Coordination Nationale de la Sécurité Alimentaire. Report on Beneficiary Targeting in Haiti : Detection Strategies

This study was commissioned by CNSA with the financial and logistic support of WFP and FAO. The objective was to examine the processes that NGO and governmental agencies employ to select beneficiaries of social assistance programs in rural Haiti. The task responds to needs associated with current humanitarian aid and development programs such as: Ede Pep, with the Ti Manman Cheri assistance program to mothers with children in primary school and managed under the Economic and Social Assistance Fund (FAES); Kore Fanmi,, also managed under FAES, a World Bank-supported Family Development Plan that connects vulnerable families to the services and information provided by government, NGO, and international agencies and tracks progress of participant households; and Kore Lavi, a five-year US$79,996,200 USAID financed plan that includes a pilot safety net program targeting 18,150 of the poorest households in 23 of Haiti’s 140 communes (total population is 315,400 households), carried out under the auspices of CARE International, WFP, and ACF.

The research involved an extensive review of the literature on humanitarian targeting, including nine of the major household surveys carried out in Haiti over the past two decades as well as the ethnographic literature on rural Haiti. It also involved two weeks of field work and focus group interviews with beneficiaries and participants in community-based targeting committees as well as implementing partners in the Department of the SE and NW; interviews with 32 Port-au-Prince NGO directors, government Ministry officials, and M&E specialists; and four surveys, the most important of which was a WFP funded and CNSA supervised sampling of the Commune of Maissade in the Department of the Centre where the new Targeting technique of Frequency Listing was tested (N = 1,951 described at length in Section “Frequency Listing”).

In the broadest sense, Targeting can be conceptualized as a dimension inherent in almost every decision an organization makes; from defining what the organization will specialize in (e.g. medicine vs. agriculture), to the area of the world it will work in (e.g. Africa vs. Latin America), to what kind of aid it will give (e.g. medicines, treatment, education, material goods), to how it will distribute the aid (e.g. work vs. food vs. vouchers).

In order to address current program needs in Haiti, the bulk of the analysis focuses on what is defined here as Beneficiary Detection Strategy. This includes: Selection of Geographic Criteria, Selection of Beneficiary Unit, Selection of Beneficiary Criteria, and Selection of Beneficiary Selection mechanism.

Although this report is concerned with how decisions define who is a beneficiary (selection)–and not with how decisions impact the transfer or delivery of aid (logistics) or how the integrity of the process is guaranteed (feedback)—logistics and feedback may have more to do with who ultimately gets the aid than the choice of intended beneficiaries. The final two sections assess the inter-relations between the entire aid chain, including the strengths and weaknesses of specific Selection strategies.