Targeting for Social Safety Nets: Evidence from Nine Programs in the Sahel
64 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2022
This paper analyzes household data from nine programs implemented in the Sahel region using a harmonized approach to compare Proxy-Means Testing (PMT) and Community-Based Targeting (CBT) selection as conducted in practice, once geographical targeting has been applied. The results show that the targeting performance measured depends critically on the definition of the targeting objectives, share of beneficiaries selected, and indexes used to evaluate targeting. While PMT performs better in reaching the poorest households based on per capita consumption, it differs little from CBT, random or universal selection when distribution-sensitive measures are employed, or when food security is used as a welfare metric. Targeting costs represent only a small share of budgets. Our results emphasize the need to study programs as implemented in practice instead of relying on simulations of targeting performance, and that PMT and CBT contribute little to poverty or food insecurity reduction efforts in poor and homogeneous settings.
Keywords: targeting, proxy means testing, community-based targeting, Social protection, Poverty, Africa
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