Expanding the Concept of Social Impact Bonds

Mikkel Munksgaard Andersen*, Rasmus Dilling-Hansen, Anne Vorre Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article elaborates on the emerging concept of social impact bonds (SIB) by investigating the configuration of a SIB in a new empirical setting – Scandinavia. The analysis is based on a single case study of a SIB-development project in Denmark, which constitutes the first attempt to build a social impact bond in the country. The article investigates four elements of the SIB-model: 1) the configuration of roles and responsibilities, 2) service provision, 3) payment structure, and 4) evaluation. The findings show the existence of blurred boundaries between organisational stakeholders within the investigated SIB-programme, indicating a dynamic configuration of roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, both service provision and data collection procedures were conducted in close collaboration with the involved public authorities, implying an interdependent relationship between public authorities and external partners. Thus, the empirical findings indicate a divergence from traditional concepts of social impact bonds – specifically concerning their design and development. Empirical evidence has been collected through interviews, statistical data, and internal documents.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social Entrepreneurship
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)390-407
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online: 14 Aug 2020.


  • Social impact bonds
  • Pay for success
  • Public management
  • Public innovation
  • Payment by results

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