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Supporting refugees through cross-sector collaborations and innovative financing

Engaging with Evidence is a series of interactive online convenings hosted by the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) and designed to encourage a greater understanding of the latest evidence on the use of cross-sector partnerships focused on outcomes. The sessions are hosted monthly, and attract a diverse range of practitioners from different sectors, as well as researcher from across the world.  

Building independent, high-quality evidence 

At the GO Lab, we believe in the importance of building independent, high-quality evidence and disseminating it effectively to inform policy decisions and improve practice on the ground. As new evidence around the use of outcomes-based approaches is starting to emerge, we hope that with this series of online convenings we can continue to bridge the gap between evidence and practice, and help foster real dialogue between policymakers, practitioners and researchers in an honest, transparent and constructive way. Both veterans and explorers interested in better understanding the latest evidence around the use of outcomes-based approaches are welcome to join these sessions.  

Throughout 2021, Engaging with Evidence will offer an open platform for policymakers, practitioners and researchers around the world to engage with key findings from the latest research and evaluation work in the field. They will have the opportunity to discuss new evidence directly with the authors of research and evaluation studies, hear the practical insights of the partners involved in the development and implementation of the projects under discussion, and reflect on the relevance of the evidence to their own work.  

What to expect

Each session lasts 90 minutes and features contributions from a diverse panel of experts, as well as ample time for contributions and questions from all participants. Discussions at each session are grounded in the findings of a recent evaluation or research study, with additional practical insights brought in by stakeholders directly involved in the work or project under discussion. Each session follows a set format:  

  1. Setting the context & presentation of the evaluation/ research findings
  2. Discussion with the panel and audience questions
  3. Closing remarks 

If you’d like to suggest a topic or highlight a recent study that you’d like to see discussed on a future session, please contact our moderators Andreea Anastasiu or Tanyah Hameed.

Session recording

Listen to the audio recording of the session.

Session overview

For our ninth Engaging with Evidence session, we explored the role of cross-sector collaborations and innovative financing tools in supporting refugees. Drawing on recent research from Government Outcomes Lab and the Sorbonne Business School in Paris (IAE), we shared learnings from two innovative yet different approaches used in Finland and France within employment and housing.

The KOTO project was launched in Finland as the world’s first social impact bond to support refugees into employment. It illustrates the potential of outcomes contracts to convene government, the social sector, and investors around shared objectives. Meanwhile, the Hemisphere project in France aimed at providing accommodation to refugees and asylum seekers and demonstrates innovation in public private partnerships. The session combined key learnings from both cases with views from practitioners and engaged researchers.

Our guest panellists reflected on the applicability of these insights to both high income as well as low-and-middle-income contexts. They focussed on how new financing tools and cross-sector collaborations can help deliver better outcomes for refugees and host communities. Finally, we discussed implications for policymakers and practitioners hoping to design and implement similar approaches.


Introductory guide: Outcomes-based contracting (Government Outcomes Lab)

Find out more: Social Outcomes Contracting (European Investment Advisory Hub's Social Outcomes Contracting Platform)

TED Talk: Our refugee system is failing. Here's how we can fix it | Alexander Betts

Find out more: KOTO SIB

GO Lab case study: KOTO SIB

Case study: KOTO SIB (European Investment Advisory Hub's Social Outcomes

Contracting Platform)

Impact bond dataset: KOTO SIB (Government Outcomes Lab)

Case study: Hemisphere project (European Investment Advisory Hub's Social Outcomes

Contracting Platform)

Find out more: The Refugee Impact Bond