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Outcomes funds are becoming an increasingly prominent approach within the ecosystem of social outcomes contracting and impact bond development. Whilst outcomes funds gain popularity as a policy tool, a gap persists in documenting and describing their adoption worldwide. That's why the Government Outcomes Lab offers a Fund Directory with standardised variables about the characteristics of the fund and links to the associated projects. 

There is no standard or agreed definition as to what constitutes an 'outcomes fund'. Broadly, an outcomes fund is an approach that enables several outcomes-based contracts to be developed and supported in parallel. A common goal espoused by outcomes fund developers is to improve services that tackle complex social issues by growing the outcomes contracting market particularly by funding impact bonds and other payment-by-results mechanisms. In their broadest sense outcomes funds signal a commitment to pay for social outcomes, rather than inputs or activities.