Harvard Kennedy School's Government Performance Lab Receives $2.16M Grant

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: (617) 495-1115
Date: May 10, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Corporation for National and Community Service Social Innovation Fund (SIF) announced today that it has awarded a $2.16M grant to the Government Performance Lab (GPL) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). The grant will support the GPL’s work of providing technical assistance to state and local governments exploring the use of Pay for Success (PFS).

 “We have been asked by government leaders around the country to help them apply PFS tools to their core agency spending,” said Jeffrey Liebman, professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and GPL director. “This will allow the PFS model to have a larger and longer lasting impact in addressing serious social challenges.”

GPL technical assistance funded by the SIF grant will focus primarily on building government capacity in three areas-- matching the right individuals with the right services, using data to improve service provision in real-time, and creating systems through which evaluation results from one project can inform subsequent budget decisions. The GPL will hold an open competition and select up to five jurisdictions to receive technical assistance. Technical assistance will include support with outcomes-based contract drafting, procurement of service provider and evaluator, identification of outcomes and payors, implementation of active contract management strategies, and evaluation plan design.

'The Harvard Government Performance Lab ‘s depth of experience in developing innovative approaches to social problems make it a great fit for the SIF. This latest grant will enable the GPL to work with governments that are poised to tackle some of the nation’s most significant social problems by using data to focus intensely on outcomes,” stated Damian Thorman, director of the Social Innovation Fund.

GPL work conducted under the new SIF PFS grant will build on the GPL’s experience over the past five years providing technical assistance to governments exploring PFS. GPL partner governments have launched 7 of the 11 U.S. PFS projects and the GPL is providing technical assistance on more than two dozen active PFS engagements in policy areas ranging from recidivism to maternal and infant health and child welfare system reform. Jurisdictions currently receiving technical assistance from the GPL include Arkansas, Baltimore, California, Washington DC, Houston, Louisville, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Vermont, and Washington.

About the Government Performance Lab

The GPL conducts research on how governments can foster social innovation and improve the results they obtain with their social spending.  Through this hands-on involvement, the GPL gains insights into the barriers that governments face and the solutions that can overcome the barriers. Founded with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the GPL’s PFS work is supported by the CNCS Social Innovation Fund, the California Endowment, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, and the Bank of America.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service

The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund (SIF), and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. In just six years, the SIF and its private-sector partners have invested more than half a billion dollars in compelling community solutions. As a result of $295 million in federal grants and more than $583 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has awarded 43 grants to grant making institutions supporting over nearly 350 non-profits working in 40 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

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