Cabinet Office has announced a partnership with the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford to create a new centre of excellence for Social Impact Bonds and innovative government commissioning, called the Government Outcomes Lab.
The 5-year partnership will develop world-leading research in this field and provide practical, on the ground support to local commissioners.
The Government Outcomes Lab will find new ways for the public sector to commission services while achieving better social outcomes, aligning the interests of local authorities, social investors and charities.
Government initiatives such as the Fair Chance Fund have contributed towards the development of 32 Social Impact Bonds across the UK, supporting tens of thousands of beneficiaries in areas like youth unemployment, mental health and homelessness.
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson said:
Social Impact Bonds represent a revolution in the way government can deliver public services. They generate huge potential savings for the taxpayer, the prospect of increased revenues for charities and social enterprises and returns to social investors.
The Government Outcomes Lab will give local authorities the support they need to develop more Social Impact Bonds more quickly and build a centre of research excellence within the UK. It will continue our world leadership in this area and help us to build a truly compassionate society.
Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, said:
Governments everywhere will benefit from research, data and training which helps them to focus on outcomes and to work better with the private and not-for-profit sectors.
The partnership with the Cabinet Office brings the strength and momentum of the Blavatnik School of Government together with a powerful transformative initiative in the UK government.
Matt Robinson, Director of Strategy and Market Development, Big Society Capital, said:
It is exciting news that the Blavatnik School of Government will run a Government Outcomes Lab in the UK. This will see a step change in the intelligence, data and support provided to anyone wanting to use outcome-based approaches to reforming public services.
The Government Outcomes Lab will enter an intensive phase of design and recruitment. A Director for the Centre will be appointed and will create a centre of excellence at the Blavatnik School of Government for outcomes-based commissioning and Social Impact Bonds. The Government Outcomes Lab will harness expertise from across Oxford University and work closely with the Cabinet Office.
The Blavatnik School of Government was founded in 2010 at the University of Oxford with the mission to inspire and support better government through world-class teaching, research, and engagement with governments.