Reaching the poor and vulnerable: Key considerations in designing targeting systems

Many countries develop systems to identify the poor and vulnerable in order to direct program resources to these areas and groups, often to ensure their inclusion in social service provision orcommunity development. Determining eligibility typically depends on the overall program objectives, patterns of poverty, vulnerability and exclusion, social norms, and fiscal and political feasibility. Targeted programs use a range of tools to prioritize specific areas andpeople, in keeping with data availability and existing administrative capacity. Depending on these policy choices, effective delivery systems for beneficiary registration, management, monitoring, and recertification need to be developed, with clear assignment of roles and responsibilities at different levels. Many countries have done so in a coordinated fashion, so the same system can be used to support eligibility verification for multiple programs.