The webinar: PROSPERA Social Inclusion Program Mexico: The role of evaluation, hosted by socialprotection.org on 12 October, is part of the platform's Webinar Series on Linking Social Protection to Sustainable Employment Series. The partners involved in organising the webinar were the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Mexico's Department of Social Development (SEDESOL), and the Social Protection for Employment Community (SPEC).
The event was moderated by Dr Anna McCord (the Overseas Development Institute/ODI). The webinar panelist was Dr Graciela Teruel Belismelis (National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy/CONEVAL). Dr Perla Carolina Gris Legorreta (PROSPERA Social Inclusion Program) served as the discussant.
The webinar presented the design features of Mexico’s flagship social protection programme, PROSPERA Social Inclusion Program and its external evaluation mechanism, which is carried out by an autonomous agency in charge of the nation’s social policy evaluation. The programme is under the direction of the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL) and implemented by the PROSPERA National Coordination.
PROSPERA has three main, human capital development components: food, health, and education. In addition to this, beneficiaries of the program also receive preferential access to an array of institutional offer of social programs for productive development, income generation and labour inclusion through its linkage component. Specifically, the linkage component can be divided into the following sub-components: financial inclusion, labour inclusion, especially to foster the youth in the formal labour market, productive inclusion, and social inclusion.
One of the good practices of PROSPERA is the external evaluation mechanism. The evaluation processes undertaken by PROSPERA are driven, on the one hand, by the guidelines promoted by the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL). On the other hand, the PROSPERA National Coordination through the General Directorate of Geostatistics, Analysis and Evaluation (DGIGAE), designs and implements evaluation processes directed to generate robust and objective evidence about the effectiveness of the different interventions of the Program. Consequently, evaluation represents a core element within the logic of PROSPERA; its development, as well as the use and dissemination of findings, are processes that have been internalized by the organization.
The webinar began with a bried introduction by McCord, which was then followed by the presentation of Legorreta, who addressed seven points: a) Background; b) Legal framework; c) The role of evaluation in PROSPERA; d) Long-term evaluation Agenda; e) Fourth Component: Action lines; f) Evaluation of the Fourth Component; g) Conclusions.
Since its inception, PROSPERA has considered the development of its external evaluation as an essential and continuous component of delivering effective social protection. Evaluation constitutes the cornerstone of an integrated system for assessing the programme's performance, allowing for the implementation of adjustments, in order to achieve its goals and objectives.
PROSPERA uses its operational network to facilitate the performance of different evaluations. It also seeks to establish mechanisms of responsibility and transparency. Evaluation has been recognised as an essential instrument of Mexico's federal government in the pursuit of evidence informed policy making.
Regarding programme linkage, the four main action lines include:
i) Labor inclusion: placing the emphasis on young beneficiaries, to promote their insertion into the formal labour market;
ii) Productive inclusion: Linkage schemes to facilitate access to the benefits of productive development and income generation programmes;
iii) Financial inclusion: facilitating access to financial education, savings, life insurance and credit;
iv) Social inclusion: PROSPERA promotes priority access of its beneficiaries to programmes that facilitate access to social rights of people.
McCord then invited Teruel to present, who introduced (CONEVAL), the institution in charge of evaluating of social policies and programmes in Mexico. PROSPERA is one of the most celebrated social protection programmes globally, particularly in the realm of evaluation. Evaluation has also been one of the key components of the success of the programme. The results obtained over the past 20 years of coordinated evaluation have seen the establishment of the largest anti-poverty programme in the country.
The webinar closed with McCord moderating the Q & A session:
- Evaluating the empowerment of women through PROSPERA was addressed
- Questions regarding the key actors involved in evaluation and how to build the framework of evaluation were also raised
- The audience asked for the experiences of other programmes on how evaluation results are fed back into policy making. For example, CONEVAL's external evaluation of the Pilot Productive Territories Program.
- It was also addressed why PROSPERA decided to implement productive inclusion programmes instead of relying on those pre-exisiting programmes implemented and funded by the Ministry of Agriculture (SAGARPA) such as PROAGRO and PESA.
Watch the video here!
This blog post is part of the Linking Social Protection to Sustainable Employment webinar series, which brings together the summaries of webinars organised by DFAT, Department of Social Development of Mexico and GIZ on the topic. Please join the Online community Social Protection for Employment if you are interested in following the most recent discussions on the topic. If you have any thoughts on this webinar summary, we would love to hear from you. Please add your comments below!