Hit and Miss: An assessment of targeting effectiveness in social protection

This paper is the result of a global review of the effectiveness of different methods of selecting social protection recipients, both targeted and universal schemes. The work, supported by the Church of Sweden, considered the effectiveness of 38 programmes across 23 low- and middle-income countries, including means-tested schemes and those using proxy means testing, community-based targeting, self-targeted and pension testing. The research sought to answer both how effective the different types of targeting mechanism are in reaching their intended recipients, and the effectiveness in reaching those living in extreme poverty specifically. The findings are a damning indictment of advocates for targeting effectiveness, with only one of the programmes reaching over half of the poorest 20 per cent of the households it is targeted at.