The Socio-Economic Impact of Favela- Bairro: What do the Data Say?
In this paper the Brazilian Favela-Bairro neighborhood improvememnt program is assessed regarding its impact on the quality of life of slum residents. Census and administrative data are used to assess impacts on services, income, health, and violence. There are three fundamental conclusions that fall out of the analysis. The first is that the program improved neighborhood services, with the benefits accrueing to a greater degree to the neighborhoods poorest quantiles. In terms of value of property, as measured by rent, and the in most of the health outcomes, however, the data did produced evidence of improvement. The second result is that we see a marked difference in the characterization of the project’s impact when no control group is used. In terms of results a reflexive comparison leads to an over-estimation of project benefits. The last result is perhaps the most important, in part because it qualifies most of the findings of this evaluation. Given the high degree of geographic targeting, yet the relatively small size of targeted units, the data available was inadequate to answer many of the fundamental evaluative questions raised in the introduction and throughout the paper.
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