Assessing IFPRI’s impact: the case of the mexican PROGRESA Program

The Mexican PROGRESA/Oportunidades anti-poverty and human resource conditional cash transfer (CCT) program has influenced considerably policies in many countries. The Mexican government engaged the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to undertake the initial evaluation of PROGRESA/Oportunidades. This paper considers:

(1) Was the PROGRESA program design influenced by prior IFPRI research?

(2) Why was IFPRI chosen to undertake the initial impact evaluation of PROGRESA?

(3) How did the IFPRI evaluation of PROGRESA contribute to the program?

(4) Were there spillovers of the IFPRI evaluation of PROGRESA?

It concludes that estimated benefit–cost ratios of IFPRI’s evaluation of PROGESA considerably exceed one.