Social Protection in Africa

Social Protection in Africa

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

The purpose of this book is to make accessible to a broad audience the ideas, principles and practicalities of establishing effective social protection in Africa. It focuses on the major shift in strategy for tackling hunger and vulnerability, from emergency responses mainly in the form of food transfers to predictable cash transfers to the chronically poorest social groups. The diverse case studies in this book provide a unique and timely exploration of the effective, and less effective, ways that social transfers are delivered to the chronically poor and vulnerable in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chapter 3: Targeting

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

Subjects: development studies, development studies, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, social policy in emerging countries


INTRODUCTION Targeting has been defined as ‘the process of identifying the intended beneficiaries of a program, and then ensuring that, as far as possible, the benefits actually reach those people and not others’ (Sharp, 2001, p.1). This may sound straightforward enough, but in practice targeting is far from simple, and can be broken down into a series of at least seven discrete choices. First is defining eligibility in theory – who is entitled to benefit from this programme? (often this is vaguely defined, for example ‘the poor’, or ‘vulnerable groups’, or ‘the disabled’). Second is operationalizing eligibility in practice – what criteria will be used to decide who is entitled? (agreeing on robust indicators of poverty, for instance, is a challenge in itself, while proxy indicators of need such as having a disability or being female are often inaccurate). Third is identifying and selecting beneficiaries – how will all the people in the programme area who meet the eligibility criteria be found? Fourth, registration procedures – how will beneficiaries be registered? (and, since many programmes are targeted on households rather than individuals, which person should be registered?). Fifth, verification tests – how will it be confirmed that the correct individuals are collecting benefits? (this might require senior community members to be present, to verify the identity of claimants). Sixth, grievance procedures – will a mechanism be provided for people who feel unfairly excluded from the scheme to appeal for their inclusion? Finally, there are graduation...

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