Braiding and Blending Budgets: Innovations in Cross-Sector Policy

Date Published: 
December 5th, 2019

Policymakers at the state and federal level have been testing ways to recognize the interconnectedness of health and housing outcomes. In a new blog post for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Stuart Butler of the Brookings Institution explores multiple examples of multisector “braiding” or “blending” of funding sources to correct what many describe as the “wrong pocket problem,” which refers to investments made by one sector or entity benefiting another sector or entity more. Butler explains that braiding and blending funds from different programs can help achieve a broad purpose, such as improved health outcomes. Braiding, which is more common, refers to the combining of resources while maintaining multiple managers of those funds, while blending is the pooling of resources into a single pot of money. Though we are far from widespread adoption of cross-sector budgeting and accountability, Butler’s profiles of various innovations suggest a blueprint is in the works.

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