Here's some of what Wikipedia has to say:
Oportunidades is a government social assistance program in Mexico founded in 2002, based on a previous program called Progresa, created in 1997. It is designed to target poverty by providing cash payments to families in exchange for regular school attendance, health clinic visits, and nutritional support. Oportunidades is credited with decreasing poverty and improving health and educational attainment in regions in which it has been deployed. As of 2006, around one-quarter of Mexico's population participates in Oportunidades.
Seems like a very successful program and one that is definitely needed. Oportunidades for them and an opportunity for me to learn something new.
Key features of Oportunidades include:
The anti-poverty program has become a flagship success. Thirty percent of the population directly receive conditional cash transfers from the program. Effects have been both positive and numerous. Increased contraceptive use in rural areas of Mexico has resulted in reduced teen pregnancy and fewer infant deaths. Students are progressing with school for more years and with high grades. The number of graduating high school students has increased 85%. More students are going to college.
- Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) - To encourage co-responsibility, receipt of aid is dependent on family compliance with program requirements, such as ensuring children attend school and family members receive preventative health care
- "Rights holders" - Program recipients are mothers, the caregiver directly responsible for children and family health decisions
- Cash payments are made from the government directly to families to decrease overhead and corruption
- A system of evaluation and statistical controls to ensure effectiveness
- Rigorous selection of recipients based on geographical and socioeconomic factors
- Program requirements target measures considered most likely to lift families out of poverty, focusing on health, nutrition and children's education[1