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We have collated all the news from across the sector from this month in one easy to read news article. This month we have a new global knowledge platform with a range of resources available and we share the highlights from the Social Outcomes Conference earlier this month. We also share the latest on impact investing across the world. For a weekly email containing the latest news, sign up at

GO Lab - new platform and social outcomes conference 

GO Lab ​Global knowledge platform on impact bonds - We have launched the global knowledge platform on impact bonds! After consulting 100 people we have refreshed our website, created new content and developed new interactive features. Read this article to see what we have done and why, and browse the new features on our site. GO Lab

Blog Evolution through learning – reflecting on the Social Outcomes Conference 2019 – Nigel Ball, Executive Director of the GO Lab reflects on the conference and where we are up to with impact bonds. He shares lessons learned in the last decade and considers where we need to focus now. Read for the GO Lab’s perspective. GO Lab 
Blog The Social Outcomes Conference 2019 – We share a roundup of what happened at #SOC19 earlier this month. With over 220 delegates from across the world and two days of plenary sessions, parallel and roundtable sessions and more, it was hard to sum it all up! We heard about the many different shapes of impact bonds, the ways they are catalysing change in the public sector and the practical tools that we are building to improve social outcomes. GO Lab

Livestream recordings The Social Outcomes Conference 2019 - You can view eight sessions from the conference last week, including the keynote speech from Stefan Dercon, plenary sessions and the public discussion between Tom Hall and Jo Wolff. Also take a look at #SOC19 on Twitter for commentary and interesting discussion. GO Lab 

Report findings Collaboration as public service reform? – The GO Lab report, ‘Are we rallying together?’ came out earlier this year. This piece summarises the key points in the report, looking at what collaboration means, how it came about and how it is being used, as well as challenges in terms of accountability. ESADE

Event GSG Impact Summit – This event is for leaders from more than 50 countries in Santiago on 18-20th November 2019. You can see the agenda here and follow their social media  #GSGSummit #PowerOfImpact #@GSGimpinv. Mara Airoldi, Director of the GO Lab will be there. GSG

Livestream/event Investing in the SDGs – the future of outcomes-based financing – This event is on 25th September 10-11.45am ET and is hosted by Devex, UBS Optimus Foundation and UNICEF. The session will evaluate the current landscape of development finance and outcomes-based funding mechanisms. Mara Airoldi, Director of the GO Lab will be speaking and you can livestream the event by registering online. Devex

Impact bonds and payment by results 

Toolkit Social impact bonds: a toolkit for delivery organisations – This toolkit looks will support providers at any point on their SIB journey. It offers a quiz, the basics and a step by step guide. It was developed by Think Forward, and supported by DCMS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. SIB toolkit Good Finance
Report Social and development impact bonds by the numbers – This is a snapshot of impact bonds  around the world as of 1st September 2019. Brookings    

News roundup Special edition: Bloomberg’s big day, impact bonds, the ‘other’ SDGs – Impact bonds and impact investing have made this news roundup in the Financial Times. This piece argues that impact bonds offer considerable potential to help tackle humanitarian emergencies, but government sanctions can limit financial sector’s ability to provide urgent assistance. Financial Times

Research Pay for success: diffusion of policy innovation for social and economic stability – This research paper looks at building a greater understanding of the mechanisms and processes of PFS across the US in order to make sure this innovation can work alongside the law. Public Administration Review  

Guide Social impact bonds – Apolitical have published a field guide on social impact bonds in partnership with the GO Lab. There are a range of pieces here including an introduction, Q&A, and opinion articles by experts in the field. Apolitical   

Report Innovating and adapting in a payment by results WASH programme: The SWIFT experience – This PbR programme ran in DRC and Kenya and sought to provide a sustained access to water, sanitation and hygiene for almost 1 million people over four year. This study looks at what innovation took place, why it took place, what it solved and what helped or hindered the innovation or adaption. Relief Web 

Opinion Bonds that do good – and, maybe, well – This Wall Street Journal article gives an overview of social impact bonds. It looks at the US market and briefly explores the development sector. Wall Street Journal

Impact investing 

News - ​Impact Finance Bulletin - Pioneers Post - This bulletin collates lots of articles on impact investing for their monthly roundup. This includes the shut down of retail impact investing platform, Bridges Social Outcomes Fund, the new impact fund for high potential small businesses in rural Africa and Ugandan agriculture impact fund, and more. Pioneers Post  

Opinion Here’s how to close the $176 billion health financing gap – This explores how businesses large and small can help government reduce the funding gap by ‘going digital’, creating ‘healthy value chains’ and ‘crowding in capabilities’. World Economic Forum and The European Sting

Opinion Hype vs reality: What India taught me about investing for impact – This piece offers four ways to do better at investing for impact across different sectors. 1) Start with the problems 2) Have an uncompromising focus on impact 3) Flex assumptions and expectations around financial risk, return and liquidity. 4) Maintain an appropriate level of humility. Pioneers Post 

Report Unlocking the potential for frontier finance – This report uncovers significant financial and impact motivations for entering the space and identifies recommendations to scale the market to achieve global development goals. The Global Impact Investing Network

Opinion Exploring the link between social policy and public trust – There has been growing attention to the declining levels of public trust in politicians, public and democratic institutions. This brief article looks at public service pathways that could increase trust. They explore place-based approaches, social impact investment and social impact bonds. The Mandarin

News Coalition for climate resilient investment targets resilience bonds – A new coalition was launched last week at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. It brings together 30 organisations from across the investment industry to address climate resilient challenges. Artemis

Developments in the public sector 

Open consultation The future definition of public service mutual – This consultation is about defining public service mutual in order to strengthen the integrity of the concept, provide greater clarity and raise awareness and understanding of the benefits of mutuals. The consultation ends on 30th September. 
Opinion Health communities: What is ‘social prescribing?’ - A brief look at social prescribing, where it comes from, how to measure it and how it could be used across the world. Apolitical 

Event/Livestream How to fix government outsourcing – on 17th September the institute of government will launch a new report which assesses the record of outsourcing over the last four decade and sets out ways to improve the way government contracts out services. You can livestream this event and follow #IFGoutsourcing

Event Public benefit partnerships: commissioning for innovation, social value and impact – On 24th September the Public Service Transformation Academy (PSTA) are hosting an event with E3M to look at public benefit partnerships. It will look at the principles and practice of how they work and share case studies and examples. PSTA 

Event Managing risk in outsourcing: A cross sector conversation with the Cabinet Office – This event will take place on Thursday 10th October in London. Following on from the publication of the Outsourcing Playbook earlier this year, the Whitehall and Industry Group (WIG) will host a session on managing risk. Speakers include Clare Gibbs, Director of Outsourcing, Cabinet Office. WIG 

Event Innovation through collaboration: How to work with others to achieve your goals – This is a free online workshop co-hosted with the National Association of County and City Health Officials. It will be held on Wednesday 9th October 2019, 4-5pm (BST). It will look at how to be an effective collaborator, lessons from case studies, and bringing others onto the policy journey. Apolitical 

Data and measurement 

Opinion 4 types of data necessary for outcomes-based financing – This article from Brookings looks at impact bonds and the data required for design and implementation: 1) Cost data 2) Cost of inaction data 3) Real-time performance data 4) results data. You can read in more detail about each one in the article with examples. Brookings 
Opinion Nine trends in social impact measurment – and how they could impact your organisation– Social impact measurement is an ever growing and changing field of practice. This blog shares trends including the shift towards outcomes based comissioning, emphasis on learning and continuous imporvement rather than ‘evaluation’, emerging approaches to evaluating systems change, and more. Pro bono Australia

Opinion The free market must account for environmental and social impact – This article argues that companies, investors and consumers need an expanded set of metrics that more broadly and accurately measure risk, return and value. In addition, they need practices that support relevant data collection, management, and integration into strategy and decision making. Stanford Social Innovation Review