Today an interesting take on using SIBs to meet CSR requirements in India, happy reading:
For Social Returns On CSR, Corporates Can Invest In SIBs
The Economic Times
Sirohi district in Rajasthan is unkind to girls. Going up the school ranks, the proportion of girls to boys keeps dropping, placing Sirohi among the bottom of the heap in gender-gap districts in India for girls’ education.
Safeena Husain of the NGO Educate Girls is looking to change that. She has had an envious track record in neighbouring Pali and Jalore districts, where 48,000 girls have been bought back to school since 2010. Sirohi will be different at least in one way. Here, Educate Girls has embarked on a novel payment-by-results initiative across 200 government schools, which has the potential to overturn the manner in which social programmes are designed, financed and delivered. “The Sirohi pilot has the potential to change service delivery and implementation standards across the social sector in India,” says Husain, executive director of Educate Girls.
India Inc — which, starting this year, will have to mandatorily direct at least 2 per cent of its net profit to corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities — would do well to watch this pilot. It’s not just about just bringing back girls to school, enrolment or retention, or how many individuals have gone through a programme; it’s not about inputs or mere activities, as is the existing norm in the social sector. In the new scheme of things, the government or donor pays up only on the improvement in learning the programme achieves; for instance, in terms of reading and math skills among girls.
At its heart lies a concept called ‘social impact bonds’. This complex and innovative financial instrument comes to India without much of a time lag as it’s still in the pilot stage even in the US, where it is being championed by investment bank Goldman Sachs, the UK and elsewhere.