Both Commissioning Better Outcomes (CBO) and the Social Outcome Fund (SOF) are now closed to new applications.
The Life Chances Fund is a similar programme to Commissioning Better Outcomes. It is run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Office for Civil Society to support social impact bonds. The Life Chances Fund is closed to new applications.
What was it all about
We have been focusing on approaches that use payment by results (PbR) mechanisms, particularly those which involve social investment such as Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).
To achieve this we have set up two funds - the Cabinet Office’s Social Outcomes Fund (SOF) and The National Lottery Community Fund’s Commissioning Better Outcomes (CBO) – with a joint mission to support the development of more SIBs. Between them, these funds made up to £60 million available to pay for a proportion of outcomes payments for these types of models in complex policy areas, as well as support to develop robust proposals.
Our shared overarching aim was to grow the market in SIBs, while each fund had a specific focus that reflected the missions of The National Lottery Community Fund and Cabinet Office. For The National Lottery Community Fund, this was to enable more people, particularly those most in need, to lead fulfilling lives, in enriching places and as part of successful communities. For the Cabinet Office, this was to catalyse and test innovative approaches to tackling complex issues using outcomes based commissioning.
Applicants who were successful at the expression of interest stage could get technical support from a range of specialist providers. Applicants were also able to apply for a development grant to partly pay for this support. The Directory of SIB Service Providers under the Related Documents section of this page remains relevant to those still progressing towards SIB launch with CBO full award subsidy and to those considering applying to the Life Chances Fund
Useful resources and contacts
The Outcomes funds have committed funding to a varied range of CBO development grants and full awards. A PDF containing copies of press release summaries relating to successful applications to December 2014 can be found below and will continue to be updated as CBO makes further full awards through to late 2017.
The National Lottery Community Fund has appointed ATQ Consultants as programme evaluators. More detailed information on this CBO programme evaluation is provided in PDF form as a related document below.
Social impact bonds: The State of Play report by Ecorys and ATQ
Ecorys and ATQ have also produced a report on Social Impact Bonds: The State of Play. This report looks at the state of play of SIBs in the UK and the perceived challenges and benefits of them. The report draws on a review of available literature about SIBs; a series of in-depth consultations with organisations centrally involved in the policy, strategic and/or operational development of SIBs; and surveys with the core groups involved in SIBs.
Summary information on the evaluation is set out below.