Assessing the Pay for Success Feasibility Landscape (part 2)

After a short hiatus, we continue in this blog to build on the Key Components tool to introduce three new tools to help your community get ahead and get organized to assess Pay for Success feasibility.

In the previous blog, we introduced tools to help you navigate who should be around the table with you – potential end payers, design team members, and leadership team members. This time we focus on what you should know about your community to guide your efforts.

  1. Data systems landscape: Data analysis is a key component of Pay for Success feasibility. Through analysis, communities can identify potential target populations that are not achieving positive outcomes and can set baselines and thresholds for achievement against the metrics of interest. As a first step, you must know the state of your community’s data systems and ability to share data across them. This tool offers a format for capturing the relevant information about a number of data systems.


  1. Initiative mapping: We find that communities pursuing Pay for Success are often active players in a number of initiatives to improve their services. In the best cases, Pay for Success becomes part of a suite of improvements to service delivery and contracting. Sometimes, however, the attention of potential end payers is pulled in too many directions, and Pay for Success can be lost along the way. The initiative mapping tool supports you to plot out the many projects happening in your community to ensure Pay for Success makes relevant connections without overloading a single paying entity.


  1. Target population: Most feasibility studies start with two to three ideas for target populations and those populations are refined as they progress. It can be useful to note upfront the primary characteristics of these populations, including eligibility criteria, any geographic focus, the number of people who might match this criteria, and the potential benefit for end payers if a group is selected. This tool helps to compile these considerations in one place and compile answers to these relevant questions.


Once you have compiled all the information in these tools, how do you actually use them? One option would be to lead the first meeting of your design team by discussing your answers in these three tools. Are there initiatives that you were not aware of in the community that are relevant to this work? Are there integrated data systems you could access if only you invite the right person to the leadership team?

These tools go beyond ‘setting the stage’ for feasibility by helping you start the conversations that create Pay for Success partnerships.

The strongest partnerships form when there is clarity about the aims, motivations, and contributions of all partners early on in the process. The above tools facilitate the conversations needed to get started.

Join us in February for an exciting blog on the evidence base for supportive housing.

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