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Decentralized Beneficiary Targeting in Large-Scale Development Programs : Insights from the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Program

ABSOLUTE POVERTY ABSOLUTE TERMS ACCESS TO IRRIGATION AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AGRICULTURAL INPUTS AGRICULTURAL LAND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AGRICULTURAL SEASON AGRICULTURAL SECTOR AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES AGRICULTURE ANTIPOVERTY PROGRAM ASYMMETRIC INFORMATION BENEFICIARIES BENEFICIARY HOUSEHOLDS BENEFICIARY POPULATION COMMON PROPERTY COMMUNITY GROUPS COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION COMMUNITY RESOURCES CONSUMPTION AGGREGATE CONSUMPTION DATA CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES PER CAPITA CORRUPTION COUPONS CROP PRODUCTION CROPLAND CROWDING OUT DECENTRALIZATION DECISION MAKING DECOMPOSITION METHODOLOGY DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS DEVELOPMENT POLICY DISADVANTAGED GROUPS DRY SEASON FAMINE FARM HOUSEHOLDS FARM INCOME FOOD CONSUMPTION FOOD EXPENDITURES FOOD INSECURITY FOOD POLICY FOOD PRICES FOOD SECURITY FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY FOOD-FOR-EDUCATION FUTURE RESEARCH GDP GINI COEFFICIENT GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT HIGHER INEQUALITY HORIZONTAL EQUITY HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION PER CAPITA HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY HOUSEHOLD HEAD HOUSEHOLD SIZE HOUSEHOLD SURVEY HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS HOUSEHOLD WELFARE HOUSING HUMAN DEVELOPMENT HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX INCOME INCOME DISTRIBUTION INCOME INEQUALITY INEQUALITY INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY LAND DISTRIBUTION LAND MANAGEMENT LAND PRODUCTIVITY LAND SIZE LANDHOLDINGS LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION LIVING STANDARDS MARGINAL PRODUCTIVITY MARKET FAILURES MEANS TESTS MILK MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS NATIONAL POVERTY NATIONAL POVERTY LINE PARTICIPATION RATES PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION POLITICAL ECONOMY POLITICAL ECONOMY OF TARGETING POOR POOR COUNTRIES POOR DISTRICTS POOR FAMILIES POOR FARMERS POOR HOUSEHOLDS POOR POPULATION POOR SMALLHOLDER POOR VILLAGES POVERTY ALLEVIATION POVERTY INCREASE POVERTY INDICATOR POVERTY INDICATORS POVERTY LEVELS POVERTY RATE POVERTY RATES POVERTY STATUS PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS ANALYSIS PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAMS PUBLIC SPENDING RURAL RURAL AREAS RURAL ASSET RURAL DEVELOPMENT RURAL HOUSEHOLD RURAL HOUSEHOLDS RURAL POPULATION RURAL POVERTY RURAL TOWNS SAFETY NET SAP SCHOOLING SMALL-SCALE FARMING SMALLHOLDER HOUSEHOLDS SOCIAL ASSISTANCE SOCIAL CAPITAL SOCIAL PROTECTION SOCIAL SAFETY NETS STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT SUBSISTENCE TARGETED TRANSFERS TARGETING TARGETING MECHANISMS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TRANSFER AMOUNTS TRANSITION ECONOMY VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT VILLAGE LEVEL WAGE EMPLOYMENT WAGE RATES WEALTH WELFARE DISTRIBUTION
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Malawi
2014-02-05T16:36:21Z | 2014-02-05T16:36:21Z | 2013-11

This paper contributes to the long-standing debate on the merits of decentralized beneficiary targeting in the administration of development programs, focusing on the large-scale Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Program. Nationally-representative household survey data are used to systematically analyze the decentralized targeting performance of the program during the 2009-2010 agricultural season. The analysis begins with a standard targeting assessment based on the rates of program participation and the benefit amounts among the eligible and non-eligible populations, and provides decompositions of the national targeting performance into the inter-district, intra-district inter-community, and intra-district intra-community components. This approach identifies the relative contributions of targeting at each level. The results show that the Farm Input Subsidy Program is not poverty targeted and that the national government, districts, and communities are nearly uniform in their failure to target the poor, with any minimal targeting (or mis-targeting) overwhelmingly materializing at the community level. The findings are robust to the choice of the eligibility indicator and the decomposition method. The multivariate analysis of household program participation reinforces these results and reveals that the relatively well-off, rather than the poor or the wealthiest, and the locally well-connected have a higher likelihood of program participation and, on average, receive a greater number of input coupons. Since a key program objective is to increase food security and income among resource-poor farmers, the lack of targeting is a concern and should underlie considerations of alternative targeting approaches that, in part or completely, rely on proxy means tests at the local level.

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