External evaluation results
All external evaluations for social programs are regulated by the National Council of Evaluation and Social Development
(CONEVAL), an autonomous public organism integrated by various distinguished academics with broad experience in evaluation.
These programs are evaluated by external experts who must be experienced in the matter, as well as independent, impartial and transparent
coordinated by CONEVAL or its dependent entities.
During its 15 years of operation, Oportunidades has been extensively evaluated by external experts from diverse institutions such as
the International Food Polict Research Institute (IFPRI), the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), the Center of Investigation
and Higher Studies of Social Anthropology (CIESAS), El Colegio de México (COLMEX), the Center for Investigation and Economic Education
(CIDE), Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), Sonora’s College, National Anthropology and History School (in Chihuahua), University of
California at Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania and London College.
Throughout the history of Oportunidades´ intervention, external evaluations and studies show that the Program has achieved several positive effects.
The more than 15 years of evaluations account for significant accomplishments.
One of the essential characteristics of the Program, since its origins, has been the transparency and openness to evaluation; therefore it has always
been subject to national and international proficient evaluations.
Oportunidades has become a social protection net through all of its beneficiaries´ life stages.
Below are some of the main positive results reflected in the External Evaluation of the Program in 2008 for rural areas, “10 yrs after the intervention
of Oportunidades (1997 -2007) the challenge of service quality”.
- Fewer social-emotional and behavioral problems and greater language and speech development skills in children 3 yrs old and younger.
- Significant impact on long term school achievement (10 yrs) for both men and women (increase of 0.85 school yrs for women and 0.65 for men).
- Increase of 10 percentage points on mathematics achievement on Oportunidades´ beneficiaries (1998 – 2003).
- For teens and adults 15 to 25 yr old, staying in school has been positioned as their main occupation for both men and women pertaining to a beneficiary family.
- Male Indigenous beneficiaries: 26.6% (versus 12.1% of non beneficiaries)
- Female Indigenous beneficiaries: 28% (versus 7.4% % of non beneficiaries)
- Female Mestizas beneficiaries: 32.7% (versus 10.7% of non beneficiaries)
Oportunidades has shown positive effects on beneficiaries’ health due to regular preventive medical visits and communal
educative self care workshops. The Program has encouraged households to carry out basic sanitation practices which help
them detect possible risk factors and take care of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections on time. Being part of
Oportunidades has helped families access programs such as Seguro Popular.
- By 2007 anemia incidence on beneficiaries younger than 2 yrs has been reduced by almost half (35.8%)
compared to 1999 figures (61%). Low height prevalence has been diminished by one third of what was observed
10 yrs ago (23.9% compared to 35%), that is, 11 percentage points less.
- Oportunidades has had a positive impact in the early identification of risk factors and children diagnosis and attention (mainly on severe diarrheal
diseases (EDA), respiratory illnesses (ERA) and dehydration.
- Overweight and obesity incidence on women is lower than the nationwide average considered on the evaluation sample,
from 40.4% in Guerrero up to 61.1% in Queretaro, against an average of 70%.
- Beneficiary kids who are younger than 2 yrs old show less general morbidity, meaning that beneficiary children are less likely to get sick than those who
are not part of the program (35.5 against 39.9%) situation shown on diverse symptoms and illnesses such as: cough, fever and diarrhea.
- Over the past 10 years, the prevalence of anemia and height/weight deficit have been greatly reduced within the beneficiaries, going from 44 and 44.3
in 1998 to 32.5% in 2007.
- During the most recent reported semester, more than 80% of all patients at health clinics offering services to Oportunidades’
beneficiaries have had the glucose test.
- Free preventive basic health care package
- Continuous monitoring of health and nutrition state of all family members
- Delivery of nutritional supplements to kids 6 to 23 months old, children 2 to 5 years old in some stage of malnourishment
and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Sexual and reproductive health
Oportunidades contributes to the promotion of information regarding sexual and reproductive health. Our female high school beneficiaries have access to plenty of
information concerning family planning. It has been achieved that those beneficiaries and their daughters who have been in the program for long periods of time,
nowadays have higher tendencies to discuss sexual reproduction topics (including birth control methods and Paps Smear Test)
- Teens and young adults, whose families have been part of the Program for long periods of time, have fewer cases of teen pregnancies and sexually
transmitted diseases. Women postpone sexual activity to a later point in life and men have increased condom use.
- Sexually reproductive beneficiary women 15 to 49 years old, have increased their use of birth control; in 1998 only 36% of women used them compared to 42% in 2003 and 57% in 2007.
- Female beneficiaries have increased prenatal checkups, frequently taking care of their child’s birth with help of a doctor.
There is an inverse relationship between risky behaviors and participating on the Program.
- Lower tobacco use, alcohol and junk food consumption among teens whose families have had long permanence on the Program.
Earnings and Expenses
Oportunidades has positive effects regarding workforce incorporation by increasing our beneficiaries´ school attendance and
improving their health. In general, individuals with higher education have greater opportunities to obtain well-paid jobs.
Our younger beneficiaries who have received cash transfers for at least six years and who have finished their elementary
and junior high school education have increased their salaries by 12% and 14% respectively, compared to non-beneficiaries.
Gender and Ethnical Gaps
Oportunidades has been a successful initiative of social politics which has helped reduce gender and ethnical inequity.
- On the matter of schooling, our current beneficiaries have inverted gender gaps reducing male gender breaches to a minimum.
- Among female beneficiaries, those from indigenous backgrounds have reached and extra year of schooling compared to non
indigenous; while in non beneficiary population the situation is inverted: mestizo beneficiaries have on average reached 1 ½ years
more of schooling.
- Girls and female teenagers obtained better results on education, compared to male beneficiaries for elementary and junior high
school levels, for both Mathematics and Spanish. The most notorious differential presents itself in grade school, comparing urban with 15.88 points to rural with 17.47 points.
- The implementation of the “Indigenous Communication Program” (PCI) shows a public politics imitative aimed to help reduce the structural communication problem detected
in various indigenous localities.
- The certification of bilingual promotes it’s a never seen before initiative to help Oportunidades´ indigenous population with integrity and equality, thus complying
with international regulations designed to respect and contribute to the preservation of culture and native languages, guaranteeing service quality through the usage of
certificates authorized by the Ministry of Education through CONOCER.
- The usage of native expressions and language on didactic materials has shown to be a very useful form of communication, since it guarantees a complete comprehension
of messages without the need of translators.
Martes 2 de octubre de 2012 a las 4:43 pm
por Fernando Irala Burgos