The GPL Awards TA to California, Connecticut, and Illinois

February 23, 2017

The GPL announced that it selected California, Connecticut, and Illinois to receive technical assistance developing performance improvement projects that apply Pay for Success principles to core agency services in areas including poverty alleviation, family stability, and higher education. Read more

See also: GPL Highlights

Illinois Launches PFS Project

November 18, 2016

On November 18th, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced the launch of the  Illinois Dually-Involved Youth Pay for Success Initiative. The project will expand therapeutic and wraparound services to over 800 youth across the state who are simultaneously involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, with the goal of reducing their high recidivism and institutionalization rates as well as increasing wellbeing and transitions to adulthood. Five other Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab partner governments launched PFS projects in 2016. Read more.

See also: GPL Highlights, 2016

DC Water Launches Nation's First Environmental Impact Bond

September 29, 2016

On September 29th, the DC Water and Sewer Authority issued the nation’s first Environmental Impact Bond. This $25 million bond issuance will fund the initial green infrastructure installation in DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project – a project that aims to reduce combined sewage overflows (CSOs) into the Anacostia River, Potomac River, and Rock Creek tributaries. Read more. 

See also: GPL Highlights, 2016

Connecticut Launches PFS Project

September 28, 2016

On September 28th, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced the launch of the Department of Children and Families’ PFS project. The project will expand treatment by Family Based Recovery (FBR) clinicians providing substance use recovery and parenting support services to approximately 500 families in order to increase family stability and prevent removals of children from their homes. Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner Rafael Lopez, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, and Social Finance CEO Tracy Palandjian participated in the launch event round table along with FBR case workers and families who had received FBR services. Read more

See also: GPL Highlights, 2016

Michigan Launches PFS Project

September 23, 2016

Michigan formally announced the launch of a PFS project, developed with GPL technical assistance, to expand the Strong Beginnings program, an initiative that provides expanded home visiting services to high-risk pregnant women, with additional services for children extending from infants to age 2. The project partners held their first Executive Committee meeting this week.   Read more.

See also: GPL Highlights, 2016

Government Performance Lab Receives $2.16M Grant

May 10, 2016

The Social Innovation Fund awarded a $2.16M grant to the GPL to support its work of providing technical assistance to state and local governments developing projects using Pay for Success tools and methodologies.  The GPL will hold an open competition and select up to five jurisdictions to receive technical assistance, which will include support with outcomes-based contract drafting, procurement of service provider and evaluator, identification of outcomes and payors, implementation of active contract management strategies, and evaluation plan design. Read more.

See also: GPL Highlights, 2016
More highlights

Publications and Presentations

Social Impact Bonds 101

March 2, 2017

sibs_101.pngAs of March 2017, the GPL has provided government-side technical assistance on 9 of the 15 launched PFS projects in the US. This new GPL policy brief discusses the reasons that governments around the country are testing the Pay for Success approach.  It also explains the PFS model, describes PFS projects in the US to date, and presents some of the lessons learned from the initial US PFS projects. Read more.

Outcome and Process Metrics Developed for Seattle’s Homeless Services Contracts

January 17, 2017

homelessness_metrics.pngAs part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the Government Performance Lab (GPL) helped Seattle’s Human Services Department develop outcome and process metrics for their homeless services to help focus improvement efforts on more meaningful measures of success. The GPL is publishing this list of recommended metrics with the goal of helping other governments seeking to adopt a data-driven approach to managing their homeless services contracts. Read more. 

Using Results-Driven Contracting to Improve Metro-Boston’s Bike Share Procurement

January 4, 2017

This new GPL policy brief describes metro-Boston's use of results-driven contracting in its procurement for an operator of its bike share system, Hubway. Boston and the other three participating municipalities that host the system leveraged this procurement to improve the user experience and expand their station network. The GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to Boston and its partners on this procurement through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative. Read more. 

Manhattan Institute Chapter on Improving City Procurement 

October 4, 2016

GPL Assistant Director Hanna Azemati and  Professor Liebman coauthored a chapter in the Manhattan Institute’s newly published book, Retooling Metropolis. Based on the Government Performance Lab’s work with cities, this chapter discusses cities’ top ten contracting and procurement challenges as well as how cities can address these by treating procurement as a strategic priority and managing contracts in an active and performance-focused way. Case studies of exemplary approaches to procurements and contracts include Boston’s problem-focused website redesign procurement, Seattle’s reform of the structure and management of its homeless services contracts, and Denver’s Pay for Success contract for supportive housing services. Read more.

More publications and presentations

Government Documents

Latest News

How Seattle Used Results-Driven Contracting to Improve Homeless Services

May 15, 2017

“What we’ve got to do is establish performance expectations and work very closely with the providers that we are investing in to make sure they’re successful.” Learn more from Jason Johnson, the Deputy Director of Seattle’s Human Services Department, about the City’s efforts to improve outcomes of its homeless services using results-driven contracting and active contract management. The GPL provided technical assistance to Seattle on this project through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities Initiative. Listen here. … Read more about How Seattle Used Results-Driven Contracting to Improve Homeless Services

Increasing Vendor Diversity in St. Paul

April 13, 2017

Through the What Works Cities Initiative, GPL fellow Jen North and Senior Advisor Greg Wass worked with St. Paul to engage vendors, increase the number of vendor responses, and improve competition. Read more about how the city is building on these efforts to increase its vendor diversity and better understand why it wasn’t adequately reaching small, women- or minority-owned businesses. Expanding Opportunity in City Contracts: St. Paul’s Racial Equity Strategy. PolicyLink

What Excellence Looks Like in Local Government

March 30, 2017

In a recent brief, HKS Professor Stephen Goldsmith describes the GPL’s results-driven contracting work with the Boston Department of Public Works as one of his “case studies of platinum practices” highlighting jurisdictions that have made dramatic progress on initiative criteria such as measuring outcomes, impacts, or cost-effectiveness of key procurements and contracts. Read more

Tackling Homelessness in Seattle

March 29, 2017

This new video discusses our What Works Cities project improving homelessness outcomes through results-driven contracting in Seattle. By restructuring its contracts, setting up a system to track performance, and actively managing its contracts with service providers, Seattle is making progress in connecting individuals experiencing homelessness to permanent housing. Watch the video

Winter 2017 GPL Newsletter

March 20, 2017

Read about some of the GPL's recent progress including technical assistance awards, launched projects, performance improvement work, and new publications. Read more

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