Research and analysis

Research: Social Impact Bond Commissioning and Replication

Independent report into the challenges and benefits of commissioning social impact bonds and the potential for replication and scaling.



The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport commissioned Ecorys, in partnership with ATQ Consultants, to undertake a study into the challenges and benefits of the process of commissioning Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) in the UK, and the potential for replication and scaling.

The study had two key objectives:

  • To understand the challenges and benefits commissioners have faced in commissioning SIBs, by investigating what the challenges have been, how they have been/could be overcome, how external support and tools have facilitated this process, and how this external support could be improved further.

  • To understand the potential for replicating and/or scaling SIBs, by speaking to commissioners who have replicated and/or scaled SIB models, exploring the barriers and enablers to replication and/or scaling and discussing how external tools/support could facilitate the further replication and scaling of SIBs.

The report presents practical tips to commissioners to facilitate an easier commissioning process and provides recommendations to government to further the replication and scaling of SIBs in the UK.

Published 4 November 2019