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Identifying and Targeting the Extreme Poor

A Methodology for Rural Bangladesh

Sharifa Begum
Binayak Sen


This paper argues that the extreme poor warrant specific analytical and policy focus. It attempts to identify the extreme poor in rural Bangladesh by devising sensitive targeting indicators that are effective in minimising leakage to the non-poor while ensuring broad coverage of the target group. A number of indicators are examined, resulting in the conclusion that, since no single indicator contains sufficient information, it is better to combine those that are most effective. Regional targeting and household-based indicators are also recommended for the design of programmes oriented at the extreme poor. However, if the process of administering is left to the bureaucratic discretion of programme managers, it is unlikely that better identification will have an effect on the extreme poor. This risk can be minimised through consultation with communities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and be facilitated by effective local government. Information exchange with like-minded programmes can also contribute to the development of more socially equitable and inclusive pro-poor policies.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Working Paper


policy Bangladesh data rural development methodology targeting

ISBN: 978-1-906433-24-6


1 Identifying and targeting the extreme popor PDF 267.1 KB

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