HKS students win public service innovation award

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A team of Harvard Kennedy School students that founded an international social development organization has won the 2012 Accenture Public Service Innovation Award at the Harvard Innovation Challenge. The award is intended to encourage Harvard students to “apply their creative energy to solve pressing public sector challenges and to foster the next generation of government solutions and leaders.”

Michael Belinsky, David Bullon, Michael Eddy, Avnish Gungadurdoss, and Madalina Pruna were honored for their vision in creating Instiglio, an organization designed to help governments apply social impact bonds to developing countries. Social impact bonds are a relatively new concept that facilitates private investment for the provision of public services. This concept is being piloted in England and has received initial support in the U.S., but has not yet caught on in developing countries.

“We founded Instiglio with the mission of empowering societies to discover, adopt and scale innovative solutions to social problems,” said Belinsky. “Our team united over an opportunity to improve drastically the delivery of social services in developing countries by adapting the social impact bond model to emerging markets. We are thrilled to combine our Kennedy school training and our development world experience (our team has collectively worked in over 20 countries) to durably improve social service delivery. “

Rey Faustino was awarded honorable mention for his education nonprofit, OneDegree.