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This is your monthly round up of news from across the sector, including the latest on collaborating in government, how to measure social impact and perspectives on public sector outsourcing. If you would like the latest news from across the sector, sign up to our weekly policy briefing - 

​Impact investing 

News Apollo jumps into impact investing with plan to raise $1 billion – Apollo Global Management LLC is planning to set up an impact investing arm as demand grows. Alternative asset managers are starting funds devoted to meeting environmental, social and governance targets. Bloomberg

Opinion Kiva’s crowdfunding platform transforms into hub for impact investing and financial inclusion – Kiva’s new strategy extends far beyond the organisation’s original mission and legacy as a crowdfunding platform for micro-finance. This opinion piece looks at whether it can succeed and still retain its original spirit. The last section considers impact investing for social enterprises. Stanford Social Innovation Review

Blog What’s the point of investing in financial inclusion? - Another blog by Next Billion shares a new review that aims to help investors maximise their impact. It attempts to build an understanding about whether, why, where and how to invest in financial systems, in order to make a lasting difference in people’s lives. Next Billion 

Opinion Innovative uses of philanthropic funds to tackle complex social problems – A recent case study by the Centre for Social Impact highlights the power and potential of innovative solutions to address long-term homelessness. This opinion piece looks at SIBs in Australia and the impact they are having. Pro Bono Australia

Measuring impact 

Blog Meaningful metrics – what can we learn from health economics in evaluating social policies? Mehdi Shiva, Economist at the GO Lab writes about meaningful metrics as a taster for this session at the Social Outcomes Conference next week(!) He looks at the issue of using standardised measures when things are subjective (such as quality of life). He also explores how we can overcome this through using a few widely used metrics – different metrics serve different purposes. GO Lab

Opinion Activist accountants; Goldman de-silos sustainability; Hong Kong ESG Battle – Ronald Cohen is joining forces with Harvard Business School to create a uniform so-called ‘Impact Weighted Accounts Initiative’. This seeks to measure corporate activity not just in terms of profits, but also for their ‘impact’ on the environment, employment issues and products. Financial Times

In and Outsourcing 

Opinion What does Labour’s policy on insourcing mean for local government? – Neil Stanworth from ATQ Consultants and a GO Lab Fellow of Practice shares his thoughts on the recent announcement by the Labour Party. He offers a political and practical observation. ATQ  

Opinion Outsourcing children’s services isn’t just wrong – it’s a waste of money - Ray Jones from the Guardian argues that vital services are a big moneymaker for private firms, but those funds should be spent on better care for vulnerable children. The Guardian

Reforming the public sector 

Publication The shared power principle – how governments are changing to achieve better outcomes - This publication looks at the twin challenges of effectiveness and legitimacy in government. It considers the Shared Power Principe as a convincing response and explores four patterns that characterise the principle. You can also read a blog about the publication. Centre for Public Impact

Publication Community Commissioning: shaping public services through people power– This report by the NLGN looks at community commissioning as a convincing case for why the process needs to be led by citizens and service users not public sector professionals. It also explains how this shift is happening in practice. NLGN

Opinion Local authority commissioning is better when the community is involved - Public services should be developed and delivered in consultation with the service users, says public service commissioning lawyer Julian Blake. Public Finance

Prevention policies and whole system approaches  

Opinion Six ways to boost public support for prevention-based policy – This article offers suggestions: Connect action now with outcomes later, prime legacy thinking, put more focus on solutions, don’t rely on probabilities, and move beyond consumerism. Stanford Social Innovation Review

Publication Health matters: whole systems approach to obesity - Public Health England (PHE) have published a professional resource designed to support local action to address obesity. The guide describes a ‘how to’ process, which can enable local authorities, and their partners, to start creating their own local whole systems approaches to reducing obesity and promoting health weight. UK Government

Impact bonds and outcomes based contracting 

Report & Blog Findings from the first DFID development impact bonds evaluation report – This latest report aims to generate an understanding of how and when DIBs can enable efficient and effective delivery of programmes in DFID priority areas. Ecorys were commissioned to undertake an evaluation and in depth case study of four DIBs. This blog highlights the main findings. In summary, there was variation across DIBs, such as the size, capital guarantees, stakeholder types. There was also some DIB effects and ‘novelty effects’ that were both positive (fostering a sense of commitment to overcome challenges) and negative (nervousness of the DIB failing so more risk aversion). GO Lab

Blog When and how to do results based financing - With so many mechanisms gaining attention (eg. SIBs, DIBS, Social impact incentives) it can be difficult to know which tool will help an organisation achieve the greatest impact. This blog explores whether you should, whether it is feasible and how you could do results based financing. Next Billion   

News Big Issue Invest commits £277,000 to support people affected by mental health problems in London– The Mental Health and Employment Partnership (MHEP) has received investment by Big Issue Invest to support over 300 people with severe mental health problems enter the workplace.

Blog Rhino bonds: Can big finance really save big beasts? - This article looks at how the Rhino impact bond, the first financial instrument linked to the conservation of rhinos, works. FN London

Opinion Environmental impact bonds: the very welcome new kid on the municipal finance block – This piece explores how environmental impact bonds have developed and explores different projects across the US. Water Finance & Management