Letter to the EditorLahore: Progress introduction by the Mexico government was made in 1998 with the objective to facilitate health utilization and enrollments in school. The underlying aim was to make betterment of human development by enhancing overall health of the target population. This programme was based on conditional cash transfer in order to increase health facilities and enrollments in school resulting in human capital converting into country’s overall performance.
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Progresa’s initial purpose was to stop inter-generational poverty transmission. Second was to include improving health and nutrition in educational programmes pertaining to health and nutrition. The hypothesis of Progresa include whether the CCTs made a betterment of healthcare facilities and overall health of children and adults. The effect of children attendance and performance in school was also checked.
Sampling of Progresa community was done like 10 % of total population of 50000 communities. In treatment group there were 320 and in control group 185 were included. Experimental design was termed as randomized control design. However there was confusion about the technique of experiment whether it is quasi or randomized control.
For identification of eligible communities marginality index was used by Progresa. After eligibility test programme used a proxy means test to evaluate eligible households within these communities. Progresa gives direct cash to females. Transferring of cash was strictly based on Progresa conditions. Transferring was done about one third of average household income. It was observed that Progresa cash transfer programme has enhanced house hold consumption patterns. Cash was used specially to increase food quality and quantity on priority basis.
Every programme effect depends on how it has changed the attitude of the target population and same was observed with Progresa programme.
From above discussion it can be realized that Progresa has been success story for Mexico and a model worth replicating in Pakistan. After comprehensive effect it can be evaluated that programme is an excellent human development initiative. Policymakers should focus on Progresa’s example for human development policies in Pakistan also.
By looking towards budget allocation of the state of Pakistan, major portion is used up in debt and remaining in defence activities. Health and education requires nominal shares that are why Pakistan needs major budgetary reforms in allocations. In addition to this Pakistan should cooperate with Mexico stakeholders to take Progresa like initiative. Individual and collective budget constraints, socio-economic aspects and institutional framework in Pakistan must be considered before making a detail policy.