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Scholars Who Became Practitioners: The Influence of Research on the Design, Evaluation, and Political Survival of Mexico’s Antipoverty Program Progresa/Oportunidades

20 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2011  

Nora Lustig

Tulane University

Date Written: August 15, 2011

Abstract

Celebrated by academics, multilateral organizations, policymakers and the media, Mexico’s Progresa/Oportunidades conditional cash transfers program (CCT) is constantly used as a model of a successful antipoverty program. Here I argue that the transformation of well-trained scholars into influential practitioners played a fundamental role in promoting a new conceptual approach to poverty reduction, ensuring the technical soundness and effectiveness of the program, incorporating rigorous impact evaluation, and persuading politicians to implement and keep the program in place. The involvement of scholar-practitioners also helped disseminate the new CCT “technology” to many countries around the world quite rapidly.

Keywords: antipoverty programs, conditional cash transfers, scholars, practitioners, Progresa, Oportunidades, Mexico

JEL Classification: H3, H53, I3, O2

Suggested Citation

Lustig, Nora, Scholars Who Became Practitioners: The Influence of Research on the Design, Evaluation, and Political Survival of Mexico’s Antipoverty Program Progresa/Oportunidades (August 15, 2011). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 263. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1910074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1910074

Nora Claudia Lustig (Contact Author)

Tulane University ( email )

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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