How much does ‘it’ cost – understanding opportunities and barriers to sharing data on Development Impact Bonds (DIBs)

Posted by Jennifer Armitage on December 13, 2023

Background

The Independent Evaluation of the Development Impact Bonds (DIBs) pilot programme was conducted by Ecorys and funded by UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) between 2017 and 2022.  The evaluation generated learning and recommendations on the use of DIBs as an instrument for aid delivery. The findings were developed to help inform the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office’s future policy.

What are Development Impact Bonds? A development impact bond aims to encourage innovation, local problem-solving and increased transparency during the implementation of a development programme. Private funding from investors is used to pay for the implementation of the programme, rather than a private donor or aid agency. It is an outcome-based contract and the investor is repaid only if these outcomes are achieved. [1]

LAMP’s role

LAMP Development contributed to the independent evaluation by providing inputs into the evaluation design on how to measure the value for money of the DIB as an aid modality. This involved conducting a cost analysis of the DIB pilot projects and continuing to refine the evaluation approach over three consecutive research waves.

The Hack-and-Learn Event

The International Network for Data on Impact and Government Outcomes (INDIGO) run a bi-annual “Hack-and-Learn” event bringing together policy makers and coders to jointly solve problems and learn from the data. Jennifer Armitage from LAMP Development took part in the event which looked to create “a set of variables to measure the transaction costs that impact bonds incur during development of the project, delivery and evaluation of the results.”[2]  This experience has been written about in a blog by Jennifer Armitage, Mara Airoldi (Government Outcomes Lab) and Juliana Outes Verlarde (Government Outcomes Lab) – you can read further at the Go-Labs website here.


[1] https://golab.bsg.ox.ac.uk/the-basics/social-impact-bonds/

[2] Government Outcomes Lab

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