Evaluating the targeting effectiveness of social transfers: a literature review

Devereux, Stephen, Masset, Edoardo, Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel, Samson, Michael, Rivas, Althea and Te Lintelo, Dolf (2015) Evaluating the targeting effectiveness of social transfers: a literature review. Working Paper. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton.

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Many methodologies exist for dividing a population into those who are classified as eligible for social transfers and those who are ineligible. Popular targeting mechanisms include means testing, proxy means tests, categorical, geographic, community-based, and self-selection. This paper reviews empirical evidence from a range of social protection programmes on the accuracy of these mechanisms, in terms of minimising four targeting errors: inclusion and exclusion, by eligibility and by poverty. This paper also reviews available evidence on the various costs associated with targeting, not only administrative but also private, social, psycho-social, incentive-based and political costs. Comparisons are difficult, but all mechanisms generate targeting errors and costs. Given the inevitability of trade-offs, there is no ‘best’ mechanism for targeting social transfers. The key determinant of relative accuracy and cost-effectiveness in each case is how well the targeting mechanism is designed and implemented.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Working Paper)
Additional Information: IDS Working Paper No. 460 ISBN 978 1 78118 250 5
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Development
School of Global Studies > International Relations
Institute of Development Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2018 09:45
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2018 09:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/74859
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