12 SIBs of Christmas – The 1st Annual World Leading Social Impact Bond Quiz

Social Impact Bonds are a world leading financial instrument launched here in the UK in 2010. Since then we have continued to lead the world in launching them.

Earlier this year, then Cabinet Office minister, Rob Wilson noted that: “Social impact bonds are barely mentioned in the media today” before explaining: “In a few years time they will be the most talked about funding mechanism for government social projects. I will be talking about them a lot.

This is inspiring stuff but as social entrepreneurs we are often reminded of Gandhi’s tip that we should ‘be the change we want to see the world’. There is a small but genuine danger that, for all his gravitas, Rob Wilson may not be able to bring about this change on his own. The 1st Annual World Leading Social Impact Bond Quiz is my small contribution towards our collective impactful effort.

The answers will posted on here sometime next week. If you want to email your answers to me – david (at) socialspider (dot) com – I will compare them to a historical set of answers to a different quiz and decide whether I think you’ve won.

Existential question:

1. Social impact bonds all involve some form of payment by results contract – which (one or more) of the following other characteristics also applies to all social impact bonds launched across the globe before June 2016:

(a) Use of a Special Purpose Vehicle

(b) At least partially financed by socially motivated outside investment

(c) Investors have capital at risk

(d) Described as “A social impact bond”

(e) Presence of a counterfactual measure

(f) Service delivered by a charity, social enterprise or other non-profit

Leading the world:

2. What percentage of all social impact bonds in the whole world (as of June 2016) have been partially commissioned by the UK’s former Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith: 

(a) 23%

(b) 5%

(c) 12%

(d) 7%

3. Featured on the rate card for a UK social impact bond programme: “Improved attitude towards school – £700” is a proxy for which social outcome:

(a) Increased educational attainment

(b) Improved employability

(c) Reduced risk of committing crime

(d) The success of the UK social investment market

4. Launched in 2014, the Fair Chance Fund was a £15 million scheme to fund social impact bonds to tackle youth homelessness. What nickname was the fund given by investors and charities who were interested in applying but did not want to use the UK government’s preferred special purpose vehicle-based social impact bond model?

(a) Negligible Chance Fund

(b) Reasonable Chance Fund

(c) Cat In Hell’s Chance Fund  

(d) Fat Chance Fund

Saving the world:

5. In 2014, New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof appeared to suggest that a major international emergency could be tackled using by social impact bonds. Was it:  

(a) Russia’s action in Crimea

(b) the ebola outbreak

(c) global emissions of CO2

(d) the Greek government debt crisis

6. (Based on publically available data) which of these activities has not yet been the focus of a social impact bond or equivalent financial instrument – or an initiative to create one:

(a) saving the rhino

(b) reducing costs of road trauma

(c) tackling noise pollution

(d) teaching coding to primary school children

(e) improving building & fire safety in garment factories

Guess the investor:

Based on these innovative visual clues, identify the investors in social impact bonds in either the UK or the US:

7.

investor1

8. investor2

9.

investor3

Talking about them a lot:

10.  Which US Senator, talking about social impact bonds in a 2015 congressional hearing, exclaimed: “I don’t get this at all… I think this is an admission that government isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. This strikes me as a fancy way of contracting out”:

(a) Joni Ernst

(b) Michael Bennett

(c) Angus King

(d) Ben Sasse

11.  Which UK civil society leader, speaking to a House of Lords committee in 2016, claimed: “The challenge has been the hyperbole around social impact bonds, which have got a disproportionate amount of resources… The government has developed this totem, the social impact bond, and is dedicated to achieving success with it.”

(a)Big Society Capital boss, Cliff Prior

(b) Social Enterprise UK CEO, Peter Holbrook

(c) Esmee Fairbairn Foundation CEO, Caroline Mason

(d) NCVO Chief Executive, Sir Stuart Etherington

12. In March 2015, which then UK cabinet minister hailed “the first trillion” of potential global impact investment:

(a) Nick Clegg

(b) Chris Grayling

(c) Theresa May

(d) Iain Duncan Smith

Merry Christmas and here’s to another year of talking a lot about social impact bonds.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “12 SIBs of Christmas – The 1st Annual World Leading Social Impact Bond Quiz

  1. Vinay Nair

    Really, really amusing! Truly- bravo!!

    I hope you are well. A coffee in the new year if you’re up for it?

    Cheers, Vinay

    >

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  2. On a seasonal note, I’m surprised we did not come up with a housing SIB, so that young couple and their baby might not have ended up in that stable. And on a 2016 gloom note, were those 40 pieces of silver the first outcome payment?

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  3. This reminds me of a movie we often see over the Christmas period. Another question could be – which advocate of SIBs has a heart which cannot be observed – An Invisible Heart?

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    • Beanbags admin

      It’s a great song, Jeff – but don’t think the problem is that advocates of SIBs don’t care. The ones I know are decent, genuine people who care a lot about tackling major social problems.

      The problem is that what they (as a mini-industry) have to offer to the cause of tackling those problem is a series of complicated, broadly-related financial mechanisms and management tools that – in most areas of social activity – offer unclear benefits at significantly higher cost when compared to other models.

      The UK government is primarily responsible for the current situation. They haven’t taken the opportunity research into and to consider the merits of SIBs compared to other models in a genuine and open way. But they have gone round the world proclaiming to be leading it. They’re like a footballer running round the stadium celebrating and throwing their shirt into the crowd despite the fact that they haven’t scored a goal.

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  4. Pingback: Christmas TV Guide: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You | SSE

  5. While social investment is still on our minds, David, you may have read of the RISE funded headed by Bono which has pledged 2 billion dollars to the cause. It sounds quite a lot like our own proposal a decade ago, for 1.5 billion dollars or more with the support of forward thinking business: http://blog.yorksj.ac.uk/socialeconomy/2015/04/15/for-profit-and-non-profit-collaboration-proposal-for-ukraine/

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