Simanowitz, Anton

Targeting the poor: comparing visual and participatory methods

Many microfinance organisations are concerned about reaching the poorest sections of society, and are prepared to carry out screening procedures to identify these people. This article describes a pilot study to compare two such screening methods, the Visual Indicators of Poverty (VIP) test and the Participatory Wealth Ranking process (PWR), which have been used by the Small Enterprise Foundation in South Africa.

Information pack: institutionalisation of participatory approaches

This information pack includes five documents on institutionalisation of participatory methods and approaches form the Association for Better Land Husbandry (ABLH) , Kenya. The first document reports on the learning process and results of a study and workshop process examining the application of an innovative approach to the scaling-up and institutionalisation of participatory approaches in Kenya, conducted 1996 in Butula Division, Busia District, and Ndia Division, Kirinyaga District.

Cost-effective targeting: two tools to identify the poor

This manual presents methods by which the poor and the poorest can be identified so that they can be reached by the services of microfinance institutions - and so that the non-poor can be excluded from them. Whilst poverty targeting has long been regarded as difficult and costly, the authors argue that these methods, developed through field experience, are practical and cost-effective. The CASHPOR (Credit and Savings for the Hard-Core Poor) Network has developed a House Index that is adapted to the house styles of all countries in Asia where the Network programmes are operating.

Pushing the limits of mapping and wealth ranking

The Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) is a micro-finance NGO working in South Africa to provide savings and credit facilities to support business development of the poorest people. Reacting to a realisation that they were not reaching the poorest people, the SEF undertook a pilot study using participatory wealth ranking to establish people's own criteria of poverty. These proved to differ from the externally judged criteria that they had been using to assess eligibility for membership, and led to the adoption of participatory mapping and wealth ranking instead.