PFS Guidance: Briefs and Reports


The Role of Pay for Success Evaluators: Lessons Learned

Drawing on the experiences of Urban researchers engaged in PFS evaluations, this paper focuses on the unique characteristics and primary responsibilities of the evaluator in designing and implementing PFS evaluations, as well as ways in which the evaluator can leverage their expertise to go beyond these primary roles to work with each PFS stakeholder to strengthen both the project and the evaluation. Urban’s experience has shown that the early and continuous engagement of an evaluator is important as PFS projects proceed through stages of development.


Results-Based Financing Approaches:Observations for Pay for Success from International Experiences

Globally, policymakers and the public are searching for solutions to help ensure money meant for public service delivery goes to fund effective programs. One such solution, results-based financing (RBF), leverages existing or new financial resources to incentivize results by paying for desired outcomes or outputs. RBF approaches are diverse and have emerged in different contexts and with different partners. Generally, however, they share two characteristics: payment is based on results and the relationship between payment and results is predefined.


Pay for Success Project Assessment Tool

The PFS Project Assessment Tool (PAT) helps people answer a fundamental question: What makes for a strong PFS project? It describes core elements of PFS projects, explains why those elements are important, provides a scoring system to help distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of a proposed project, and generates recommendations for improving those weak areas. The PAT is designed for individuals, governments, and organizations working through PFS projects or, even earlier on, simply considering engagement with PFS.


An Introduction to Evaluation Designs in Pay for Success Projects

This brief provides a basic overview of evaluation designs to assist pay for success (PFS) stakeholders engaged in deal development. It focuses on comparison and its relation to various designs, and it presents key questions that PFS planners should address as they participate in evaluation design discussions. In PFS projects, strong evaluations are tasked with determining what happened, if the program caused these outcomes, and if outcome payments are triggered.


Managing Investors’ Risk in Pay for Success Projects

Pay for success (PFS) projects offer governments opportunities to invest in outcomes and employ new capital to meet the needs of their communities. But PFS projects also carry risks. For investors, the risks relate to the project failing to meet its outcomes or the government reneging on its commitment to pay. Investors’ perceptions of risk matter. Projects with high or unclear risk may discourage investors and prevent the project from launching.