Seeking interest in social bond pilots

The Ministry of Health is seeking groups interested in social bond pilots:

A new and innovative alternative to the way social services are delivered has come a step closer, Minister of Finance Bill English and Health Minister Tony Ryall say.

The Government last year agreed to a social bonds pilot and people are now able to register their interest in becoming an intermediary in the pilot programme.

An intermediary is a person or group who brings investors and service providers together. The intermediary uses their skills in project management and finance to raise funds and drive performance to achieve agreed outcomes. 

“The Government does not have all the answers to our communities’ problems and social bonds are one new way to involve investors and private or not-for-profit organisations in improving social outcomes, while achieving value for taxpayers,” Mr English says. 

Mr Ryall says social bonds give service providers greater freedom and flexibility to use private capital and expertise to deliver services to their communities – with the Government paying a return depending on achievement of agreed outcomes.

“This shifts risk from the taxpayer and provides an incentive for our investment community to use its expertise for generating results in the social sector,” Mr Ryall says.

Social bonds trials are underway in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia where examples of their use include targets of reducing reoffending, increasing employment, improving outcomes for children in care, and improving management of chronic health conditions.

In New Zealand, service providers have submitted their ideas and a shortlist is being compiled by the Ministry of Health, which is leading cross-agency work on the pilot.

“We’re still in the early stages here but progress from the overseas pilots is encouraging,” says Mr Ryall.

“We see potential for social bonds to deliver better results and attract investment to preventative services and we think the time is right to pilot this model here.”

Mr English says there is a strong alignment between the social bonds model and many of the other initiatives being put in place across government like Better Public Services where the focus is on achieving results for the investment New Zealanders make in public services through their taxes.

“If successful, the social bonds pilot might attract investment and offer lessons that could be used for contracting in future, including further social bonds,” Mr English says.

How refreshing, and encouraging, to have a government which admits it doesn’t have all the answers and is willing to try a different approach to solve problems.

Rewarding achievement puts the risk with the provider while giving them a strong incentive to succeed.

This isn’t just throwing money at problems, it’s aimed at getting solutions.

More information of Social Bond Pilots is here.

3 Responses to Seeking interest in social bond pilots

  1. Andrei says:

    A technocratic solution built by technocrats to provide business opportunities for failed technocrats sigh

    Oh know the answer I might provide to alleviate all the worlds problems might seem trite or naive but it is simple “LOVE”.

    When the family next door is struggling and their kids need new shoes if the community has the will the new shoes will be forthcoming and given in a non patronizing way.

    This is hard to get right sometimes – often in fact but when I see the little sisters of the poor outside the supermarket in their habits, asking not for money but for specific grocery items, I’m inclined to do my bit because this is the way forward.

    Not middle class women endlessly chattering over power point slides how to get money from the Government, money which will mainly go to produce more power point slides and PR Gumph, to advance their vision of a perfect world I walk on by


  2. Judge Holden says:

    Maybe you could give new shirt in non patronizing way to mighty Putin. He lost his in struggle getting on horse. You LOVE him yes?


  3. Andrei says:

    Alas this post attracted little interest Judge Holden.

    How we improve the lives of those we share the planet with is perhaps one of the most important issues we might like to discuss.

    Ele thinks it important I know and so do the Minister of Finance Bill English and Health Minister Tony Ryall.

    I think the proposal offered here is well intentioned but misguided and said so, perhaps in a manner that was far too cynical,

    The problem is of course that the resources put into such endevours get absorbed in “administration” and as time progresses the purpose of the exercise becomes lost as the people running the thing become totally consumed by day to day operation and less and less involved in getting what needs done done as their organization becomes its own reason for existence,

    Sad but true

    But the circus that is Kim Dotcom seems to exercise the minds of Ele’s readers more than this and you seem to have an obsession with Vladimir Putin’s outdoor activities in Siberia from a few years ago, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the matter at hand, not even peripherally and so this post passed virtually unremarked.


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