In my previous post, we looked at the financing cost of social impact bonds (SIBs), their potential for fostering innovation and the transaction costs. In this second section we will take a closer look at whether SIB programs could crowd out or overshadow other social programs, and the challenges involved in measurement and proving that real change has taken place.
Recently a flurry of media (see the New York Times, National Post and Huffington Post, for example) has touted Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) as an innovative way of unlocking new, private sources of finance for effective social programs at no risk to government. While this description may hold true, SIBs are not a panacea: there are shortcomings to the SIB model that will limit its effectiveness to specific situations.
Every year the Schulich School of Business Net Impact chapter organizes a one-day conference that brings together students, alumni and professionals to share knowledge, build networks, and develop skills in the various fields related to sustainability. GreenEdge 2011 will feature presentations and panels led by specialists in the areas of socially responsible finance, social entrepreneurship, good governance and green supply chains, among others.
The conference will be divided up into three concentrated ‘streams’, with three topical panels under each stream: