Our Programs

Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab

Grantee Information

Logo: Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Federal Award: $1,932,172 over 3 years
Focus Area: Multiple
Geographic Focus: Nationwide
Target Beneficiaries: State and Local Governments
Funding Partners: Pritzker Children’s Initiative
 
The Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (HKS GPL) has been providing government-side technical assistance on designing and implementing Pay for Success (PFS) projects for the past three years. The project builds upon the HKS GPL’s model of technical assistance but is oriented toward the next stage of development in the PFS field. The project includes four major components: 
 
  1. Two national competitions, in the fall of 2014 and the fall of 2015, to select a total of ten Government Partners who will receive full-time technical assistance from the SIB Lab over the course of 15 months to assist with a PFS project. The HKS GPL will select for those innovative or path-breaking projects that most advance the PFS model; 

  2. In each competition, one or two of the five partners will be a group of several governments rather than a single government, allowing the HKS GPL to test a cohort-based model of developing government capacity. These groups of governments will share a full-time fellow and will also participate in cross-jurisdictional collaboration and knowledge sharing; 

  3. The HKS GPL will continue to produce publications that capture and distill the key lessons learned from providing technical assistance and building capacity so that awareness of the PFS model can spread and so that others in the field can benefit; and

  4. As part of disseminating lessons learned, the HKS GPL will develop an independent review process that makes its technical assistance expertise available on a short-term basis to governments that seek a brief independent review of a technical aspect of their project development.


Entities Receiving Social Innovation Fund Awards from Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab

Arkansas Community Correction
City of Baltimore Department of Health

City of Houston Health and Human Services Department

City of Louisville
City of San Fransisco, Office of the Mayor
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
D.C. Water
Olmstead Cohort
State of California Board of State and Community Corrections
State of Nevada/Clark County, NV/City of Las Vegas, NV
State of Vermont Agency of Human Services


Arkansas Community Correction
Little Rock, AR

Arkansas is currently facing the largest increase in its incarcerated population in the state’s history. At the current rate of growth, Arkansas would need to build a 1,200 bed prison every two years. This marked increase in incarceration has led to an increased number of inmates being released to the community without the proper support due to lack of reentry programming during incarceration and after release. The SIB Lab will work with Arkansas Community Correction to explore the use of Pay for Success (PFS) models to provide additional programming for inmates and offenders to prepare for reentry. The main policy area of focus will be deterring prison growth and recidivism. The increase in state inmates has led to an increase in the number of released inmates. This project will target a state-wide strategy for the corrections system

Specifically, the HKS GPL will be using available data and evidence to conduct a feasibility analysis of proposed preventative strategies using the Pay for Success model. This analysis would focus on five main aspects: (1) do the proposed interventions produce the desired outcomes, (2) do the realistic outcomes satisfy cost-benefit analysis, (3) what is a proper payment structure of a PFS transaction, (4) are there adequate organizations that can deliver the desired outcomes in Arkansas, and (5) what are the most rigorous evaluation strategies that can be used to measure the initiative’s outcomes.


 City of Baltimore Department of Health

The City of Baltimore will explore Pay for Success (PFS) projects in a variety of policy areas including health, early childhood, and criminal justice. The HKS GPL will work with the City to identify possible PFS projects, select the most promising, and conduct feasibility analyses on the possible projects. The feasibility analysis will focus on supporting development five main aspects of the PFS transaction:  (1) assessing whether the proposed interventions produce the desired outcomes; (2) confirming that the likely outcomes satisfy cost-benefit principles; (3) developing an efficient and effective payment structure within a PFS model; (4) insuring that there are adequate service providers that can deliver the desired outcomes; and (5) establishing rigorous evaluation criteria and metrics to measure the initiative’s outcomes.


 City of Houston Health and Human Services Department

The City of Houston Health Department will act as lead agency for a project exploring the expansion of the Care Houston Links project. Care Houston Links is a collaborative effort developed by the Houston Health Department and the Houston Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services to address the use of the 9-1-1 by individuals seeking non-emergency services. Houston has an extraordinarily high rate of uninsured individuals-- 25.3%, compared to the United States rate of 15.5%. Care Houston Links connects individuals with a triage and referral service and builds on the award-winning ETHAN (Emergency Tele-Health and Navigation) telemedicine project run by Houston’s Emergency Medical Services. Individuals may receive telemedicine services and may also receive a visit by a Public Health Counselor and links to other social services as a part of Care Houston. The HKS GPL's technical assistance will focus primarily on determining feasibility of a City-wide expansion of Care Houston Links.

The HKS GPL will provide both in-person and remote technical assistance to Houston assisting the Department of Health by exploring the feasibility of applying the PFS model to an expansion of Care Links Houston—examining administrative data and historical baselines, possible effects and outcomes, and feasibility of payment structures and PFS design.


City of Louisville

Louisville's PFS project addresses substance use treatment and recidivism reduction Once possible projects are selected, the HKS GPL will use available data and evidence to conduct a feasibility analysis of the proposed projects using the PFS model.

The feasibility analysis will focus on supporting development five main aspects of the PFS transaction:  (1) assessing whether the proposed interventions produce the desired outcomes; (2) confirming that the likely outcomes satisfy cost-benefit principles; (3) developing an efficient and effective payment structure within a PFS model; (4) insuring that there are adequate service providers that can deliver the desired outcomes; and (5) establishing rigorous evaluation criteria and metrics to measure the initiative’s outcomes.


 City of San Francisco, Office of the Mayor

The HKS GPL will work with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office to support a deeper assessment of how Pay for Success can improve outcomes for San Francisco’s high-needs populations. In particular, the HKS GPL will support HOPE SF, the Mayor’s signature public-private partnership, which aims to break generational cycles of poverty, violence and isolation, and improve social and economic outcomes for public housing residents. A primary goal of the work with the HKS GPL will be to conduct a feasibility analysis of proposed community-wide and specific target population strategies using the Pay for Success model. A Pay for Success model could help San Francisco ensure evidence based and outcomes-focused social service delivery, and better alignment of City funding and contracts and private sector funding to build stronger communities for public housing residents. The HKS GPL-supported feasibility analysis will focus on five main aspects: (1) do the proposed interventions produce the desired outcomes, (2) do the realistic outcomes satisfy cost-benefit analysis, (3) what is a proper payment structure of a PFS transaction, (4) are there adequate organizations that can deliver the desired outcomes in San Francisco, and (5) what are the most rigorous evaluation strategies that can be used to measure the initiative’s outcomes.


 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The HKS GPL will work with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on exploring state-level Pay for Success projects. Potential policy areas for Pay for Success projects include, but are not limited to, early childhood care and education; education, workforce preparedness and employment; public safety, including programs that reduce recidivism; health and human services; and long-term living and home- and community-based services.

Once policy areas and possible projects are selected, the HKS GPL will use available data and evidence to conduct a feasibility analysis of the proposed projects using the PFS model. The feasibility analysis would focus on supporting Pennsylvania in developing five main aspects of the PFS transaction:  (1) assessing whether the proposed interventions produce the desired outcomes; (2) confirming that the likely outcomes satisfy cost-benefit principles; (3) developing an efficient and effective payment structure within a PFS model; (4) insuring that there are adequate service providers that can deliver the desired outcomes; and (5) establishing rigorous evaluation criteria and metrics to measure the initiative’s outcomes.


DC Water

Washington, D.C.

The HKS GPL will work with the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) to explore the use of Pay for Success (PFS) models to develop “green” infrastructure storm water solutions designed to improve water quality, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and promote environmental, socio-economic and health benefits.

DC Water is pursuing the PFS model as a potential framework for financing a pilot Green Infrastructure Project (GI Project) that is designed to reduce the scope, scale and cost of the mandated grey infrastructure tunnel system, alleviate ratepayer burden, and produce measurable outcomes for communities within the District.

Specifically, the HKS GPL will be using available data and evidence to conduct a feasibility analysis of the proposed GI Project using the PFS model. The feasibility analysis would focus on five main aspects of the PFS transaction:  (1) assessing whether the proposed interventions produce the desired outcomes; (2) confirming that the likely outcomes satisfy cost-benefit principles; (3) developing an efficient and effective payment structure within a PFS model; (4) insuring that there are adequate service providers that can deliver the desired outcomes; and (5) establishing rigorous evaluation criteria and metrics to measure the initiative’s outcomes.


 Olmstead Cohort (New York State Department of Health, State of New Mexico Human Services Department, Washington State Health Care Authority)

Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and the HKS GPL will collaborate to provide a joint cohort-based model of technical assistance. Subgrantees will receive government-focused expertise on SIB development, evaluation design, and SIB procurement from the HKS GPL and issue-specific expertise from CSH and its partners, the Center for Health Care Strategies and Third Sector Capital Partners, including expertise in the areas of Medicaid funding of institutional and community-based services and the creation and operation of high quality supportive housing including the design of service models best suited to meet the needs of the identified target population.

New York State Department of Health
Albany, NY

The State of New York will be part of a cohort of state governments all interested in the use of the PFS model to provide persons residing in institutional settings with the opportunity to transition to community-based supportive housing. Corporation for Supportive Housing’s work with New York State will focus on providing supportive housing to individuals who have spent at least one hundred and twenty consecutive days in a nursing home setting and who have the ability to live safely in the community. The geography is the State of New York including New York City.

State of New Mexico Human Services Department
Santa Fe, NM

The State of New Mexico will be part of a cohort of state governments all interested in the use of the PFS model to provide persons residing in institutional settings with the opportunity to transition to community-based supportive housing. Specifically, this project will target residents of health care institutions who prefer to live in the community and people who are at-risk of institutionalization. Further, members of the target population will be adults with diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria for Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and whose eligible diagnosis has resulted in functional impairment which substantially interferes with, or limits, one or more major life activities. The project will target the counties of Bernalillo, Santa Fe, and San Miguel.

Washington State Health Care Authority
Olympia, WA

The State of Washington will be part of a cohort of state governments all interested in the use of the PFS model to provide persons residing in institutional settings with the opportunity to transition to community-based supportive housing. Washington’s project will focus on providing supportive housing to residents of health care institutions who prefer to live in the community in order to ensure that Washingtonians with disabilities have an alternative to an institutional setting.


State of California Board of State and Community Corrections

The Board of State and Community Corrections is implementing a $5M “Social Innovation Fund” that is to be granted out to counties interested in pursuing PFS projects related to recidivism. The funding is to be used as backend success payments, and is expected to seed three projects.  The HKS GPL is providing technical assistance to the Board of State and Community Corrections to assist counties pursuing Pay for Success in criminal justice projects.

HKS GPL’s technical assistance will include the following:  (1) assessing whether the proposed interventions produce the desired outcomes; (2) confirming that the likely outcomes satisfy cost-benefit principles; (3) developing an efficient and effective payment structure within a PFS model; (4) insuring that there are adequate service providers that can deliver the desired outcomes; and (5) establishing rigorous evaluation criteria and metrics to measure the initiative’s outcomes.  This program could provide a template for how other states (or the federal government) could help participate in and encourage the development of local PFS projects.


State of Nevada, in partnership with Clark County and City of Las Vegas

The State of Nevada, Clark County and the City of Las Vegas will receive assistance from both the HKS GPL and Third Sector Capital Partners to explore the use of Pay for Success in creating innovative strategies to improve social outcomes in early childhood education. Specifically, the three jurisdictions will engage in a feasibility study that will explore how an early childhood education PFS project can increase outcomes such as kindergarten readiness and third grade literacy as well as reduce public school special education and remedial education expenditures. The PFS project will target Southern Nevada and will be a part of Nevada’s ongoing efforts to improve early childhood education opportunities state-wide. 

The collaborative feasibility process between the HKS GPL and Third Sector Capital Partners will focus on four main areas: (1) evaluation of whether or not proposed interventions produce the desired outcomes, (2) cost-benefit analysis of proposed interventions, (3) design of potential PFS payment structures and outreach to potential investors, and (4) assessment of the most rigorous evaluation strategies that can be used to measure the initiative’s outcomes.

The State of Nevada is the only Social Innovation Fund Subgrantee leading an innovative partnership between state, county and city government to address PFS contracting and savings analysis for early childhood education interventions, which has the potential to serve as a model nation-wide.

Additionally, the University of Utah Sorenson Impact Center will provide to the City of Las Vegas a PFS Fellow and the related training and technical assistance to develop a PFS program.  The Sorenson Impact Center’s technical assistance services include: (1) research and data analysis to help the City identify and describe a target population and baseline outcomes for that population; (2) financial modeling and analysis of costs of various interventions versus the benefits to the City from those interventions; (3) budget scan to identify spending priorities and potential areas for cost savings; (4) high-level project support from Lab staff; and (5) connecting the City to other PFS-related resources around the country as needed.  Measureable outcomes of this program include a completed feasibility study identifying a target population, baseline outcomes, anticipated programmatic outcomes, and an estimate of cost savings / avoidance.


State of Vermont Agency of Human Services

The Vermont Agency of Human Services is in the midst of significant work related to health care reform that includes the exploration of non-traditional funding models and opportunities for payment reform. AHS has been engaged in significant work around performance accountability, both internally and in conjunction with non-profit community partners. With technical assistance from the HKS GPL, AHS will explore the PFS model to determine potential applications in a small, rural state in areas that include correctional incarceration and re-entry, emergency housing and homelessness for youth, adults, and families, and economic and asset development.

The HKS GPL will provide both in-person and remote technical assistance to Vermont assisting agency leaders in assessing the feasibility of PFS in the Agency of Human Services. A HKS GPL fellow will, as the project demands, assist the Agency in identifying high priority policy areas, convening key stakeholders, assisting with procurement (RFIs/RFPs), identifying a possible target population and interventions, and other aspects of PFS feasibility work.

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