Performance Measurement and Management

Pay for Success: Questions and Answers

Much attention has been paid recently to “pay for success” strategies for government contracts. Under a “pay for success” or “outcome-based” contract, a government pays a service provider for achieving pre-defined outcomes for the population served. This brief document answers some common questions about Pay for Success contracts, including the version known as Social Impact Bonds.

Read the fact sheet here >>

Social Impact Bonds: Overview and Considerations

In this era of tight budgets and increased skepticism about the effectiveness of government-funded programs, the idea that the government could pay only for proven results has a broad appeal. While performance-based contracting has existed for years in a range of human services areas — including job training and placement, welfare-to-work activities, and child welfare — pay for success, and in particular, the version referred to as a “social impact bond” (SIB) has drawn a great deal of attention at all levels of government in recent years.

Read the paper here >>

Read the accompanying In Focus here >>

CLASP Comments on a Proposed Postsecondary Institution Rating System

CLASP—a national organization that develops and advocates for policies that improve the lives of low-income people—welcomes and strongly supports the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to ensure that students have access to the information they need to make better choices about college and career goals and information about the outcomes of postsecondary education and training. While recent initiatives, such as the College Scorecard, have strengthened the information base available to the public, there is more work to be done to provide access to better and more comprehensive information about access, progress, completion and important post-graduation outcomes.

Read CLASP’s comments on the proposed postsecondary institution rating system here >>

CLASP Comments to the Treasury on Pay for Success (PFS)

We applaud the Administration’s interest in improving outcomes in a range of areas where governments provide services. We are intrigued by the possibility of using PFS contracts as a means of expanding services, leveraging private investment and improving the evidence base for what works. However, we wish to emphasize that PFS approaches are not a goal in and of themselves; they are only worthwhile to the extent that they contribute to the goal of expanding high quality prevention-oriented services. As discussed below, we do not believe that they are appropriate for all types of government services. In particular, at this stage of development they should not be used to supplant existing core services.

Read the comments here >>

Campaign for Youth Comments on Pay for Success (PFS)

On behalf of the Campaign for Youth, a coalition of national youth policy and advocacy organizations focusing on low-income youth who are out of school and/or out of work, we appreciate the opportunity to submit comments on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Federal Register Notice regarding strategies to accelerate the testing and adoption of pay for success (PFS) financing models.

Read the comments here >>

Reforming Student Aid

Over the last three decades, college costs have increased nearly four times faster than median family income (Figure A). Financial aid has not filled the growing gap, and “unmet financial need”—the share of college costs not covered by financial aid or what the family is expected to contribute—has risen sharply.

Read CLASP’s Student Aid Reform report here >>

CLASP Comments on Performance Pilot Partnership

The context in which too many young Americans live is severe: 6.4 million youth ages 16 to 24 are disconnected from education, the workforce, and opportunity. America’s youth are experiencing Depression-era levels of employment, and we are losing significant ground with segments of our minority youth population. In particular, low-income young men of color are disproportionately affected by the current labor market—fewer than one in five African-American and Latino young men had a job last month.

Read the comments here >>

Workforce Investment Act: Recommendations on Performance Accountability in the Workforce Education and Training System

Half of the U.S. workforce has only a high school diploma or less, and many of those with a high school diploma lack the necessary skills to compete for the jobs of the future.

CLASP recommends that significant changes be made in workforce development and adult education programs authorized under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) so that these programs may become better gateways to the middle-class for low-income and other marginalized workers.

Read CLASP’s recommendations here >>

Increasing State and Local Capacity for Cross-Systems Innovation: Assessing Flexibility and Opportunities under Current Law

This paper was written as part of a collaborative effort between the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Hudson Institute, and CLASP. The authors analyze the flexibility, opportunities, and barriers under current federal law with respect to cross-program integration and collaboration.

Read the paper here >>



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