Chandramouli, K.

"Pass on the pen" approach: identifying the poorest of the poor families

The "pass on the pen" approach was used to identify the poorest of the poor families eligible for credit assistance under the Integrated Rural Development programme (IRDP) in Anantapur District, India. The pen, a symbol of truth and learning, was given to the poorest villager who then told about their situation and passed the pen to another poor person. The detailed description of this event shows clearly how the technique helped ensure a fair selection of families for credit assistance, avoiding manipulation by government officials.