Enhancing the Distribution of Social Services in Mexico

Fellows: Maria Fernanda Alcala-Durand, Diego Garcia-Olano, Mobin Javed, Kris Sankaran
Data Science Mentor(s): Adolfo De Unanue, Eric Potash
Project Manager: Paul van der Boor
Project Partner: SEDESOL Mexico
[Github Repository] [Paper]

In Mexico, the Ministry of Social Development (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social – SEDESOL) provides a variety of social services to citizens in need. They’re currently combining household, beneficiary, and geographic data to build a new system that helps them provide services to the people that need them the most. In 2016, DSSG joined SEDESOL in developing a system to help the agency improve the living conditions of poor populations in Mexico.

DSSG helped SEDESOL focus on three goals, all based around more accurate targeting of social service programs to eligible individuals and families. We used data to identify individuals who qualify for, but have not used, particular programs; combined datasets to better predict household needs and potentially inform the design of new social service programs; and detected people who have under-reported income to receive assistance.