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Solving the wrong pockets problem - pay for success

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By jk roman · 2015 · cited by 22 — several wrong pockets problems and advance pfs theories of change that may ... six main types of program underfunding can be attributed to the wrong pockets. 14 pages
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John K. RomanSeptember 2015Pay for success, or PFS, is intended as a transformative solution for a long-intractable barrier toeffective governance: the wrong pockets problem, which posits that societal needs and governmentalrealities often act at cross-purposes.The wrong pockets problem describes a situation where the entity that bears the cost ofimplementing a practice—including an evidence-based best practice—does not receive a commensuratebenefit. Because the costs outweigh the benefits for that implementing governmental actor, projects inthe public interest do not receive sufficient resources. Thus, project investment is suboptimal, andoverall social welfare is—in equilibrium—suboptimal. Sustained inefficiency is the norm.This wrong pockets problem particularly affects prevention programs, whether they are behavior-modification programs, public health programs, structural prevention programs, or broad policychanges. By no means unique to US governance, the wrong pockets problem has...