I’m excited to be working with the Policy Innovation Lab at the University of Utah’s Sorensen Global Impact Investing Center to help develop Pay For Success programs across the Western U.S. The PIL works across sectors to develop innovative, data-driven approaches to difficult social and public health challenges. With support from the White House’s Social Innovation Fund, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and the James Lee Sorenson Foundation, the PIL is supporting Pay For Success financing programs across the West, including early childhood projects in Adams County, Colorado and Las Vegas; homelessness projects in Colorado and Boise, Idaho; recidivism in Missoula, Montana; and recidivism and mental health in Utah.
While still in its infancy, Pay For Success is one of the most innovative public funding strategies around and has the potential to leverage billions for effective public programs. In order to realize its promise, however, PFS programs must be based on rigorous research; demonstrate cost-effectiveness, and be developed with thought towards political, financial, and logistic feasibility. The PIL plays and important role in providing both the leadership vision and the technical support to help PFS programs be as successful as possible.