Rayanne Hawkins
Urban Institute
Policy Program Associate I am passionate about improvi

How to implement a pay for success project: Resources from Colorado

February 6, 2019 - 1:56pm

Looking for information on how your state can implement pay for success or social impact partnerships? Check out two online resources from Colorado’s Research and Evidence-Based Policy initiative: the Call for Innovation and Pay for Success (PFS) web pages. The pages outline how the state launched three pilot PFS projects serving Colorado youth.

Call for Innovation

The call for innovation page houses background resources highlighting what Colorado hoped to gain from new PFS contracts and the initial stages of the application process. The resources include the governor’s “Call for Innovation” solicitation; requests for information for projects using multi-systemic therapy (the type of intervention the state was interested in using); information on the selection process the state used to winnow applications from 61 to three; and information about the state’s budget request to the legislature  for pilot programs.

Pay for Success  

The PFS web page contains the most up-to-date information about the PFS pilot projects for youth, including a project factsheet and the contracts with the service providers for each. The web page also provides a background on PFS, a link to Colorado’s PFS legislation, and summaries of two feasibility studies on vulnerable youth in the state.

These resources provide an overview of Colorado’s efforts to launch PFS, and an example of how to build a new project from the ground up. The state’s journey began when it passed PFS legislation in 2015, then proceeded when it conducted a feasibility study on improving outcomes for underserved youth, produced the Call for Innovation in January of 2017, selected projects, prepared the budget request a year later, implemented the service provider contracts, and finally launched the projects. Their public resources can help states and localities who are looking to undertake a PFS project and speed up the selection and launch process.


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