New York City’s Center for Economic opportunity led the United States in launching Opportunity New York City as an experimental and privately funded program to help families in six of the city’s highest-poverty communities break the cycle of intergenerational poverty (Riccio, 2010) . The ONYC study aimed to test the impact of the cash transfers on the health of the family, education of the children, and the outcomes of the adults’ workforce in the household. Also, this program was based on the pioneering conditional cash transfer program of Mexico named Oportunidades.
In addition, the ONYC conditional cash transfer program greatly benefitted the lower- and middle-income countries. However, being the first comprehensive Conditional Cash Transfer Program in a developed country, the Family Rewards of the ONYC has been the main focus of other countries. The program is also coordinated by Seedco which is a private and nonprofit intermediary organization along with six other community based organizations. It was evaluated by the MDRC, which helped in the designing of the initiative through randomized control trial.
Included in the program are financial rewards that are given to participants who were able to meet the conditions set by the coordinators. Some of the conditions were meeting goal for the children’s attendance in school, levels of achievements on the children’s standardized tests, maintaining of health insurance coverage and obtaining age-appropriate preventive medical and dental check-ups of the family, sustaining full-time jobs and completing approved education or job training activities. The conditions of the program were focused on education, health-related, and work-related aspects of the community.
The ONYC: Family Rewards chose to test different values of rewards ranging from $20 to $600 to observe which incentives are applicable in the context of the United States. With its wide range of activities, the program also taught the participants many ways to earn money and avoided the distribution of extremely large amounts of money to any one activity or outcome. Few adjustments were made in the program to be able to make it simpler and cost-efficient. After a few years of implementing the program, reports of findings from the evaluation of the first two years of the experimental program were released.
In totality, the results stated that the Family Rewards substantially decreased poverty and material hardship and have different effects of health-related, education, and work-related outcomes. Riccio, James. (2010). Policybrief: Sharing Lessons from the First Conditional Cash Transfer Program in the United States. Retrieved from http://www. npc. umich. edu/publications/policy_briefs/brief22/policybrief22. pdf Jamaica The conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme in the country of Jamaica was managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and was named as Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education or PATH.
Similar to other CCT programmes, the PATH has certain conditions that the participating families should conform with to be able to be benefitted by the cash transfers. The main objective of the PATH is to promote the development of the human capital of the members of the programme. The two important components of PATH are child assistance grants and social assistance grants. The former gives health and education benefits for poor but deserving students through age 17. The benefits include visitation to a health clinic once or twice per year and attendance in school.
On the other hand, the social assistance grants give regular health benefits to poor adults and senior citizens. The benefits include regular clinic visits for pregnant women, sick, and penniless elderly. The average monthly benefit of each individual participating in the program was about US$6. 50 that helps conceptualize what the programme aimed to accomplish (Levy, D. & Ohls, J. , 2010). The candidates for the programme must have detailed demographic and socio-economic information to be passed to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security or MLSS parish office to know if the household’s score is eligible to participate in the programme.
The analysis of the implementation of the programme was based on site visits which were conducted in two rounds during the evaluation. During each visit, one-on-one interviews with MLSS parish offices, schools, healthcare centers, and post offices were done and the participants also provided detailed information about eligibility determination process, education and health requirement enforcement mechanisms, bene? adequacy, and the process of bene? t disbursement (Wedderburn et al. , 2004, 2005). Based on the results released, the MLSS was successful in implementing PATH and shareholders knew that the programme was able to accomplish its basic goals. The results also showed that most of the participants had pleasing transactions with the program but many improvements can still be made.
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