Exploring social investment – Big Issue Invest and Government Outcomes Lab Technical and Learning Report

GO Lab publication
C Tye
J Outes Velarde
B Tiplady
J Meek
Abstract

GO Lab and Big Issue Invest (BII) worked together in 2020 to learn about social investment in social outcomes contracts (SOCs), specifically impact bonds, and produced some open-source technical assets. This work began from a shared ambition to develop a standardised approach to the way impact bonds, and particularly the role of the investor, are reported in the wider market.

This report explores the work BII and GO Lab have done together to try to make the data from BII’s Outcomes Investment Fund shareable. In doing this work, GO Lab and BII identified practical challenges in sharing data and have offered some potential solutions for others to improve upon. The aim was to provide real data, real tools and a proposed set of definitions to open a discussion with the market on the ways in which we can improve data sharing to improve delivery of outcomes. This report is accompanied by ‘technical assets’ which are offered as drafts or prototypes for feedback and improvement from potential users.

This report is also one step in an effort to understand the vocabulary, mechanisms and support offered by social investment in such a way that will allow investment to be compared across projects and/or understood more broadly. By doing this, BII and GO Lab aim to contribute to the development of the outcomes-based investment market and share lessons to improve the ways in which impact bonds can be mobilised to support the delivery of outcomes for communities.