This post originally appeared on Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Blog and is co-authored by Deirdre Flynn, Associate Director, Pay for Success Program.
The Pay for Success (PFS) field has gone through astonishing changes in the years since the first contracts launched in the US. Those early projects (Rikers Island, Massachusetts Juvenile Justice, New York CEO, Cuyahoga) all only wavered from the original concept in minor ways. In brief, those projects all had payment based on a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) evaluation with the vast majority of success payments linked to the formal population-level
In the recent discussion concerning evidence-based practices, many practitioners believe that the current approach to collecting evidence, validating findings, and replicating evidence-based programs (EBPs) has distorted the funding system for social services. Others argue that relaxing the focus on evidence-based practices will welcome a world where once again anecdotes and heuristics guide funding decisions. At Third Sector, we believe there is another way forward: continuous impact measurement using administrative data. If government made low-cost impact management an element of their program oversight, it could better hold providers accountable for quantifiable