Dealflow | February 11, 2021

Indian government-backs social impact bond to improve public health services

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, February 11 — A public entity in the Indian city of Pune is partnering with the United Nations Development Programme on a social impact bond to boost public health services and facilities. It is the first government-backed social impact bond in India. No investors have yet been announced for the deal. 

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corp. operates 30 health facilities in Pune. It is supporting the bond to get more residents to use public services, which are notoriously under-resourced in India. (PCMC became the first civic body in India this week to vaccinate police personnel.) UNDP is supporting the bond via its technical assistance facility. Palladium Group is structuring the deal. 

DIBs vs. SIBs

In social impact bonds in the U.K., U.S. and elsewhere, government agencies repay investors when certain impact outcomes are achieved. Most impact bonds in emerging markets have been structured as “development impact bonds,” with philanthropies standing in as the “off-takers” who pay when programs generate positive results. UBS Optimus Foundation has backed DIBs in India for girls’ education and maternal health, as well as one for water access in Uganda.

Bond launches

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and UNDP are looking to structure Armenia’s first impact bond to support agribusinesses. Uniting Communities and Social Ventures Australia are expanding a successful SIB focused on transitioning children from foster care back to their families to a third region. The state government of South Australia is backing the regional program.