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Targeting of food aid in rural Ethiopia: chronic need or inertia?

  • Jayne, Thomas S.
  • Strauss, John
  • Yamano, Takashi
  • Molla, Daniel

This paper identifies the factors driving the allocations of food aid in Ethiopia. We determine both how food aid is allocated across rural regions, reflecting the targeting criteria of the federal government, as well as how aid is allocated within regions, reflecting the decisions of local authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Devising a measure of "need" is difficult and controversial and there is no consensus on how to do so. It is agreed by most analysts that income is an imperfect measure of need, yet it is arguably the best single indicator of need in the absence of more detailed anthropometric information. Econometric analysis is used to examine the degree to which food aid is targeted according to pre-aid per capita household income, as well as to other factors. The paper also identifies factors associated with low incomes at regional- and household-levels, in order to be helpful to donors, NGOs and governments in their efforts to improve the targeting of food aid. Data are drawn from the Food Security Survey (FSS), fielded on a subset of the 1995/96 Annual Agricultural Sample Survey by the Ethiopian Central Statistical Authority. The data covers 4,112 households in 348 weredas. To examine the validity of the data, we calculated the amount of food aid received at the regional level from the FSS sample households and compared these results with actual food aid distribution records of the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC). The results showed striking similarities, and provide a robust external test of validity of the FSS and CSA data sets (Clay, Molla, and Debebe 1998).

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 68 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 247-288

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:68:y:2002:i:2:p:247-288
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  1. Jayne, T. S. & Strauss, John & Yamano, Takashi & Molla, Daniel, 2001. "Giving to the Poor? Targeting of Food Aid in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 887-910, May.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1993. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," NBER Working Papers 4575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bigman, David, et al, 2000. "Community Targeting for Poverty Reduction in Burkina Faso," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 167-93, January.
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  7. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-19, September.
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  12. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "Regional disparities, targeting, and poverty in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 375, The World Bank.
  13. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  14. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Gibbons, Donna M, 1993. "The Determinants and Consequences of the Placement of Government Programs in Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(3), pages 319-48, September.
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  17. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-69, November.
  18. Guinnane, T.W. & Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1993. "Understanding the Worhouse Test: Information and poor Relief in Nineteenth-Century England," Papers 701, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  19. Webb, Patrick & von Braun, Joachim & Yohannes, Yisehac, 1992. "Famine in Ethiopia: policy implications of coping failure at national and household levels," Research reports 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  20. Hentschel, Jesko, et al, 2000. "Combining Census and Survey Data to Trace the Spatial Dimensions of Poverty: A Case Study of Ecuador," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 147-65, January.
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