Social Impact Bonds: Can a Market Prescription Cure Social Ills? (Knowledge@Wharton)

Social impact bonds (SIBs) — a promising new financial instrument designed to address social problems — face a number of obstacles, even as government leaders in the U.S. are ready to give them a try.

Katherina Rosqueta, founding executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy, says SIBs are part of an overall trend for organizations and individuals demanding more measurement of how their investments in, or donations to, programs are actually performing. “We live in an information-rich age, so there is more access to information on what is being done and what works,” Rosqueta says. “The economic environment has put pressure on all of us to understand how you get results with what will always be limited funds.”

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