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Community based targeting mechanisms for social safety nets


  • Conning, Jonathan
  • Kevane, Michael


This paper interprets case studies, and theory on community involvement in beneficiary selection, and benefit delivery for social safety nets. Several considerations should be carefully balanced in assessing the advantages of using community groups as targeting agents. First, benefits from utilizing local information, and social capital may be eroded by costly rent-seeking. Second, the potential improvement in targeting criteria from incorporating local notions of deprivation, must be tempered by the possibility of program capture by local elites, and by the possibility that local preferences are not pro-poor. Third, performance may be undermined by unforeseen strategic targeting by local communities in response to national funding, and evaluation criteria, or by declines in political support.

Suggested Citation

  • Conning, Jonathan & Kevane, Michael, 2001. "Community based targeting mechanisms for social safety nets," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 23146, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:23146

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. De Donder, Philippe & Hindriks, Jean, 1998. "The Political Economy of Targeting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 177-200, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rai, Ashok S., 2002. "Targeting the poor using community information," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 71-83, October.
    2. Conning, Jonathan & Kevane, Michael, 2002. "Why isn't there more Financial Intermediation in Developing Countries?," WIDER Working Paper Series 028, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Coady, David P. & Grosh, Margaret & Hoddinott, John, 2002. "Targeting outcomes redux," FCND briefs 144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Billy Jack, 2003. "Poverty Reduction Using Self-Interested Intermediaries: Implications for the Design of Inter-Governmental Transfers," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-18, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    5. Ashok S. Rai, "undated". "Targeting the Poor Using Community Information," CID Working Papers 22, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    6. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2005. "Decentralizing antipoverty program delivery in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 675-704, April.
    7. Ouarda Merrouche, 2007. "The Long Term Effect of Education Spending Decentralization on Human Capital in Spain," Working Papers 200708, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    8. Bashaasha, Bernard & Mangheni, Margaret Najjingo & Nkonya, Ephraim, 2011. "Decentralization and rural service delivery in Uganda:," IFPRI discussion papers 1063, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
    10. Jha, Raghbendra & Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Gaiha, Raghav & Shankar, Shylashri, 2009. ""Capture" of anti-poverty programs: An analysis of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Program in India," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 456-464, September.
    11. Martin Ravallion, 2003. "Targeted transfers in poor countries : revisiting the trade-offs and policy options," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 27869, The World Bank.
    12. Yusuke Kamiya, 2009. "Economic analysis on the socioeconomic determinants of child malnutrition in Lao PDR," OSIPP Discussion Paper 09E007, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    13. Bardhan, Pranab, 2006. "The economist's approach to the problem of corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 341-348, February.
    14. AfDB AfDB, 2011. "MDG Report 2011 - Full Report," MDG Report 334, African Development Bank.


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