In response to the Government’s Discussion Paper on Social Impact Investing (SII), released in January 2017, the Government announced in the 2017-18 Budget context a number of initiatives to encourage the continued development of the SII market in Australia.
The Government’s response includes funding of $30 million over 10 years, the release of a set of Principles to guide the Australian Government’s involvement in the SII market, and notes that the Government will continue to separately consider ways to reduce regulatory barriers inhibiting the growth of the SII market.
SII 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. A key objective for the Government is to create an enabling environment for SII.
The Principles articulate that where the Government is involved in the SII market, it’s involvement should have regard to:
- the Government’s role as an enabler and developer of the market
- 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.