This commentary on the Integrated Strategy for Attention to Nutrition (EsIAN) journal supplement begins with a discussion about the challenges that implementation researchers confront with respect to analyzing complex impact pathways. We note that the research on the implementation of the EsIAN component of Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program was based implicitly or explicitly on a program impact pathway approach, which used both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine bottlenecks in program implementation.

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Mexico’s Prospera-Oportunidades-Progresa Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCT-POP) included the distribution of fortified food supplements (FFS) for pregnant and lactating women and young children. Rigorous evaluations showed significant impacts on nutrition outcomes but also substantial gaps in addressing nutrition problems.Three key design and implementation challenges were identified. FFS, although well accepted for children, had limited potential to substantially modify the quality of children’s diets because of the pattern of use in the home.

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We demonstrate a new way to recover point estimates of bargaining power usinga collective model of the family with limited commitment. Estimating bargaining power forparents in each family requires that researchers first model each partner’s earnings oppor-tunities and predict their incomes in their relevant outside options. This strategy has sev-eral distinct advantages over other contemporary measurement options, such as not needingstrong assumptions on utility functional forms, distribution factors, or private assignablegoods.

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Two decades after the inception of Mexico's conditional cash transfer program, PROSPERA, this study analyzes the intergenerational occupational mobility and occupational attainment of a group of rural beneficiary youths between ages 18 and 35 years, segmented into subgroups by sex, ethnic background and migratory status. Furthermore, it evaluates if a higher intensity of PROSPERA's treatment increases the equality of labor opportunities for the youths.

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Prospera and the future of social protection and education in Mexico

The Social Inclusion Program PROSPERA is the Mexico's conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, launched in 2014 after its predecessors: the Program for Human Development Oportunidades, and the Program for Education, Health, and Nutrition (Progresa), which entered into force in 2002 and 1997, respectively.

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Improving the financial inclusion of the poor is a global challenge that, if overcome, could help many to escape poverty. To tackle this challenge, some conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes have started depositing transfers directly into benefiiaries’ savings accounts. One such programme is PROSPERA, formerly PROGRESA/Oportunidades, in Mexico. As of January 2012, all six million recipients of the programme received transfers directly into savings accounts at the Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros (BANSEFI).

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The proposed Project Development Objectives are to support the Government’s effort to: (i) increase access of PROSPERA beneficiaries to social and productive programs, and (ii) develop instruments for an integrated social protection system.

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The Project became effective as expected on February 17, 2015 and is still in too early a stage for meaningful progress. The first supervision mission took place between June 3-5, 2015, during which the team reviewed progress in Project implementation and planned activities, with a focus on the next 6 months of implementation. Implementation at the time of mission was on track overall. After the mission, some delays have been reported resulting from changes in SEDESOL technical and administrative teams and from budget cuts in the zero budget environment at country level.

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