Jonathan Walters is the Executive Editor of GOVERNING. He has been covering state and local public policy and administration for more than 30 years.E-mail: Jowaz22@gmail.com
According to the Oportunidades' website, direct cash payments to Mexican families and children had significant and positive affects as shown in these interim outcome measures:
- Children 12 and 14 years old in rural areas increased their probability of enrolling in junior high school 42 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
- Program participants were 23 percent more likely to finish high school than non-participants.
- In rural areas, dropout rates of those ages 16 and 19 years old decreased 23 percent.
- High school enrollment increased by 85 percent for the first year in participating rural areas.
- In rural areas, 11-year-olds who at some point failed a class showed a 46 percent decrease of grade failure rates after participating in Oportunidades.
Nutrition and Health:
- In rural areas, preventive and curative health visits of Oportunidades' beneficiary families increased 35 percent.
- In urban areas, preventive health visits increased 26 percent for adults 19 through 49 years old.
- Nationwide, maternal deaths and infant mortality decreased 11 percent and 2 percent respectively, among program participants.
- Seriousness of anemia cases decreased 12.8 points for children 2 years old and younger in both urban and rural areas for program participants.
- elimination of the education gap between men and women;
- positive expectations of parents for their girl's education;
- significant increase in consumption of proteins, fruits and vegetables among beneficiaries; and
- improved the credit worthiness of participating women and domestic groups.