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Community Based Targeting for Social Safety Nets

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2000-09.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in World Development, March 2002, v. 30, iss. 3, pp. 375- 94
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2000-09
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  1. De Donder, Philippe & Hindriks, Jean, 1998. " The Political Economy of Targeting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 177-200, April.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1998. "Evaluating a targeted social program when placement is decentralized," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1945, The World Bank.
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