Evaluation of the Conditional Cash Transfer Program Avancemos

Group of international students

The Conditional Cash Transfer Program Avancemos Program was developed by the Government of Costa Rica to combat the rising problem of drop-out and abandonment in secondary school. The program was established on May 8, 2006, with the objective of promoting school attendance for adolescents that belong to families living in poverty. 

The conditional cash transfer was designed to provide monetary compensation to beneficiary households with the requirement that their students regularly attend secondary school. The government institution responsible for managing and implementing the program at the national level is the Mixed Institute for Social Aid (IMAS).

The Evaluation of Avancemos

UNICEF Costa Rica and IMAS selected IMPAQ International to conduct an evaluation of the Avancemos program. (IMPAQ was acquired by AIR in 2020.) The evaluation was conducted between the period of January and July 2015.

The main objective of the evaluation was to assess the performance and impact of the Avancemos Program after nine years of implementation. The evaluation studied the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the program.

Specific objectives included:

  • Studying the establishment and development of the program since its creation;
  • Identifying whether the results obtained by the program met original expectations and objectives;
  • Assessing whether the program is being executed in the most efficient manner;
  • Quantifying what have been the effects generated by the program in relation to school attendance, education completion levels, labor market participation, and hours worked; and  
  • Determining whether the program has an adequate and sustainable operation that can optimally transfer the benefits to families in poverty and extreme poverty.