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This publication explains pioneering European Social Fund (ESF) financing instruments in Portugal that are being implemented during the 2014-2020 programming period through a Social Innovation Initiative with the special focus on the Social Impact Bonds Programme. The study had two main objectives:

  1. To provide practical guidance to other Member States willing to implement this type of financing mechanism under the ESF, during the current 2014-2020 programming period;
  2. To provide lessons learned and recommendations that could be used as evidence-based inputs for supporting the European Commission in the design of the regulatory framework for the next programming period, namely concerning innovative ESF financing mechanisms.