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The Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) have entered into a new partnership to consolidate data and knowledge-sharing infrastructure on outcomes-based contracts, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

As part of the efforts to better understand how outcomes-based contracts might deliver better health outcomes in South Africa, the SAMRC recently entered into a partnership with the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab), a research and policy centre based in the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. The partnership is funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and focuses on consolidating learning, evidence and data sharing regarding the use of outcomes-based approaches in African countries, as part of the International Network for Data on Impact and Government Outcomes (INDIGO).

The SAMRC will build on their experience developing the first wholly government-funded social impact bond (SIB) in South Africa. The “Imagine SIB” aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health of vulnerable adolescent girls and young women (AGYW). According to Dr. Nevilene Slingers, Executive Program Manager at the SAMRC’s Office of AIDS and TB Research, this collaboration with GO Lab will enable SAMRC to employ capacity and resources which will help the partnership build evidence to accelerate learning across the emerging outcomes ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa.

Petro Rousseau will be the second INDIGO Data Steward of the network, and the first one in Africa. The new Data Steward will play a key role in the vibrant INDIGO team working towards getting more data on outcomes contracts and making it comparable. She will join Juliana Outes Velarde, Senior Data Steward, Ozioma Paul, Systems and Data Analyst, and Jorge Norio Rezende Ikawa, Data Steward in Latin America.

Mara Airoldi, Academic Director at the GO Lab, says the partnership with SAMRC is part of a strategy to create a global network of data stewards, in order to incentivise local knowledge sharing, and help the GO Lab to better understand the context surrounding data sources. “We are thrilled to see the first data steward in South Africa. We look forward to working with them to bring together researchers, practitioners and policymakers to better understand how data can help us unlock new insights to improve social outcomes and work towards a shared standard for social outcomes contracting.”, she says.

About the Government Outcomes Lab

The Government Outcomes Lab is a research and policy centre based in the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. We were created as a partnership between the School and the UK Government and we are funded by a range of organisations. Our role is to investigate how governments partner with the private and social sectors to improve social outcomes.

About the South African Medical Research Council

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) aims to improve the health of the country’s population, through research, development and technology transfer. The scope of the organisation’s research projects includes tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular and non-communicable diseases, gender and health, and alcohol and other drug abuse. With a strategic objective to help strengthen the health systems of the country – in line with that of the Department of Health, the SAMRC constantly identifies the main causes of death in South Africa.

About Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

CIFF is an independent philanthropic organisation that works with a range of partners seeking to transform the lives of children and adolescents. It plays a catalytic role as both funder and influencer to deliver urgent and lasting change at scale. Areas of work include maternal and child health, adolescent sexual health, nutrition, education, and deworming, tackling child slavery and exploitation, increasing opportunities for girls and young women, and supporting smart ways to slow down and stop climate change. 

CIFF places significant emphasis on transparency, quality data and evidence. For many of its grants, it works with partners to measure and evaluate progress to achieve large scale and sustainable impact.