Urban Institute
Senior Fellow
Justin Milner
Urban Institute
Senior Research Associate
Urban Institute
Research Product Manager

More Than Cost Savings

A New Framework for Valuing Potential Pay for Success Projects

A popular benefit of the pay for success (PFS) model is its potential to finance programs that, if successful, will save governments more than they cost. But in practice, this limits the number of programs eligible for PFS. It also incorrectly assumes that most governments place little value on the non-fiscal benefits. With this reality in mind, this paper outlines a holistic framework that integrates potential fiscal and non-fiscal benefits, providing policymakers with clear and simple criteria when considering PFS projects.

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