Each year, the Annual Conference of the Early Childhood Social Impact Performance Advisors hosts one of the nation’s most dynamic conversations about the feasibility, research, and policy implications of Pay for Success programs. The conference is organized by the Institute for Child Success, Ready Nation, and Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah, with whom I partner as a Senior Research Fellow.
At this year’s conference, hundreds of folks representing funders, advocates, service providers, researchers, and policymakers converged in Denver to talk shop. I participated in a panel discussion on data issues with PFS programs along with Gary Glickman at Accenture Consulting; Adam Jageleweski, Managing Director at the Centre for Impact Investing in Toronto; and Chris Kelleher of Oregon Health and Science University’s Center for Evidence-based Policy. Our panel’s session, titled “Developing Robust Data and Systems to Support Outcomes,” explored the best ways to determine what data are needed for PFS systems, tradeoffs in using existing datasets versus building new ones, and planning for ongoing data collection to support evaluation. We also engaged in a lively discussion about the various tradeoffs in addressing the needs of children, service providers, and funders in a PFS context.