In the Early Childhood Community of Practice (CoP), a cross-cutting collaboration of PFS stakeholders and early childhood experts will work together over the next nine months to develop a toolkit to make future PFS deals around early childhood more standardized and transparent for government, providers, and investors.
While not intended to be a complete blueprint for a PFS transaction, the toolkit will be a guide for stakeholders (especially state and local government officials) to use research and evidence to answer questions likely to arise when exploring a PFS project. The toolkit will be developed with the end users in mind and will be as practical as possible, while still grounded in the best available research. The product will aim to be brief, with more substantial appendices that show the work behind the tools and recognize the limits to standardization across deals. The intended audience is state and local government leaders, but other stakeholders including service providers, investors, evaluators, and intermediaries will also benefit from the toolkit.
The Urban Institute will coordinate the participating partners and lead development of toolkit products, which will be produced in collaboration with other participants. The Urban Institute brings research capacity, skills, and expertise in the area of early childhood interventions. The additional partners will participate in the research and writing phases of this toolkit product. Once developed, the toolkit will be disseminated by the work group participants including the Urban Institute to relevant organizations representing state and local governments.
This Commitment concept was conceived at the 2015 CGI America meeting and brings together PFS stakeholders from a variety of perspectives to develop a toolkit that reflects the needs of the field and the research base. Pay for Success is still a relatively new concept, but it can be very useful in scaling up evidence-based social programs. This is the first concerted effort to develop a practical toolkit for communities who want to use PFS to scale up an evidence-based early childhood intervention.
The work of the early childhood community of practice has been broken up into three phases. The drafts for the first three phases are currently in varying stages of completion. A final deliverable, which will compile the final products from each phase into one toolkit, is expected by June 2016.
Phase One: Developing an early childhood outcomes and interventions framework
Phase one will produce a written summary of potential early childhood outcomes for PFS deals, evidence-based interventions that can achieve those outcomes, and target populations for the interventions.
Phase one will be completed in February 2016.
Phase Two: Understanding the role of data
Phase two will identify the universe of data systems that engage programs targeting children, describe a model data sharing agreement for PFS, and identify likely data challenges and strategies to address them. This phase will produce a roadmap for jurisdictions on key considerations for the use of data in a PFS deal, including a timeline and examples of data-sharing agreements. Phase two will be completed in March 2016.
Phase Three: Developing an outcomes pricing methodology
Phase three will describe outcomes pricing methodology, evidence-based clearinghouses and cost-benefit models, and strategies for pricing outcomes in early childhood education that incorporate social and economic benefit. The toolkit product produced in this phase outlines the various approaches to measuring and pricing program outcomes, with their pros and cons included. Phase three will be completed by April 2016.
Phase Four: Program funding, implementation, standardization, and evaluation.
Phase four will develop toolkit products that describe funding streams that can be tapped for PFS projects, how certain funding streams can support PFS deal construction, necessary core capacities for providers in PFS projects, principles of effective program implementation, the boundaries of standardizable deal elements, and best practices for evaluation. Phase four will be completed by June 2016.