Targeted Human Development Programs: Investing in the Next Generation

Sustainable Development Dept. Best Practices Working Paper No. POV-110

30 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2001

See all articles by Arianna Legovini

Arianna Legovini

World Bank

Ferdinando Regalia

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Date Written: July 2001


Intergenerational persistence of poverty is generally linked to the reduced capacity of poor families to foster human capital accumulation of their children and pull them out of poverty. Supply-side interventions, which increase the availability and quality of schooling and health services, might be insufficient to improve this capacity when resource-constrained low-income families cannot bear the direct and indirect private costs of acquiring these services.

During the past decade a new generation of integrated poverty reduction programs, Targeted Human Development Programs (THDPs), have been implemented in Latin America to tackle this problem by addressing the demand side in the use of social services. The Inter-American Development Bank has played and continues to play an active role in establishing these programs and ensuring that they in-corporate sound impact evaluation mechanisms.

This report sets out the rationale for implementing THDPs and outlines instructions for their design and implementation. In addition a list of appropriate country conditions for the implementation of THDPs is presented. The report also describes ways of incorporating impact evaluation mechanisms into project design and presents some of the results based on existing empirical evidence. Finally, a logical framework model for a THDP operation is included in the Annex.

Suggested Citation

Legovini, Arianna and Regalia, Ferdinando, Targeted Human Development Programs: Investing in the Next Generation (July 2001). Sustainable Development Dept. Best Practices Working Paper No. POV-110, Available at SSRN: or

Arianna Legovini

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States


Ferdinando Regalia (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

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