Evaluation framework

How to institutionalize evaluation: India and Mexico learning from each other

October 21, 2009

Speaker: Gonzalo Hernandez-Licona, CONEVAL

“CONEVAL’s original sin is that we are based within the Ministry of Social Development and we will need to move out from the Ministry in order to become independent,” stressed the head of the National Council for Evaluation of Social Development Policies in Mexico, Gonzalo Hernandez-Licona.

This was an important lesson from the case of Mexico at the time where India is setting up a new Independent Evaluation Office, which was raised by Hernandez-Licona at the international conference on development evaluation hosted by the Planning Commission and reiterated at the 3ie Delhi seminar.

Mexico was the first country to introduce mandatory impact evaluation for all its social programs. This was in part a result of the lessons learnt from the first evaluation of the Government flagship program Progresa/ Oportunidades, which provides cash transfers conditional upon regular school attendance, health clinic visits and nutritional support to children. By rigorously demonstrating the program’s success in reducing children’s malnutrition rates and child labor, as well as increasing boys and girls’ enrolment in secondary school through independent evaluations, the program survived the change of government and was scaled up.
More recently, Mexican President Felipe Calderon was influenced by the results of an evaluation “Housing, Health and Happiness" showing that replacing dirt floors with cement significantly improves the health of young children in Mexico, and decided to further invest in this national program.
Read more and download: Gonzalo Hernandez-Licona’s presentation on “The Importance of Impact Evaluation in Mexico’s Monitoring & Evaluation System

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