Assessing NGDOs’ Targeting Performance and Characteristics of Households Participating in Child Development Programmes in Rural Eastern Kenya

Charity Irungu, Manfred Zeller, John Mburu


Targeting beneficiaries of development interventions in the context of poverty alleviation remains a challenge to most development agencies and policy-makers. Due to limited resources and the small scale of operations, most non governmental development organisations’ (NGDOs) practice targeting in order to limit themselves to interventions that only select a group of individuals considered to be most in need. This paper analyses the targeting performance of two child-safety net programmes operating in rural Kenya and examines the factors influencing it. In addition, an econometric model is developed to identify the characteristics of the households participating in these programmes. Data for this paper was collected through a household survey of 120 randomly selected households, stratified equally into participants and non-participants. The targeting performance of the studied NGDOs’ interventions was found to be poor due to reliance on local social structures that led to under-representation of the poorest group of households in programme activities. The paper further shows that although the case study NGDOs and their child programmes could be supporting households with characteristics that indicate that they are not among the well-off in the society, such households do not necessarily belong to the poorest group of community members in relative terms.


rural poverty; targeting performance; participants’ characteristics; NGDOs; Kenya

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