Apr 05, 2013

NYU Wagner Fellow Explores Innovative Methods to Fund Social Programs

NYU Wagner Fellow Megan Golden’s recent report for the Children's Aid Society, "Developing a Social Impact Bond: Lessons from a Provider," explores how social impact bonds can tackle social problems while also saving the government money. Social impact bonds allow the government to contract for positive, cost-saving outcomes; deliver a modest return for investors; and can lead to positive social outcomes. With a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Children's Aid Society began exploring how this innovative financing mechanism could be used to scale up some of its interventions for low-income children in New York City. Megan Golden’s report outlines the steps Children's Aid Society took and the lessons the nonprofit learned in developing several concepts for social impact bonds.

Though social impact bonds are a new innovation and require further research, they offer great promise. Frist, they enable government and service providers to track program outcomes in real time. They also provide the opportunity to envision, and plan for, a world where preventive programs are implemented at scale and expensive remedial programs play a smaller role. 

Continuing her work, Megan is now working with the Institute for Child Success in South Carolina to study the feasibility of using social impact bond financing to expand early childhood interventions in that state.

What's new at NYU Wagner?

Publications

Video

  • WAGTalk: Daniel Smith, “Why Do Cities Go Bankrupt?”

    Professor Dan Smith discusses three of the biggest municipal bankruptcies in U.S. history: Detroit, Michigan; Jefferson County, Alabama; and Stockton, California.
    Finance
  • WAGTalk: Ingrid Gould Ellen, “Preserving History or Hindering Progress”

    The preservation of historic neighborhoods has been the subject of controversy in New York City and in cities around the country. Professor Ingrid Ellen sheds light on this debate.
    Urban Planning
  • WAGTalk: Jonathan Morduch, “U.S. Financial Diaries”

    The U.S. Financial Diaries project tracked the financial behaviors of 250 low-income American households.
    Poverty
  • NYU Wagner's 75th Celebration

    On June 12, 2014, NYU Wagner celebrated 75 years of public service education.
    Education
  • WAGTalk: John Billings, “Improving Care for High Cost/ High Risk Patients”

    Professor John Billings presents research that aims to identify and improve care for high cost/high risk Medicaid patients.
    Health