14, November, 2011

Improving Health and Education Through CCTs

Quantitative evaluations show that Latin America's CCTs have had concrete effects on health and education, with documented increases by significant percentages in school attendance and access to health services across a variety of Latin American countries.

One of the worst characteristics of poverty is its tendency to self-perpetuate, with poor families often being forced to under-invest in their children's health and education. In Latin America, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes have been effective in ensuring higher school attendance and greater health services use, both of which are valuable inputs for human capital development and future productivity.  However, CCT evaluations have had a harder time identifying effects on health and education impacts.  This brief describes how Latin American countries have used CCTs to improve health and education, the results achieved, and lessons learned for improving health and education in other settings.

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Key Lessons:

  • CCTs have proven to be effective in increasing school attendance and access to health services.
  • However, it has been more difficult to identify improvements in education and health outcomes and long-term impacts.
  • Supply side interventions are important to assure that increasing service use has an impact on education and health outcomes.

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