17, October, 2012

From Impact Evaluations to Paradigm Shift. A Case Study of the Buenos Aires Ciudadanía Porteña Conditional Cash Transfer Programme

This case study looks at how the evaluations of Ciudadanía Porteña: Con Todo Derecho, a cash transfer programme in Buenos Aires, were used to influence policy. Gabriela Agosto et al, show that the three evaluations of this programme were important for strategically sharpening social policy and improving implementation.

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Argentina sank into an economic and social crisis in 2001–2002 and into new levels of poverty the crisis rocked the foundations of the country’s social welfare policy. In the city of Buenos Aires, which was particularly hard hit, the crisis provoked a search for alternative solutions. Impact evaluations led the city government to institute a cash transfer programme, the Ciudadanía Porteña: Con Todo Derecho, or CPP, in 2005.


Two years later, the city government conducted the first of three impact evaluations to gauge the efficiency and efficacy of the choices it had made in the design of the CPP. This case study looks at those three evaluations and how they were used: two impact evaluations of the cash transfer programme in Buenos Aires, conducted in 2007 and 2009, and an impact evaluation of a new component of the CPP, Studying is Working, which was introduced in 2008 as a result of a recommendation from the first evaluation.


The three impact evaluations had specific policy influence objectives. The evaluations were designed with a dual purpose: i) to determine how the programme could be made more efficient and thus maximise its purpose and ii) to build consensus and legitimacy on the strategy of cash transfers in general. The evidence from the impact evaluations was used to guide structural changes in the programme and to attitudinal changes, affecting the awareness, attitudes and perceptions among the relevant parties, which has crystallised as new discursive commitment and new policy content.



Authors: Gabriela Agosto, Eduardo Nuñez, Horacio Citarroni, Irma Briasco and Nicolás Garcette (Observatorio Social)
Orginal publication date:
Publisher: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

Click here to download the complete working paper in PDF format


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