Living Better: how to register for benefits - The Most Curious in the World
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Living Better: how to register for the benefit

Since its creation, the Vivir Mejor program has sought to consolidate itself as an integral strategy that articulates several social programs. To understand its evolution and reach, it is essential to go back to its immediate antecedent: the Contigo program, a strategy promoted during the government of Vicente Fox with the objective of overcoming poverty in Mexico.


The current administration emerged without a clearly defined strategy to address poverty. The Social Development Sector Program, which was closest to this purpose, presented significant deficiencies (see Weights and Counterweights, February 2008). These needs and the governmental need to position its social programs lead to the creation of Better Living.

Vivir Mejor is organized around three fundamental lines of action:


  1. Development of Basic Capabilities: Includes actions in crucial areas such as food, education, health, housing, basic social infrastructure and legal identity.

  2. Construction of a Social Protection Network: It implies assistance actions aimed at people or groups in vulnerable conditions, protection against catastrophic health costs, protection against temporary loss of employment, support in market situations and protection against natural disasters.

  3. Articulation between Social and Economic Policy: This component seeks to coordinate actions and programs that emanate from both social policy and economic policy, with the objective of generating employment and integrating individuals into economic development.

Asimismo, the program establishes five main objectives:

  1. Full Social Participation: Facilitate the free and equitable participation of people in society, improving their basic capabilities through access to food, education, health, housing, basic social infrastructure and legal identity.

  2. Protection and Security: Provide protection to individuals and communities to deal with contingencies.

  3. Care and Improvement of the Environment: Promote social cohesion and orderly territorial development.

  4. Increased Productivity: Increase people's productivity.

  5. Incorporation of Sustainability Criteria: Integrate sustainability criteria into all actions and programs.

Among the positive aspects of Vivir Mejor, it highlights its progress regarding the National Development Plan and the Social Development Sector Program. It is the most articulated and coherent document in defining the governmental strategy for social development. Furthermore, it incorporates in a more extensive way several institutional questions and efforts, detailing the strategies that will be followed to achieve the proposed objectives. The proposal for better coordination between different levels of government to improve the quality of services and the impact of its interventions is also a point in favor.

Another positive aspect of Vivir Mejor is its recognition of the need to integrate social and economic policy, establishing specific areas of interaction. It is recognized that training and the social protection network are fundamental, but not sufficient to raise the standard of living and ensure income options. Also noteworthy is the recognition that the “distortions in market distribution” will not guarantee an adequate standard of living, and undermines the importance of government actions to generate employment and income options.


Living Better is an integral strategy of the Mexican government that seeks to overcome poverty through the development of basic capabilities, the construction of a social protection network and the articulation between social and economic policy. Its main objective is to improve the quality of life of the population, ensuring access to fundamental needs and promoting social participation.

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The three lines of action of Vivir Mejor are:

  • Development of basic capabilities (food, education, health, housing, basic social infrastructure and legal identity).
  • Construction of a social protection network (assistance to vulnerable people, protection against catastrophic health expenditure, support during employment loss and protection against natural disasters).
  • Articulation between social and economic policy to generate employment and promote integration in economic development.

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