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Innovative funding for project to address teenage pregnancy

Social impact bonds (SIBs) are an innovative financing method in which a social investor provides working capital for a project and is only repaid by government or a donor (the outcomes funder) if successful outcomes are achieved. 

The mechanism has several advantages in that it raises capital from new sources, aligns the incentives for success of all stakeholders, provides space for flexibility and innovation, and is supported by rigorous monitoring and evaluation.

Adolescent girls and young women face a myriad of social, economic and health challenges in South Africa, including high rates of teenage pregnancy and school drop-outs, disproportionately high rates of HIV acquisition, and partner violence. The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has researched and developed an optimal package of services targeting adolescent girls and young women and has secured outcomes funding for an SIB from the South African National Treasury through the Department of Science and Technology.

Genesis Analytics was appointed by SAMRC, together with a consortium of partners that include Wits Health Consortium, the Bertha Centre for Innovation and UK-based SIB specialists, Social Finance, to provide technical support to the SIB process, from the design of the SIB to investor mobilisation and co-creation of the project and its target results.

The role of Genesis was on developing a cost and budget model for the SIB intervention and to guide value-for-money considerations in the conceptualisation and co-design of the intervention for young women in schools. Genesis was also required to contribute cost and budget information to the investor mobilisation process and to support project partners in developing a financial model that determines the repayment triggers and repayment amounts to the social investor that are tied to outcomes achieved.

The project expects to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women in schools through the provision of ARV prophylaxis drugs and behavioural interventions
  • Reduce unintended pregnancies through contraception services and related pregnancy interventions and improve pregnancy care for learners who do become pregnant.
  • Increase the rate of viral suppression in schoolgirls who are HIV positive through optimisation of testing, treatment and adherence support.

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