Impact of Oportunidades on Skilled Attendance at Delivery in Rural Areas
Oportunidades (formerly PROGRESA) is a conditional cash transfer program ran by the Mexican federal government designed to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Among other activities, it provides free delivery attendance for women enrolled in the program. Skilled attendance at delivery has been identified as an effective strategy to reduce maternal mortality, an important health problem in Mexico. In this paper we assess the impact of Oportunidades on skilled attendance at delivery taking advantage of the experimental design implemented for the evaluation of this program in rural areas and using a variety of analytical techniques. The main results of the study indicate that Oportunidades had, at best, only a small effect on skilled attendance at delivery in treatment communities. The program had larger effects on those women who had one birth just prior to the experimental treatment and another birth subsequent to the experimental treatment. These results should lead to a review about the strategies used by Oportunidades to increase skilled attendance at delivery. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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