After seven years ‘in the trenches’ as part of Australia’s foray into social impact bonds, Elyse Sainty shares her insights around SIB myths and legends (part 1).
It has been quite a rollercoaster ride being part of the obscure world of social impact bonds (SIBs) while they were largely unexplored territory and everyone involved had to do a lot of making it up as we went along. There have been times of frustration, exhilaration, and the satisfaction of complex problems solved. Strong friendships and strained relationships. Lessons learnt, sometimes the hard way, and lots to celebrate, particularly when things work out as hoped and meaningful positive change happens in the lives of those that it is all about.
Is it all worth it? In short, yes, but with a few caveats. In this article I’ll expand upon this, challenging a few myths (in part 1) and sharing some of my personal ‘thoughts and prayers’ (in part 2) about the role that SIBs could play in the evolution of a system that focuses on what is important, uses evidence to shape responses, and delivers for the community.
It is worth saying up front that the musings are purely my own, and I reserve the right to change my mind completely as events unfold…
SOURCE: Elyse Sainty. “Social impact bonds: a letter from the frontline — part 1” The Mandarin, 08 May 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia