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Engaging with Evidence is a series of interactive online convenings hosted by the GO Lab and designed to encourage a greater understanding of the latest evidence on the use of cross-sector partnerships focused on outcomes. Throughout 2021, this webinar series 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. Participants 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.

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. The series aims to 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.

What to expect

Each session will last 90 minutes and will feature a distillation of key findings, reflections from a diverse panel of experts, as well as ample time for contributions and questions from all participants. Topics that we will explore as part of this series include: lessons from Latin America around building a SIB ecosystem, evidence from the implementation of development impact bonds in low- and middle- income countries, insights from the experience with impact bonds in the UK, insights around the use of social outcomes contracting in Europe, learning from the design and implementation of outcomes funds. 

Our sessions will be chaired by Andreea Anastasiu, Policy and Engagement Manager (GO Lab), and Tanyah Hameed, Research and Policy Associate (GO Lab). All sessions are free to attend and open to all, but will be of particular interest to policymakers and other practitioners interested in developing sustainable, system-wide outcomes-based approaches.  

2021 Sessions 

Session 1 25 January 2021: Developing the SIB ecosystem: Lessons from Latin America

Session 2 23 February 2021: Engaging with Evidence: Lessons from the FCDO Development Impact Bonds Pilot Programme

Session 3 17 March 2021: Lessons from the world’s first maternal health development impact bond  

Session 4 19 April 2021: Understanding outcomes funds around the world

Session 5 20 May 2021: Insights from the development of Social Outcomes Contracts (SOCs) in Europe

Session 6 14 June 2021: Resilience in outcomes-based partnerships and key considerations for Covid-19 recovery 

Session 7 29 September 2021: Scaling and sustaining impact: Lessons from the Cameroon Kangaroo Mother Care DIB

Upcoming sessions

After our summer break, the Engaging with Evidence series is returning with a deep dive session on lessons learnt from key stakeholders of the Cameroon Kangaroo Mother Care DIB.

The Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) Development Impact Bond (DIB) was launched in February 2019 to improve neonatal health outcomes in ten public hospitals across five regions in Cameroon through the delivery of quality Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC). Addressing the high rate of under-five mortality in Cameroon, KMC is an intervention for saving and caring for infants by administering continuous skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, and early discharge from hospital with follow-up. As the programme comes to an end in September 2021, those involved in the delivery of the programme have recently undertaken a multi-stakeholder learning exercise to reflect on the DIB’s decision-making and governance structures, data and learning mechanisms, financial structure, management systems, and how to sustain impact after the DIB.

In this session, we will explore what the key lessons have been for the stakeholders involved in this programme, what results were achieved, what comes next after the DIB, and what this might tell us about the potential to use outcomes-based approaches to introduce and scale social interventions.

Past sessions

For the sixth session of our Engaging with Evidence series, we brought together academic and practitioner perspectives to reflect on the role of outcomes-based financing and impact bonds in building resilient services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Date: 14 June 3:30-5:00pm BST

Covid-19 has exacerbated gaps in financing and delivery of public services. Across the world, there is a need to respond to growing demand pressures but governments’ abilities to do so are constrained by adverse effects on already-stretched public finances and government operations. While outcomes-based financing and impact bonds have recently gained traction as helpful tools, can their strengths be channeled towards post-pandemic recovery?

We invited leading experts to reflect on the resilience of outcomes-based contracting during Covid-19 and their role in post-pandemic recovery. This discussion was built on recent research from the Government Outcomes Lab and the World Bank, discussing the opportunities these tools can bring as well as complications that need to be addressed.

Session recording

For the fifth session of the Engaging with Evidence series, we took stock of the state of play of social outcomes contracts in Europe and discussed with policymakers and other leading experts how and when this instrument can best be used to help address complex social problems.

We were joined by a group of expert policymakers and leading practitioners from around Europe to take stock of the state of play on SOCs in the continent. Together, we reflected on how this model is being adapted in different contexts and sought to understand how these financing mechanisms can be best applied. To recognise some of the practical considerations for successful development and implementation of SOCs, we looked at some of the countries that have been leading the way with SOCs in Europe, and explored the drivers, success factors and constraints underpinning these initiatives.

The session drew on practitioners' insights and data from the Government Outcomes Lab's Impact Bond Dataset to explore how social outcomes contracts (SOCs) are being adopted and adapted across Europe to address a wide range of social problems. 

Resources

For the fourth session of our Engagement with Evidence series, we hosted an online session on the global landscape of outcomes funds. The session drew on recent research conducted by the Government Outcomes Lab and practitioners' insights into the design and implementation of outcomes funds. 

We brought together academic and practitioner perspectives to take stock of the global landscape of outcomes funds and explore the various approaches to these funds in different contexts and geographies. The discussion was anchored in recent empirical research conducted by the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) that investigates the rationales for developing outcomes funds in the UK and internationally, and offers an analytical framework for characterising outcomes funds. 

Speakers included senior researchers from the GO Lab at the University of Oxford, alongside experts from the UK Government, the Education Outcomes Fund, Social Finance and Instiglio.  

Session recording

For the third session of our Engagement with Evidence series, we hosted an online session on new evidence and insights from the world's first development impact bond for maternal health, the Utkrisht Impact Bond.

The session provided implementation insights from the main stakeholders involved in the Utkrisht development impact bond, the world's first maternal and newborn health impact bond. We drew on Mathematica's recent midline report which outlines findings and insights from this experiment in innovative finance for maternal health. 

We were joined by a leading panel of speakers from across the globe. They brought expertise on social innovation, global health, health financing and international development, as well as their own practical experience working on impact bonds. 

Resources:

For the second session of our Engagement with Evidence series, we hosted an online session on new evidence and insights from four Development Impact Bonds (DIBs) across Africa and Asia.

We drew on a recent Ecorys report which captures lessons from the delivery phase of FCDO’s DIBs pilot programme. Through this, we explored key ingredients in DIBs to increase efficiency and effectiveness, the conditions for DIBs to be an appropriate commissioning tool, and the costs and benefits of using them. 

We were joined by a leading panel of speakers from across the globe. They brought expertise on impact investment, humanitarian aid and international development, as well as their own practical experience in impact bond management. 

Resources:

To launch GO Lab’s Engaging with Evidence series, we hosted an online session on new evidence and insights from the implementation of social impact bonds (SIBs) in Latin America.

To launch GO Lab’s Engaging with Evidence series, we hosted an online session in partnership with Ecorys and the Innovation Lab of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Lab), focussing on new evidence and insights from the process of developing social impact bonds (SIBs) in Latin America. The session drew on a recent Ecorys report which captures lessons from the experience of introducing SIBs in five Latin American countries: Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil. We explored key factors for developing the SIB ecosystem, discussed how these can be applied elsewhere, and invited participants to share their experiences from different contexts.

We were joined by a leading panel of speakers from across the globe. They brought expertise on impact investment, social innovation and development finance as well as their own practical experience in launching and leading social impact bonds in the region.

Resources:

Moderators