga Afanasieva, World Bank
James Magowan, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (UK)
James Ronicle, Ecorys
Louise Savell, Social Finance
Manuela Cleves, Inversor
Maria Laura Tinelli, Latin America PbR Network (Acrux Partners)
Mika Pyykkö, The Centre of Expertise for Impact Investing, The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland
Radana Crhova, Department for International Development, UK
Zachary Levey, Levoca Impact Labs

The deep dive and the peer learning sessions are running at the same time, you will have an option to join either. During these sessions the speakers will contribute towards the broader topic in question rather than offer formal presentations. You can view an abstract or summary of their research or practical experience by clicking 'more details'.

DEEP DIVE

Outcomes based approaches for skills and employment support services 

Outcome contracts or ‘payment by results’ have been used for decades in training and employment support services to incentivise service provider organisations to focus on the achievement of job outcomes. Service flexibility is allied to promises of innovation and performance improvement but there are well known risks around ‘cherry picking’, ‘creaming’ and ‘parking’ of people who are intended to receive support services. This session brings together the latest academic research with practical insights on the shifting design and implementation of outcome contracts in employment support. 

Theme: impact bonds and outcomes funds 

Alix J. Jansen, University of Toronto
Alec Fraser, King's College London
Abha Thorat-Shah, The British Asian Trust
Eleanor Carter, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government and Adam Whitworth, University of Sheffield
Richard Johnson, Bridges Outcomes Partnerships

PEER LEARNING

Emergency Responses and Government Outcomes 

This session features five presentations related to COVID-19 response and recovery in projects, partnerships, policies, and countries. Four overarching questions guide these contributions: 

  1. What are the institutional capabilities and interventions that engender long-term social impact despite COVID-19?  
  2. In addition to the economic impact of COVID-19, what is its social impact? 
  3. How can government and non-government agencies work together during COVID-19 towards better social outcomes? What examples do we see from practice? 
  4. Will the economic and social policy environment arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis be conducive to the continuation of the Social Impact Bond (SIB) model, or will it further marginalise SIBs? 

Theme: Emergency responses 

Anne-Marie Carrie and Robbie Smyth, Bridges Outcomes Partnerships
Gay Hui Ting Evelyn, Singapore University of Social Sciences and Huong Ha, Singapore University of Social Science
Jesse Hajer, University of Manitoba, Department of Economics and Labour Studies Program
Louise Savell, Social Finance and Hortance Manjo, Cameroon Kangaroo Mother Care
Maitreyi Bordia Das, The World Bank
Prakhar Misra, IDFC Institute

Data standardisation and data-driven reform efforts in the public, not-for-profit, and impact investing spaces have brought the importance of ‘measuring impact’ to the fore, but how embedded is that information in decisions that improve results? In this session, panellists will discuss the links between data and decision-making, distilling important managerial, organisational, and contextual considerations for those using data to pursue social outcomes.  

Theme: data and transparency 

Gail Gibbons, Sheffield Futures
Olivia Prentice, Impact Management Project
Paddy Carter, CDC Group
Sarah Henry, Office for National Statistics (UK)

The deep dive and the peer learning sessions are running at the same time, you will have an option to join either. During these sessions the speakers will contribute towards the broader topic in question rather than offer formal presentations. You can view an abstract or summary of their research or practical experience by clicking 'more details'.

DEEP DIVE 

Contracting for risk transfer and innovation

In this session we will explore risk transfer and innovation in SIBs and how responses to Covid-19 challenge our understanding of these issues. We will discuss whether outcomes-based contracting furthers innovation; in particular we will consider whether OBC allowed for more innovative responses to the Covid-19 crisis than other forms of contracting. Moreover, we will explore the financial risk allocation in SIBs and potential changes in risk allocation in light of Covid-19.

Theme: contracting and governance 

Abby Semple, Public Procurement Analysis
Elen Riot, Universite de Reims
Gary Painter, Department of Public Policy, Sol Price, School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
Helen Evans, SOAS, University of London

PEER LEARNING

INDIGO (International Network for Data on Impact and Government Outcomes)

The International Network for Data on Impact and Government Outcomes (INDIGO) is a new initiative supported by the GO Lab. While our primary audience is public sector policymakers, exciting data initiatives are underway in other sectors. Collaboration and iteration are key. In the first part of this session, the GO Lab will launch a process for sharing data on impact bonds and prototype tools to describe the role of a social investor or fund manager. We will also discuss potentially complementary initiatives such as the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Impact Standards initiative and work by the IMP+ACT Alliance around social investment portfolio classification. In the second part of this session, we will see and hear about outputs from the INDIGO Hack-and-Learn. Learn more about INDIGO here

Theme: data and transparency

Alberto Rodriguez Alvarez, Georgetown University Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation
Chloe Tye, Big Issue Invest
Claudia Coppenolle, IMP+ACT Alliance
Ian Makgill, Spend Network & OpenOpps
Juliana Outes Velarde, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government
Oscar Hernández, Open Contracting Partnership, Colombia
Ruairi Macdonald, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government
Stefaan Verhulst, The GovLab, New York University
Susan de Witt, Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The deep dive and the peer learning sessions are running at the same time, you will have an option to join either. During these sessions the speakers will contribute towards the broader topic in question rather than offer formal presentations. You can view an abstract or summary of their research or practical experience by clicking 'more details'.

DEEP DIVE 

Teasing out the SIB effect: emerging evidence and practical insights

Theme: impact bonds and outcomes funds 

This panel will discuss and assess ‘the SIB effect’, i.e. the influence of this contracting and funding model on social outcomes when compared to alternative approaches to funding social programmes. Much of the early evaluation work on Impact Bonds focused on the effect of the intervention rather than the extra efficacy or efficiency (if any) added by the particular SIB contracting strategy. This session brings together practical tools for identifying the results orientation of projects alongside the latest academic research which formally assesses the contribution that the SIB model has made to the observed social impact.

Lukas Hobi, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Debra Hevenstone, Bern University of Applied Sciences and Alec Fraser, King's College London
Franziska Rosenbach, Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government
Ruben Koekoek, Social Finance Nl
Sarah Cooke, KBOP

PEER LEARNING

My way or the highway: accessibility and responsiveness of services for vulnerable groups

Throughout this conference we will hear of incredible efforts to reach the most vulnerable in our societies. Yet as academics and practitioners we may find ourselves far removed from the lived reality of the people we are seeking to help. One approach to close the gap between programming and the needs of service users is to incorporate ‘user voice’ in service design and delivery. 

Bringing ‘user voice’ to the front of our minds this session explores the following questions:

  1. How do you ensure community and practice voices are heard with real impact?
  2. How do you ensure voices are representative of wider populations?
  3. How does voice work alongside statistical data?
  4. Can single outcome indicators capture the multidimensionality of real lives?

Theme: collaboration and communities 

Jennifer Warner and Steve Hindle, The Elton John AIDS Foundation
Rob Murdoch, Bridges Outcomes Partnerships
Rajnish Ranjan Prasad, UN Women
Richard Thickpenny and Thomas Dixon, ACH

Please stay in the zoom meeting from the deep dive or peer learning session that you just attended. There will be two groups for online networking that follow on from the concurrent sessions. 

In healthcare, pricing health outcomes and using these prices to design financial incentives for market players is becoming mainstream in many countries. The arguments around ‘value based  pricing’ to price pharmaceuticals is the clearest example. In social care, however, similar practices have attracted much debate and controversy about the financialisation and commoditisation of vulnerable populations. Is the debate on pricing social outcomes simply  lagging behind  and is there anything that can be imported by the healthcare experience? Or are the two domains fundamentally different? Or is healthcare underestimating potential pitfalls of their practices?  

Theme: measurement and metrics 

Adrian Towse, Office of Health Economics (UK)
Jonathan Wolff, Blavatnik School of Government
Mildred Warner, Cornell University
Rachel Silverman, Center for Global Development

Reimagining social change for the post Covid-19 world: in conversation with Sir Paul Collier and Alnoor Ebrahim 

In the past decade, more and more voices across the globe have been calling for a recalibration of the ‘social contract’. The Covid-19 crisis has only amplified these. This is not just about the relationship between state and citizens, but also about the changing role that businesses, voluntary organisations, social enterprises, and philanthropic organisations might play alongside government in building thriving communities. The impetus for shifting power closer to people and places, and for more cross-sector partnerships, may be obvious. What is less clear is how these relationships can work effectively in practice. 

In this session, two world leading thinkers – Sir Paul Collier and Alnoor Ebrahim - will draw on their decades-long work to explore these themes, offer pragmatic solutions and examples of best practice, and share their own vision for how to build and nurture inclusive communities, where no one is left behind.

The discussion will be moderated by Mara Airoldi, Director of the Government Outcomes Lab at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government.

This public talk is hosted by the Government Outcomes Lab, as part of the fifth edition of the Social Outcomes Conference

Alnoor Ebrahim, Professor, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford