Social Impact Bonds in Sweden: Structural and operational impediments from experts’ perspectives
Abstract: Background and PurposeSocial Impact Bonds has recently received attention in Sweden as a new financing model thatmight enable increased efficiency and innovation within public service provision. As a financingmodel, Social Impact Bonds’ outcome-based structure, allows increased service provisionmeasuring, enabling increased transparency and new thoughts and practices to be put in place inareas of the social services where problems are prevailing. To date, there are only a few SocialImpact Bonds launched in Sweden and the model fit within the Swedish Welfare State is notwidely understood and researched. As such, this study aims to illuminate how the expertsinvolved in the first Social Impact Bonds in Sweden have worked with this model to ensuresuccessful implementation in Sweden. Further, the study has viewed the Swedish Social FinanceInfrastructure to assess how well it can facilitate Social Impact Bonds in its current state andpossible areas of improvement for the future.MethodologyFor the study, a comprehensive literature review on Social Impact Bonds was performedculminating in an understanding of where the field currently is, in terms of maturity, in Sweden.The literature review was followed by qualitative semi-structured interviews with experts withinSocial Impact Bonds in Sweden.Findings and ConclusionsOne of the main findings in the study is that the Welfare System of Sweden, which can beconsidered extensive in comparison with many western countries to date, has affected theimplementation of Social Impact Bonds to the extent that the authors coin the term SwedishSocial Impact Bond (SSIB) to emphasize the difference. The effects resulting from this include alarger need for specialized experts to assist in the implementation of the SSIB and a need forincreased Pro-Social Finance fiscal and regulatory policy.
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