Fund to effect social change

Ella Rhodes reports.

The Cabinet Office has launched an £80 million fund to support Social Impact Bonds (SIB) to help transform people's lives.

The Life Chances Fund, launched in July by Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson, will tackle entrenched social issues, improving people’s life chances by looking at local solutions for local problems to bring better life chances to individuals. The fund will also support a new academic centre to understand and measure new approaches for the public sector to commission services.

The fund is structured around six key themes: drug and alcohol dependency; children’s services; early years; young people; older people’s services; and healthy lives. Applications for proposals focused on children’s services and tackling drug and alcohol dependency are open until 30 September, to be followed by the other themes over the next 12 months.

The Cabinet Office has also partnered with Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University to launch the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab), to establish an independent centre of academic excellence for the commissioning of public services. The GO Lab will deepen understanding of outcomes-based commissioning, including social impact bonds, by researching new ways for the public sector to commission services.

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