Journal Article

Decentralised Beneficiary Targeting in Large-Scale Development Programmes: Insights from the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme

Talip Kilic, Edward Whitney and Paul Winters

in Journal of African Economies

Volume 24, issue 1, pages 26-56
Published in print January 2015 | ISSN: 0963-8024
Published online October 2014 | e-ISSN: 1464-3723 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jae/eju021
Decentralised Beneficiary Targeting in Large-Scale Development Programmes: Insights from the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Analysis of Collective Decision-making
  • Development Planning and Policy
  • National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Economic Development

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This paper contributes to the long-standing debate on the merits of decentralised beneficiary targeting in the administration of development programmes, focussing on the large-scale Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP). Using nationally representative household survey data, the study systematically analyses the decentralised targeting performance of the FISP during the 2009–10 agricultural season. The analysis begins with a standard targeting assessment based on the rates of programme 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 FISP is not poverty targeted and that the national government, the districts and the 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 programme 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 programme participation, and, on average, receive a greater number of input coupons. Since a key programme 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.

Keywords: decentralization; targeting; agricultural input subsidy; Malawi; sub-Saharan Africa; O13; O22; Q18; H53; D73

Journal Article.  13017 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Analysis of Collective Decision-making ; Development Planning and Policy ; National Government Expenditures and Related Policies ; Agricultural Economics ; Economic Development

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.