The Australian government has unveiled a set of principles for social impact investing (SII), which will guide its investment in programs that help the most vulnerable Australians.

The principles state that where the Government is involved in the SII market, it must have regard to:

  • government as market enabler and developer;
  • value for money;
  • co-design with stakeholders;
  • fair sharing of risk and return;
  • robust outcomes based measurement and evaluation; and
  • outcomes that align with Australian Government policy priorities.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the guidelines reaffirm the government’s $30 million commitment to develop a strong SII market in Australia, to deliver genuine outcomes for those at risk of homelessness and juvenile detention or those battling long-term welfare dependency.

According to the Treasury, social impact investing is an emerging, outcomes‑based approach that brings together governments, service providers, investors and communities to tackle a range of policy (social and environmental) issues. It provides governments with an alternative and innovative mechanism to address social and environmental issues while also leveraging government and private sector capital, building a stronger culture of robust evaluation and evidenced-based decision making, and creating a heightened focus on outcomes.

Further information about the approach and its guiding principles can be found here and here.

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