Targeting Assistance to the Poor and Food Insecure: A Review of the Literature

July 3, 1994 - Author: Mattias Lundberg and Patrick Diskin

IDWP 47. Mattias Lundberg and Patrick Diskin. 1994. 56 pp.Targeting Assistance to the Poor and Food Insecure: A Review of the Literature 

Targeting involves the identification and selection of certain groups or households or even
individuals, and the distribution of benefits (or costs) to them. Targeting is required because
governments face resource constraints, and because households have different needs: some are
poorer and more food insecure than others.

In general, the managerial costs of targeting increase with its narrowness or intended accuracy,
and these costs may exceed the savings achieved by targeting. The benefits of targeting arise
precisely because it reduces the size of the target population, and the cost of narrower targeting
includes the unintentional exclusion of some of the target population.

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