Platform “Apoyos del Gobierno” (Government Benefits)

The information on the different procedures of access to benefits is scattered among many different agencies websites, whereas the platform "Apoyos del Gobierno" aims to simplify through Artificial Intelligence that any interested party can consult the details of Federal Government programs in a single place.

Based on neurolinguistics analysis, the platform not only provides predicted results considering relevant contextual words, but also enhances searches considering the user’s profile.

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Innovation Overview

Within the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Mexico has the second highest rate of income inequality, only behind Chile. Fiscal policy is one of the main tools available for the government to affect the distribution of income and wealth. However, the re-distributive impact of fiscal policy in Mexico is low. While in the OECD countries fiscal policy reduces inequality by 27% on average, in the case of Mexico, fiscal policy only decreases inequality by 2.8%. This makes Mexico the OECD country where fiscal policy has the least impact on inequality.

In Mexico, although most of the budgetary programs for addressing inequality are adequately focusing in the multidimensional aspects of poverty, there is a difficulty, especially among the most vulnerable population, to know and access the available government benefits. In other words, Mexican fiscal policy is achieving its distributive goal at lower pace than expected and, as a consequence, the access to governmental resources is not being optimized to boost individual welfare and, therefore the country's development.

The main problem that the platform “Apoyos del Gobierno” seeks to solve is the difficulty that population faces to find a government benefit that better suits their individual needs, but also know its requirements and processes of application. Before this platform, information on the different procedures of access to benefits was scatter among different agencies websites and it was difficult to find the details of each kind of support. In many cases, potential beneficiaries have to rely on intermediaries to apply or even interpret by themselves technical Rules of Operation (ROP for its Spanish acronym), risking the opportunity of getting the benefit. This costs money and time that could had been better allocated in other activities. Hence, “Apoyos del Gobierno” is dealing with a problem of information asymmetry which creates imbalance of power, income, wealth and opportunities to all the same.

In order to bring the population, particularly the most vulnerable, closer to the benefits provided by the Federal Government, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP, for its Spanish acronym) systematized the information of the Operation Rules of 66 Federal Budget Programs and created a user-friendly, profile-oriented platform. Each of these Budget Programs has different benefits, in sum: 1,534 monetary, 438 in-kind and 12 funding supports. Among the pool of programs, the most frequent are scholarships and training courses, followed by infrastructure and productivity projects, and lastly by restoration and conservation of ecosystems programs.

This web application has an intelligent search engine that through neurolinguistics analysis gives more precise results. It also consolidates program’s target population and makes it possible to do advanced searches based on individual and particular needs. The latter with the help of BAFI, the Intelligent Federal Benefit Finder that will accompany the user in all the process. This enables the general public, businesses, social institutions and local governments to know the range of programs they could apply to. Likewise, this platform aims to increase the impact of redistributive policy in order to reduce social inequality, enhance life quality and give economic opportunities.

In addition, the platform includes a section of Open Data, where information of Budgetary Programs with Operation Rules can be found in CSV file or online through a public API. This allows policy makers and public policy analysts to have a better understanding on the allocation of public resources. In the short term, the platform will integrate personalized consults through a Chat Bot available in social media, since this kind of websites are the most used by the general public. Also, each Budget Program available on the platform will have a linkage to the section of Budget Program Performance where indicators, results, contracts and disaggregated budget can be found.

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