Multidimensional Targeting and Evaluation: A General Framework with an Application to a Poverty Program in Bangladesh

41 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2013

See all articles by Virginia Robano

Virginia Robano

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Stephen C. Smith

George Washington University - Department of Economics

Abstract

Many poverty, safety net, training, and other social programs utilize multiple screening criteria to determine eligibility. We apply recent advances in multidimensional measurement analysis to develop a straightforward method for summarizing changes in groups of eligibility (screening) indicators, which have appropriate properties. We show how this impact can differ across participants with differing numbers of initial deprivations. We also examine impacts on other specially designed multidimensional poverty measures (and their components) that address key participant deficits. We apply our methods to a BRAC ultra-poverty program in Bangladesh, and find that our measures of multidimensional poverty have fallen significantly for participants. This improvement is most associated with better food security and with acquisition of basic assets (though this does not mean that the cause of poverty reduction was program activities focused directly on these deficits). In general, we find that the BRAC program had a greater impact on reducing multidimensional poverty for those with a larger initial number of deprivations. We also showed how evaluation evidence can be used to help improve the selection of eligibility characteristics of potential participants.

Keywords: poverty, multidimensional poverty, poverty alleviation strategies, BRAC, microfinance institutions, ultra-poverty, ultra-poor, CFPR/TUP, Bangladesh, difference-in-difference, impact assessment, program evaluation, counterfactual targeting, assignment errors

JEL Classification: O15, I32

Suggested Citation

Robano, Virginia and Smith, Stephen C., Multidimensional Targeting and Evaluation: A General Framework with an Application to a Poverty Program in Bangladesh. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7593, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2325851

Virginia Robano (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Stephen C. Smith

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

2115 G Street NW
306 Monroe Hall
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www2.gwu.edu/~iiep/about/faculty/ssmith/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
50
Abstract Views
428
PlumX Metrics