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As the use of Social Outcomes Contracts (SOCs) including impact bonds has expanded, questions have arisen about whether and how timebound, tightly defined social outcomes contracts fit within and could support broader and longer-term capacity building around effective policy implementation at the country and system level.

This working paper seeks to bring lessons from other forms of results-based finance and early thinking from SOC practitioners into a conceptual framework for use by researchers and evaluators, practitioners and governments. The framework focuses on examples from low- and middle-income countries, but also has relevance to higher income country contexts.