Classifi cation of Targeting Measures

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A wide variety of measures have been applied over the last two decades

as a means of reaching the poor and these can be classifi ed in different

ways (World Bank, 2000: 85). The following four-fold classifi cation is used

commonly;

• Targeting by activity, such as primary health care and primary

education, where it is established that the distribution of benefi ts

tends to be progressive. It has become commonplace to argue that

these types of activity should have priority over, for example, urban

hospitals or higher education on the grounds of the lower uptake of

the latter services by the poor. This has been termed ‘broad targeting’,

as compared with narrower forms of targeting that attempt to identify

the poor more precisely.

• Targeting by indicator, where alternatives to income, which may be

expected to be correlated with poverty, are used to identify the poor.

These can include lack of or size of ownership of land, form of

dwelling, and type of household, for example number of children or

gender of the head of the family.

• Targeting by location, where area of residence becomes the criterion

for identifying the target group, as a particular form of indicator

targeting. Poor area programs, where all residents are assumed to be

poor, have become relatively common and for example were a central

element in poverty reduction initiatives in PRC.

• Targeting by self-selection or self targeting, where programs are

designed to be attractive only to the poor. An example is workfare,

where payment is either in cash or in food, at equivalent wage rates

that are below market-clearing levels and therefore only of interest

to those with an opportunity cost below the market wage. Another

self-selection procedure is the subsidization of low quality foodstuffs

(like high-broken rice).