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Decentralized versus Statistical Targeting of Anti-Poverty Programs: Evidence from Burkina Faso

Schleicher, Michael ; Souares, Aurélia ; Pacere, Athanase Narangoro ; Sauerborn, Rainer ; Klonner, Stefan

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Targeting of national anti-poverty programs in low-income countries commonly relies on statistical procedures involving household-level survey data, while small-scale poverty-alleviation programs often employ so-called community-based targeting, where village communities themselves identify program beneficiaries. Combining data from community-based targeting exercises in north-western Burkina Faso with household-level survey data, we compare the targeting accuracy of community-based targeting with several statistical procedures when the program's purpose is to target consumption-poor households. We find that the community-based assessment targets a similar share of consumption-poor households as the best-performing statistical procedures which are not calibrated with household-level consumption data. Community-based targeting performs relatively better in urban than in rural areas and is not at a disadvantage in larger or more heterogeneous communities. In a cost-benefit analysis we find that in our sub-Saharan African context community-based targeting is far more cost-effective than any statistical procedure for common amounts of welfare program benefits.

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0623
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2016 14:22
Date: November 2016
Number of Pages: 59
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Targeting, Community-based Targeting, Welfare Programs, Poverty, Community Wealth Rankings, Proxy-means Testing
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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