Social Innovation

Traditional policy approaches have failed to catalyze significant and lasting change for many complex social problems, such as homelessness, justice involvement and reentry, and educational achievement. Social innovation, which is an iterative, inclusive process using innovation frameworks to achieve more effective and just solutions to solve complex social problems, provides an alternative to traditional problem solving approaches. The Price Center conducts research on all aspects of social innovation, which offers both new processes and new models for solving society’s most persistent social challenges.

Governments in some of the world’s richest nations appear to be caught in a double challenge of declining social budgets even as social needs are increasing.

Sherry Arnstein’s classic “A Ladder of Citizen Participation” still shapes our understanding of citizen participation within and beyond planning.

Social Impact Bonds are an approach to contracting that ties payment for service delivery to the achievement of measurable outcomes. A new book co-authored by Gary Painter.

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Towards a Theoretical Framework for Social Impact Bonds

Nonprofit Policy Forum

Year: 2020

Governments in some of the world’s richest nations appear to be caught in a double challenge of declining social budgets even as social needs are increasing. In this context, Outcomes Based Commissioning (OBC), has been suggested as one way in … Continue reading


The Difference Between Citizen Control and Co-Production

USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation

Year: 2019

Read the One-Pager on the difference between Citizen Control and Co-Production.


From Citizen Control to Co-Production: Moving Beyond a Linear Conception of Citizen Participation

Journal of the American Planning Association

Year: 2019

Sherry Arnstein’s classic “A Ladder of Citizen Participation” still shapes our understanding of citizen participation within and beyond planning. However, Arnstein’s citizen control offers communities only partial authority. Rather, community control does not fundamentally alter the political and economic power … Continue reading


Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: Outcome-based payment systems in the UK and US

Year: 2018

Pay for Success is an approach to contracting that ties payment for service delivery to the achievement of measurable outcomes. Private investors provide upfront financing for a social service and are repaid with a return on investment by a back-end … Continue reading


Do hybrid firms out-provide traditional business structures? An examination of prosocial behavior in North Carolina firms

USC Price Center for Social Innovation

Year: 2018

Hybrid organizations are organizations that employ a for-profit model with a social mission. In recent years, there has been a push to create formal legal designations that protect the organization’s social mission while allowing it to access investment capital and … Continue reading


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