State and local governments often struggle to implement evidence-based programs because of high
upfront costs, even when research shows these programs to be cost-effective in the long run. Social
impact bonds (SIBs) are an innovative way of attracting private funding for program implementation by
offering a financial return to investors. But can social impact bonds really be used in the US to increase
evidence-based programming? In this presentation, we present some key ideas behind social impact
bonds, discuss challenges in getting them off the ground, and show how ongoing Urban Institute work
can be used to establish the SIB market.