The extent and persistence of extreme poverty in Bangladesh requires focused attention and action. The extreme poor are people living below the lower half of the poverty line in Bangladesh comprising 25% of the population. However, whilst distinguishing the extreme poor from the poor is straight forward on paper using expenditure data, it is much more challenging in the field.
This paper discusses what has been learnt from the shiree experience of refining targeting techniques after an initial attempt which suffered from significant mis-targeting. It is found that over specification (one-definition) of one or more criteria or over reliance on one targeting tool can lead to targeting errors and in the diverse contexts of Bangladesh. Instead, a mix of contextually specific criteria and methods had to be applied. The paper then discusses general learning from this experience, best practices and outlines an overall 6 stage model for targeting the extreme poor, of relevance to improving the targeting of NGOs, donors and government programmes.
Marsden, H. Targeting the Extreme Poor:Learning from shiree. Shiree Working Paper No. 1. Shiree, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2011) 40 pp.