Background

In a world of greater fiscal constraint and public accountability, Impact Bonds and similar-pay-for- success mechanisms offer development agencies and governments a powerful tool for mobilizing some of the world’s most creative capital and know-how to make optimal use of scarce public resources and official development assistance (ODA). These models blend a transformational approach to the financing and delivery of social services with the potential to become important tools for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A key reason for their efficacy resides in the results and accountability that accrue when development objectives are grounded on robust data, empirics and a virtuous circle of learning-by-doing and continuous improvement.

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Objectives

The objective of the Impact Bonds Working Group (“the Working Group”) is to design a strategy that will help members use impact bonds and related pay-for-success instruments effectively at scale and contribute to launching quality development projects.

The Working Group will contribute to realization of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the Sustainable Development Goals, and other relevant international agreements and declarations.

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Roadmap

Launch of the Impact Bond Working Group
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Outcome Fund Roundtable – Zurich, Switzerland, January 18, 2018

First Impact Bond Working Group Meeting
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Brussels, Belgium, May 15 -17, 2018
2.5-day workshop to define priority barriers and strategy options to make impact bonds a more cost-effective and scalable proposition.
Four sub-groups formed.

Presentation of mid-term progress report of Impact Bond Working Group to the Development Committee on Enterprise Development (DCED)
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June 8, 2018, Canada
Presentation made by Liliana de Sa from SECO on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Impact Bond Working Group

Second Impact Bond Working Group Meeting
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Barcelona, Spain, July 9 – 11, 2018
Focus on refining strategy options, receiving input and feedback from larger expert community, and defining action steps for bringing forward concrete initiatives

Third Impact Bond Working Group Meeting
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Washington DC, February 26 – 27, 2019
Focus on refining prototypes of two concrete initiatives (the Outcomes Accelerator Platform Partnership and the IBWG Knowledge-Sharing Platform) with input and feedback from larger expert community, and defining action steps to operationalize the initiatives.

On-going Working Group activities
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March 2019 - onwards
Implementation of Working Group recommendations
On-going knowledge sharing
Contingent on extension of mandate

Activities

The Working Group will operate through periodic convenings at workshops aimed at designing a joint strategy which identifies the resources necessary for the strategy to be implemented. Members will be expected to work collaboratively and contribute to workshops with information gathered within their organizations and follow up individually, e.g. should any decisions need to be formally approved.

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Membership

The objective of the Impact Bonds Working Group (“the Working Group”) is to design a strategy that will help members use impact bonds and related pay-for-success instruments effectively at scale and contribute to launching quality development projects.

Any interested bilateral or multilateral donor organization that is supporting or planning to support interventions using impact bonds or other pay-for-success contracting structures will be eligible to become a full-time member of this group. The group will also be open to private foundations and national governments in developing countries on a case-by-case basis where there is a strong interest in this space. In the event that a substantial number of prospective new members seek to join, taking Working Group membership to over 30 members (or such other number that the Executive Committee recommends), the Executive Committee and the Secretariat may present a proposal for a revised work plan and governance structure to the Members’ General Assembly to accommodate the growth in membership.

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