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.
  • Tag: mexico

    Found 23 posts.

    The Effect of Upfront Payments on the Turnover of Rural Instructors

    By - 19 de September de 2017, 3:00 pm

    By Rosangela Bando and Claudia Uribe

    The dream of many young Mexicans is to go to college. Juanita’s high school dream was to become a teacher one day. Little did she imagine that her dream would make a difference to children living in small rural areas of Mexico. But Juanita’s dream began to come true after she met a representative from Mexico’s National Council for Educational Development (Consejo Nacional de Fomento Educativo -CONAFE).

    CONAFE student. Image: CONAFE.

    CONAFE student. Image: CONAFE.

    CONAFE focuses on providing educational opportunities to children and teenagers in remote communities with fewer than 500 inhabitants.

    One of CONAFE’s programs consists of enrolling young instructors to teach in those communities for at least a year.

    The more than 35,000 CONAFE instructors often live in the community during the week with local families and those families are responsible for providing food and housing. CONAFE offers them a monthly subsidy of Mex$1,427 (about US$110 at the time of the evaluation). If instructors teach for a full year, they become eligible to have their higher education financed. Read more…

    How Do We Know if We Are Improving Lives? Multidimensional Poverty and Subjective Well-Being

    By - 27 de June de 2016, 3:54 pm

    The mission of the IDB is to work with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to improve the lives of their citizens. However, this process is not an exact science, so it is not always easy to ascertain whether that objective is being achieved. How can we know for certain that Bank-supported projects are helping people live more prosperously?

    Subjective Well-Being

    Image: iStock

    Responding to this question is not easy, above all because measuring improvements in people’s lives can involve different factors. How can such a measurement be undertaken? By carrying out a cost-benefit analysis or an impact evaluation with experimental methodologies for a specific project? By calculating reductions in poverty rates? By measuring levels of satisfaction and happiness of citizens before and after implementation of a public policy?

    Read more…

    Habitat program: closing gaps in Mexico’s formal neighborhoods

    By - 7 de June de 2016, 8:00 am

    Imagine living in a neighborhood where some families have water and others don’t. Where half the streets are paved, and only some have sidewalks. Where street lighting exists only in certain areas, making it dangerous to return home at night or go out before dawn. Or where you have to walk very far to find a park, a football field, a health clinic, or a day-care center.

    Felipe Ángeles community center after the intervention. Image: IDB

    Felipe Ángeles community center after the intervention. Image: IDB

    That is the reality of many Mexican neighborhoods. Although the national average for coverage of basic infrastructure services is above 90 percent, the statistic hides real levels of inequality within municipalities.

    Today there are around 3,200 neighborhoods, also called polígonos in Spanish, with deficient access to certain basic urban and social services. Specifically, 17 percent of these areas are deficient in their coverage of piped water, drainage, and electricity. Read more…

    Opening the English world for native Spanish speakers

    By - 26 de April de 2016, 7:00 am

    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

    Image: iStock


    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…

    Are School Funds like a Party Cake? Taking Leftovers Home

    By - 10 de February de 2015, 8:37 am

    school window

    Imagine that you are a parent and that last year you contributed US$20 to your child’s school to buy cleaning supplies, fix broken windows and pay for the phone service. Different from last year, now imagine that this year you get to choose with other parents what to do with government funds that could be used to buy cleaning supplies, fix broken windows, and pay for the phone service in the school. What would you do? Well, if you could use some of the government funds to pay for those expenses and reduce the voluntary contributions, you could buy your child other needed things at home.

    Do parents take some of the government funds home via a decrease of voluntary contributions? Are they treating school funds like a party cake where you can split it and take a piece home?

    In a recent study, we test this idea. Read more…

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