Rayanne Hawkins
Urban Institute
Business Operations Manager
Urban Institute
Research Associate II

Procuring for Success

Lessons to Support a Shift Toward Procuring Outcomes

Pay for success (PFS) is designed to alter the way governments contract for services by encouraging a shift away from paying for activities to paying for outcomes. This shift may also affect how governments define the services they need, select providers, and establish the business terms that define provider relationships (i.e., the procurement process). This brief provides government stakeholders interested in PFS with important lessons on how a strong procurement process can improve PFS projects. It discusses how government stakeholders should identify and define outcomes for payment; solicit public input through RFIs, RFRs, or RFPs; engage other stakeholders, including intermediaries, service providers, investors, and evaluators; and consider passing special legislation to enable contracts based on paying for outcomes.

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