Action - Oportunidades - Food distribution/supplementation - Infants and young children|Lactating women (LW)|Pregnant women (PW)|Preschool-age children (Pre-SAC)

Programme: Oportunidades

Programme description

Oportunidades (known as Progresa from 1997–2002) is a conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme in operation at the time of writing. It was initiated in rural areas and expanded to include urban areas beginning in 2002, although approximately 70% of programme participants reside in rural areas. Targeting for Oportunidades is based on both geography, through identification of localities with high marginality indices, and socioeconomic status, through proxy means testing. Approximately 60 % of households in the bottom decile of per capita expenditures are participants, suggesting effective targeting of the poorest.

Programme type

Large scale programmes


The health and nutrition transfer component of Oportunidades is US$ 15/household per month


WHO (2013) Essential Nutrition Actions – Improving maternal, newborn, infant and young child health and nutrition, which provides a compact of WHO guidance on nutrition interventions targeting the first 1000 days of life. Part I presents the interventions currently recommended by WHO, summarizes the rationale and the evidence, and describes the actions require to implement them. Part II provides an analysis of community-based interventions aimed at improving nutrition and indicates how effective interventions can be delivered in an integrated fashion. It shows how the essential nutrition actions described in the first part have been implemented in large-scale programmes in various settings, what the outcomes have been, and to examine the evidence for attribution of changes in nutritional outcomes to programme activities. This summary of Oportunidades is retrieved from the ENA Part II where Oportunidades is one of 32 large-scale community-based programs that has been reviewed in detail and evaluated.


Start date:

Target group: 
Infants and young children
Lactating women (LW)
Pregnant women (PW)
Preschool-age children (Pre-SAC)
Age group: 
All children less than 2 years, children under 5 years with low WAZ scores
Implementation details : 

<p>The nutrition supplement is intended to provide 20% of daily caloric and 100% of daily micronutrient requirements.&nbsp;</p>

Coverage level (%): 
5 million families, approximately 20 % of the population
Outcome indicator(s): 

<p>Height-for-age z-score (HAZ)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Weight-for-age z-score (WAZ)</p>

M&E system: 

<p>Multiple evaluations of <em>Oportunidades </em>have been conducted with data demonstrating significant improvements in nutritional outcomes.</p>


An increase in height in children 0–6 months of 1.1 cm (26.4 cm versus 25.3 cm) in programme beneficiaries compared to a control group. In rural children ages 12–24 months, a significant increase in mean hemoglobin of 0.37 g/dl was found after 12 months in the programme; 11.12 g/dl in the treatment group compared to 10.75 g/dl in the controls. Corresponding anaemia prevalence among beneficiary children was 44.3% compared to 54.9% among control children, a significant 10.6 ppt decrease. Even with improvement, nearly half of beneficiary children were still anaemic.

Outcome reported by social determinants: 
Vulnerable groups

Revision log

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 13:44engesveenkCopy of the revision from Wed, 11/26/2014 - 16:02.published