Scholars Who Became Practitioners: the Influence of Research on the Design, Evaluation and Political Survival of Mexico's Anti-poverty Program Progresa/Oportunidades
Celebrated by academics, multilateral organizations, policy-makers and the media, Mexico's Progresa/Oportunidades conditional cash transfers program (CCT) is constantly used as a model of a successful anti-poverty 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 scholars-practitioners also helped disseminate the new CCT "technology" to many countries around the world within a decade.
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