Community-Based Targeting Mechanisms for Social Safety Nets: A Critical Review

20 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2008

See all articles by Michael Kevane

Michael Kevane

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department

Jonathan H. Conning

City University of New York, CUNY Hunter College - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper interprets case studies and theory on community involvement in beneficiary selection and benefit delivery for social safety nets. Several considerations should be carefully balanced in assessing the advantages of using community groups as targeting agents. First, gains from utilizing local information and social capital may be eroded by costly rent-seeking. Second, the potential improvement in targeting criteria from incorporating local notions of deprivation must be tempered by the possibility of program capture by local elites, and by the possibility that local preferences are not pro-poor. Third, intended outcomes may be undermined by unforeseen strategic targeting by local communities in response to national funding and evaluation criteria, or by declines in political support.

Keywords: safety nets, poverty, targeting, community, social welfare, bureaucracy

Suggested Citation

Kevane, Michael and Conning, Jonathan H., Community-Based Targeting Mechanisms for Social Safety Nets: A Critical Review. World Development, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1093399

Michael Kevane (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA California 95053
United States

Jonathan H. Conning

City University of New York, CUNY Hunter College - Department of Economics ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

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