Urban Institute
Research Analyst

A national symposium on the future of pay for success

June 21, 2017 - 3:49pm

There’s a lot happening in the pay for success (PFS) field. Even as the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is being defunded, there’s a chance that the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA) will create a new source of federal funding for PFS efforts. Jurisdictions are beginning to apply PFS to new topic areas, as illustrated by DC Water’s project to manage storm water runoff in the District of Columbia. And the flurry of federal funding opportunities released last year has spurred new PFS exploration and feasibility efforts across the country.

All of this is to say that now is a great time to step back and take stock of the field. It’s been five years since the first PFS project launched in the United States, and early projects are releasing interim results and lessons learned. In recognition of this moment, the Urban Institute’s Pay for Success Initiative (PFSI) will be hosting a national symposium on the future of pay for success on June 22nd and 23rd, 2017 in Washington, DC.

This invite-only event will bring together field leaders, government officials, topic area experts, and private and philanthropic funders to mull over key questions, such as:

  • What have we learned from the first cohort of pay for success projects?
  • How can cities, counties, and states use pay for success to expand evidence-based policymaking and outcomes-oriented approaches to government?
  • How do we measure and share impact?

Through a mix of panels, speaker sessions, and working groups, the Symposium aims to both tackle these high-level questions facing the field, but also address the practical considerations—evaluation design, project management, building strong partnerships, and so on—that can directly inform the PFS work that our attendees are doing in jurisdictions nationwide. Ultimately, we hope that the Symposium will give jurisdictions the tools they need to continue investing in what works in their communities. 

While the Symposium is invite-only and registration is closed, we encourage you to visit pfs.urban.org, follow @UrbanPFSI on Twitter and our Symposium hashtag #FutureOfPFS, and subscribe to our monthly newsletter – we’ll be sharing lessons learned from the Symposium through those venues in the months to come.

Have a Pay for Success question? Ask our experts here!

As an organization, the Urban Institute does not take positions on issues. Scholars are independent and empowered to share their evidence-based views and recommendations shaped by research. Photo via Shutterstock.