Development that Works
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    This blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Lessons from Honduras’ CTT program: conditionalities matter



    A successful strategy to reduce poverty in developing nations has been the use of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs.

    CCTs attempt to reduce poverty while also changing behavior and building human capital by providing families with cash in exchange for certain requirements, such as enrolling their children in school.


    Launching of CTT program Bono 10 Mil Urbano “Your educations is my commitment”, 10th May, 2013. Escuelas Normal Mixta Pedro Nufio y República de Paraguay Schools. Image by: Government of the Republic of Honduras

    These incentives have been employed effectively to boost school enrollment and attendance, decrease child labor, and encourage the use of preventive health services.

    In Honduras, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been the main financial and technical partner of a CCT known as Bono Vida Mejor (formerly Bono 10,000).

    Since its inception in 2010, Bono Vida Mejor has benefited 350,000 households. It has contributed to reducing the poverty rate in Honduras and moderately improved school attendance and the rate of health clinic visits for children under 3. Read more…

    Opening the English world for native Spanish speakers



    Have you ever tried to learn to speak a foreign language? Did it make you nervous the first time you had to speak it? Imagine having to teach it.

    hispanohablantes ingles
    English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is spoken by one quarter of the world’s population and is the most published language. More people are learning English today than any other language.

    English is the language of commerce, diplomacy, computers, and half of the internet. Unfortunately in Latin America, few students graduate from school with a command of the English language, limiting their opportunities to participate in a globalized economy.

    Some of these countries are making changes to improve English education. Mexico recently reformed public schools, introducing English in preschool and primary education and increasing study time in English by an additional 50% in secondary education. Read more…

    Using job training to prevent teen pregnancy in the Dominican Republic



    Greater self-esteem and opportunities can reduce the risk of teenage pregnancy. That is a lesson of a job training program advanced by the Youth and Employment Program in the Dominican Republic. The country has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 104 births per 1,000 people between the ages of 15 and 19, almost equal to that of the Sub-Saharan Africa (110 per 1000 inhabitants).

    embarazo adolescente domincana 1The women who participated in the job training program reduced their chances of becoming pregnant by 20 percent. That is a significant reduction, bringing the rate more in line with the median for the region (74 per 1000 inhabitants). Read more…

    Data transparency as a development effectiveness tool



    by Erin Bautista and Tracy Betts. 

    Each year, international development institutions channel billions of dollars into development projects around the world. Is the money well spent? Does it produce the desired results?

    IDB transparency open data



    While many development providers publish project details through their own websites and reports, finding consolidated information on which projects are active in a given country, what they are achieving, and where the gaps are can be a daunting task.

    That’s why transparency in development cooperation has come to mean a lot more than simply making information public, but also making it easily accessible and usable. Read more…

    Improving the quality of life of senior citizens



    The risk of falling into poverty increases substantially with age, not only because the ability to perform a job and ensure an income falls, but also because expenses mount as health deteriorates and disabilities increase.

    universal basic pension

    Image by reynermedia. Creative Commons License.

    Pension policies don’t just alleviate poverty; they also provide security for the elderly who are in danger of falling into poverty. However, pension systems in developing countries have a limited potential, as their coverage level is low. Such is the case of El Salvador, where only 20 percent of the elderly population is covered by the pension system. Read more…

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