Since 2012 we have been arguing for a greater focus on alternative models of funding for Public Services in Scotland. It is interesting to note the increasing focus on Social Impact Bonds in England. Of particular interest has been the new partnership between the Cabinet office and the University of Oxford to create a new centre for excellence called the Government Outcomes Lab.
This partnership will promote new ways for the public sector to commission services while achieving better Social Outcomes which “align the interests of local communities, social investors and charities”.
The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson recently said of the centre that it will give local authorities the support they need to develop more Social Impact Bonds from the current 32 to a sector worth £1 billion within 3 years.
In Scotland we have a focus on improving Social Outcomes, but it has so far proved difficult to align the interests of local authorities, social investors and charities.
As such might it not be time in Scotland to explore how alternative models can be applied to innovative government commissioning?
At the Trust we would welcome developing discussion around this area.
Read our paper, Social Investment in Scotland: One Year On.