How does Avancemos Work?: Best Practices in the Implementation of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Feb 2016
The Avancemos conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which has operated since 2006 in Costa Rica, focuses on families living in extreme poverty and social vulnerability with adolescents and youth between the ages of 12 and 25. In August 2015, nearly 157,000 students received the cash transfer upon meeting certain co-responsibilities associated with school attendance and completing the school year in secondary school. Beneficiaries are eligible based on their score in the Target Population Information System (Sistema de Población Objetivo - SIPO), calculated through the Social Information Record (Ficha de Información Social - FIS). To receive the benefit, the mother or guardian of the student needs to sign a contract with the Joint Institute for Social Welfare (Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social - IMAS) in which they commit to meeting the abovementioned co-responsibilities. Verification of the co-responsibilities is carried out by the IMAS in conjunction with the education centers. The payments are made monthly through a prepaid card issued by the National Bank of Costa Rica (Banco Nacional de Costa Rica - BNCR). This document is part of a series of studies carried out in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean with the objective of systematizing understanding of the operations of CCTs. The other case studies are available on the IDB´s Conditional Cash Transfers website.