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This brief seeks to shed light on the beneficiaries, or those individuals who receive the services and interventions financed by impact bonds.

Based on data from the Brookings Global Impact Bonds Database, across all 194 impact bonds contracted to date, nearly 2 million beneficiaries have been targeted to receive services. The majority of beneficiaries are youth and young adults marginalized due to unemployment or other social issues. Some impact bonds target population groups that are particularly vulnerable, for example women and girls and refugee or migrant populations, but these are in the minority. In some cases, impact bond interventions have failed to reach those for whom outcomes are hardest to achieve.

This brief highlights the beneficiary voice and considers some of the challenges and strategies to ensure that interventions reach those most in need of impact bond services.