Accessing Accountability: Individual Versus Collective Voices 1
This study compares innovations that encourage voice for accountability within two large-scale anti-poverty programs, Mexico's flagship welfare program, Oportunidades (formerly known as Progresa), and the subsidized rural food store network supplied by Diconsa. Oportunidades provides material incentives to mothers to keep their children in school and to follow basic preventive health measures. Based on the program's tangible results and its substantial coverage of the poorest, Oportunidades has become an international model for ‘conditional cash transfer’ programs. The program's emphasis on individuals' ‘co-responsibility’ with the state contrasts with the state-society council approach detailed in the previous chapter and embodied in the Diconsa program. However, new program leadership recognized the lack of transparency and accountability mechanisms, and launched a new ‘Citizen Attention’ initiative for registering complaints and information requests. This chapter compares this new channel for the expression of individual voice with the Diconsa food program's system of regional council oversight.
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