CBMS-12142 CBMS-Argentina Pilot: Implementation of a Community-Based Poverty Monitoring System in Argentina


Argentina in the past has been a fast growing economy that attracted immigrants mainly from Europe and other Latin-American countries. Recurrent macroeconomic crisis and hard problems to sustain economic growth have changed the situation drastically. The country has generated poverty to levels never before seen. Perhaps because poverty was not among the most important problems in the past, the country did not have a developed and sophisticated network to assist poor households. In the 90s, when unemployment and poverty reached two digits, the National Government started to implement large scale programs, such as Plan Trabajar (later replaced by Plan Jefes y Jefas). One of the most important problems of these new programs was the lack of developed institutions to implement the programs, an institutional weakness that still is present in the country. In addition, the country does not have a good system of statistics to measure living conditions. The only household survey implemented at national level is EPH (Encuesta Permanente de Hogares), which is not designed to monitor poverty but the labor market. The EPH is administrated in large urban areas, and does not include small cities or rural areas such as Tandil, Azul and Olavarría, municipalities that have a clear different socioeconomic structure than large cities. In 1997 and 2001 the country implemented a Living Condition Survey (SIEMPRO). This survey was supposed to be administrated again in 2006, but this has never been materialized. As a consequence, we have a country with higher poverty, with more programs designed to alleviate poverty, but no statistics to monitor and help targeting. The current national administration (through the Ministerio de Desarrollo Social) decentralized the implementation of most of the programs to the local governments (Municipalities). Nowadays, Municipalities have a very important role administrating the existing programs, both national and provincial programs, as well as municipal initiatives, but municipalities do not have tools such as CBMS to monitor poverty or evaluate the impact of the programs. The Municipality of Tandil, through its Secretaria de Desarrollo Social, in order to better identify the needs of the poors and organize and administrate the existing programs, has created in 2006 Centros Comunitarios (Community Centers) and Centros de Salud (Health Care Centers), which are self administrated organizations at the neighborhood level located in poor neighborhoods. These Centers (currently there are 11 in Tandil, located in the poorest neighborhoods) are in charge of organizing informational meetings, elaborate reports (for the Municipality) that identify the local needs, provide some services, and help resolving local problems. In the absence of more formal mechanism the Centers have a very important role, although they are working very informally and without a System to monitor poverty. The Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) promoted by the PEP Research Network has been already implemented in several countries in Asia and Africa and we think it is a very important tool that would help Municipalities in Argentina to administrate the current programs. We proposed to adapt the CBMS successfully applied in other countries to Argentina. In particular, we propose to work together with the Municipality of Tandil as a leading case to design and implement a pilot CBMS. The pilot project will be implemented over a period of 18 months, in the 11 neighborhoods of Tandil where there are Community Centers, surveying approximately 1.200 households. To meet the long-term objective of creating a sustainable system to locally monitor poverty reduction over time, the project will place emphasis on institution and capacity building at the local level. Advanced students from the university will be recruited and trained to undertake the household surveys and process data manually under the technical supervision of the project Supervisory Team led by the Intstituto de Economía, and in collaboration with Community Center and Municipality authorities.


Project leader: Sebastian Auguste

Project researchers: Maria del Carmen Romero | Ezequiel García Lembergman | Natalia Paola Lopez

Journal publication

No journal publications.

Working Papers

Title Modified Size Comments Recommendations
Implementing a Community-Based Poverty Monitoring System in Argentina 2011-12-09 1528.14KB 0 0
Review of Existing Monitoring Systems 2011-12-09 320.15KB 0 0
Community-Based Poverty Monitoring Report of Urundel and Tandil, Argentina 2012-12-19 12493.29KB 0 0

Policy Briefs

No policy briefs.

Final report

No final reports.


Title Modified Size Comments Recommendations
2010-01-06 276.2KB 0 0

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