Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Bruce Wydick


Despite immense efforts of poverty alleviation in the Western highlands of Guatemala, poverty is intense and widespread. Amidst an abundant array of poverty interventions, existing evidence on those interventions are not sufficient. Highlighting basic knowledge regarding impact evaluations, this paper aims to determine the most effective poverty intervention for the Western highland areas of Guatemala. Focusing on impact evaluations, this paper reviews 17 Latin American interventions, paying close attention to what may be applicable to this region. Using only the highest quality data from Latin America, it is clear that cash transfers and graduation programs are the most impactful interventions currently available. Also very clear is that international development stakeholders’ knowledge regarding impact evaluations is limited. For this reason, this paper provides a basic yet thorough explanation regarding impact evaluations so that international development stakeholders can make effective decisions regarding the lives of the poor.