Fundación ETEA provides pioneering technical assistance to CABEI on impact assessment and poverty measurement

The Fundación ETEA – Development Institute of University Loyola has been selected by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to design a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to measure the impact of the Program for the Reduction of Poverty and Social Exclusion (PRPEES) and to develop increasingly effective tools for the development of Central America.

To this end, Fundación ETEA and Loyola Behavioral Lab have started from the premise of the need to measure poverty through a multidimensional approach that allows the impact of this program to be evaluated in areas such as education, health, environment, work and quality of life, with an index adapted to Central America. The program will be implemented in all the countries of the region: Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Professors and researchers from University Loyola and Fundación ETEA have participated in the project, including Pablo Brañas (director), María José Vázquez, Diego A. Jorrat, Luis A. Fernández, Lorenzo Estepa and Mª Luisa Rodero. Three undergraduate students have also collaborated: Juan B. González, Mónica Vasco and Diego González.

Measuring the impact of development programs on multidimensional poverty, an unfinished business

There are still few institutions that have begun to evaluate the impact of their poverty reduction programs and even fewer that use multidimensional poverty indexes for this purpose, thus achieving programs and policies that can measure their results and effect on poverty. Thus, with technical assistance from Fundación ETEA and Loyola Behavioral Lab, CABEI joins pioneering initiatives that have begun to be developed by entities such as the World Bank, IDB and JPAL.

In addition to this approach in technical assistance, impact assessment using experimental methodologies will be carried out by creating control and treatment groups to isolate the real effect of the program. Measures will therefore be taken before and after PRPEES in two samples of the population: one that participates in the program and another that is not part of this initiative (twin). This will allow us to evaluate the specific areas in which PRPEES has had an effective impact on poverty and the possible improvements needed.

The influence of PRPEES on people, the ‘Loyola touch’.

To the traditional dimensions for measuring multidimensional poverty, additional measures related to the behavior and skills of the population (such as achievement expectations, risk propensity, patience, cooperation or logical-mathematical skills) have been added, thus making it possible to see the effect of the program also on people’s characteristics that can be predictive of aspects such as academic success or entrepreneurial capacity, among others.