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Social Outcomes Conference 2019

Professor Mildred Warner SIB Conf
Professor Mildred Warner speaking at the 2018 conference

In pursuit of social outcomes: the international conference on impact bonds, outcomes contracts, and beyond

Hosted by the Government Outcomes Lab at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, in partnership with the Policy Innovation and Evaluation Research Unit at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Newcastle University Business School


Governments and international donor agencies around the world have become increasingly focused on outcomes – the positive results that programmes produce in the lives of service users and citizens – rather than the volume or quality of activity. This ‘outcomes-based’ model encompasses a range of approaches. The conference will focus on models that encourage collaboration across sectors, such as outcomes-based commissioning, social impact bonds, outcomes funds, and place-based approaches. 

We are interested in exploring how well these approaches work in practice. We want to strengthen the understanding of when and how this focus on outcomes can be effective for delivering public services, and whether it can be more effective than other options. We aim to ensure that this emerging knowledge is used to equip government policy-makers with more and better tools to tackle complex social issues. 

In keeping with the 2018 conference, we will once again bring together the most distinguished academic and practitioner voices from different countries and disciplines for an in-depth exploration of the practice and evidence base around the implementation of outcomes-based models of public service provision from across the world.  

The conference will be of interest to academics, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers and will include keynote speeches from international experts and interactive group sessions alongside more traditional academic paper presentations. 

The provisional programme of the conference will be announced in June 2019.

Call for papers

We are delighted to invite the submission of both original research abstracts and proposals for practice-focused presentations. Submissions may be made by:

  • researchers
  • policy-makers
  • contracting bodies / commissioners
  • providers of social services
  • social investors
  • other stakeholders in the field of social outcomes

If you wish to present at the conference, please submit a 500 word abstract by filling in the Abstract Submission Form by Tuesday 07th May 2019, 12pm BST.

Read more about the call for papers

Fees & registration

The participation fee is £200 (2-day full fee), £100 (1-day full fee) or £50 (student fee), and includes lunch on both days as well as a conference dinner in Oxford on the evening of 05th September. The GO Lab offers a limited number of free places for UK public sector commissioners. If you are a public sector commissioner working in the UK and would like to attend the conference, please get in touch with us at  

Book your place

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