Types of targeting
Geographical targeting is the first step in a targeting process: it defines the location affected by a shock and where affected populations are.
Geographical targeting should describe he severity of the impact of the shock in food security terms, the ways in which people have been affected and possible responses, the magnitude / numbers of people affected.
It is appropriate when there are identifiable differences between the intended target and non-target population, the targeted population is a minority, it is operationally feasible to implement a targeted distribution and the community co-operates with the targeting strategy.
Tools for geographical targeting are assessments, comparable over space and time, which determine the severity, magnitude and physical location of the affected population, such as IPC (the gold standard); EFSA, maintained by WFP; VACs in Southern Africa; HEA seasonal updates, such as Sahel
Targeting by status means targeting a group of people on the basis of a vulnerability conferred by their status (such as refugees or IDPs). This modality does not differentiate between individual or households within the group and can be difficult to adjust over time or to switch to other forms of targeting.
Targeting households is the most common form of targeting after geographical targeting. It usually takes into consideration socio economic status, health (especially in the case of HIV/AIDS), nutritional status (with activities referred to a family or protection ration) or gender (female headed households), but should be made on the basis of assessed food security status.
The eligibility criteria to receive humanitarian support may be determined by a formal survey or assessment, but must be clear and checkable. According to Sphere standards, such criteria should be agreed by both recipients and non-recipients.
The tools for targeting households may be determined by outsiders, such as HEA and PMTF (Proxy Means Testing Framework) or community-based.
Community-based targeting Community-based targeting is the most common form of household targeting and is based on proxy indicators which can be used by the community to select beneficiaries. These tools are cheap but prone to abuse, therefore they need to be improved by rigorous validation (community meetings) and external presence.
Individual targeting is usually due to inadequate support at household level and is targeted on the basis of:
- nutritional status, through anthropometric measures such as weight for height or MUAC;
- health status (TB, HIV, etc.), which can be difficult unless there is the possibility of relying on an accurate ways to identify beneficiaries, such as a TB clinic;
- pregnant and breastfeeding women, through CBT;
- disabled, elderly or other vulnerable person.
In self targeting there is no eligibility criteria: people decide for themselves whether or not to take advantage of the assistance offered, depending on whether they need it and what they must do to get it. Typical examples are distributions conditional upon work (Food for Work, Cash for work) or market based criteria such as price subsidy.
It is important to remember that work based criteria may place burden on most vulnerable or least able to work.