Poverty has had devastating effects on families in Latin America throughout the region's history. Since the 1990s, some Latin American governments have begun to design public policies that combat poverty while preserving families. At the same time, these programs seek to go beyond assistance and become active tools of social and economic transformation. Brazil, through its program Bolsa Familia, and Mexico, through Oportunidades, have been at the forefront in designing such anti-poverty policies and between them, currently enroll 17 million families.
Maria Helena Lavinas de Morais is an Associate Professor of Social Policy at the Institute of Economics (IE), at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil and Secretary at the Municipality of Nova Iguaçu, Rio de Janeiro in charge of assessing social programs outcomes.
Agustín Escobar Latapí is a Professor at CIESAS Occidente (Center for Higher Research in Social Anthropology), Guadalajara, MX. He also serves on the following boards: The Advisory Board of the Center for Latin American Social Policy (CLASPO), at the Teresa Lozano Institute for Latin American Studies, at the University of Texas; the International Advisory Board of the Center for U.S. – Mexican Studies, at the University of California – San Diego and the International Advisory Board of the Institute for the Study of International Migration, at the University of Georgetown. I was elected to the Board of Directors of the State Science and Technology Council in 2001, for a one-year period, as representative of all the private universities and Research Centers of Jalisco.
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For discussion see paper attached.
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