How does Más Familias en Acción Work?: Best Practices in the Implementation of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Sánchez Prada, Fernando;
Nov 2015
Más Familias en Acción (MFA) is a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that has operated in Colombia since 2000. Currently, 2.7 million families receive benefits associated with school attendance and health controls. MFA’s target populationcomprises poor families that have either been displaced by the conflict or are from indigenous communities, and have family members who are under 18 years old. Beneficiaries are identified through the Beneficiary Identification System for Social Programs (SISBEN) to measure standards of living; as well as official records of families who have been displaced by the conflict, indigenous communities, and Red Unidos. In 2013, when the third version of SISBEN was introduced, all families identified as potential beneficiaries had to enroll with MFA, regardless of whether or not they had been beneficiaries before. Over the past few years, MFA has adopted information technologies to improve the efficiency of its operational processes and reduce families’ participation costs. Nowadays, most healthcare and education institutions record information about compliance with co-responsibilities in the SIFA information system. Moreover, most payments are made through bank accounts, and beneficiaries can conduct transactions using ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals in several commercial establishments, and their mobile phones. 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.