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An Operational Method For Assessing The Poverty Outreach Performance Of Development Projects: Results From Four Case Studies In Africa, Asia And Latin America

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  • Zeller, Manfred
  • Sharma, Manohar P.
  • Henry, Carla
  • Lapenu, Cecile

Abstract

Many development projects seek to reach the poorest in the provision of agricultural inputs, extension, credit, education, and many other services. However, low-cost and reliable methods for assessing whether a project reaches the poor are lacking at present. In this paper, we present an operational method that was designed during a two-year research project from 1999-2001 with the support of an international donor-coordination office. The objective of the research was to develop and test a new method that could be later used by development practitioners to assess the poverty level of beneficiaries of development projects that target the poor in relation to the general population in the intervention area. The method constructs a poverty index using principle component analysis, and is based on a range of indicators that describes different dimensions of poverty and for which credible information can be quickly and inexpensively obtained. To ensure the method's usefulness to a wide number of countries and projects, the method was tested in collaboration in rural and urban areas in four countries: Nicaragua (urban and rural), Kenya (urban and rural), Madagascar (rural), and India (rural). We present results from these studies. We conclude that the method has a promising potential for monitoring and evaluation purposes of development organizations. Since 2001, the method has been used in over 20 project assessments.

Suggested Citation

  • Zeller, Manfred & Sharma, Manohar P. & Henry, Carla & Lapenu, Cecile, 2003. "An Operational Method For Assessing The Poverty Outreach Performance Of Development Projects: Results From Four Case Studies In Africa, Asia And Latin America," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25907, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae03:25907
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grootaert, Christiaan, 1983. "The Conceptual Basis of Measures of Household Welfare and Their Implied Survey Data Requirements," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, March.
    2. Jonathan Temple & Paul A. Johnson, 1998. "Social Capability and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 965-990.
    3. Sharma, Manohar & Zeller, Manfred, 1999. "Placement and Outreach of Group-Based Credit Organizations: The Cases of ASA, BRAC, and PROSHIKA in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 2123-2136, December.
    4. Filmer, Deon*Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
    5. Sharma, Manohar, 2000. "Microfinance," MP05 briefs 0, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and policy," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2551-2657 Elsevier.
    7. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    8. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2000. "Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2123-2155, December.
    9. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "The effect of household wealth on educational attainment : demographic and health survey evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1980, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chikwama, Cornilius, 2010. "The role of rural off-farm employment in agricultural development among farm households in low-income countries: Evidence from Zimbabwe," Journal of Cooperatives, NCERA-210, vol. 4(1), March.
    2. Stifel, David, 2010. "The rural non-farm economy, livelihood strategies and household welfare," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(1), March.

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