blog iconPoxy Means Testing: it’s Official!

(“A prox on both your houses”)[i] The World Bank has recently – and some would say belatedly – undertaken a critical review of the Proxy Means Test (PMT)[ii], the approach to targeting that it has been advocating, uncritically, for the past decade. The results are astonishing. Disguised beneath a splendidly...

blog iconRationing, not targeting

“Will no-one rid me of this troublesome PMT?” [i] Anyone who has worked in social protection knows that the thorniest issue of all is that of “targeting”. The recent polemics on these pages about the inadequacy of the Proxy Means Test (PMT) as a “targeting” mechanism (including my last blog post: Poxy...

blog iconSocial Protection through the Looking Glass: Lewis Carroll’s parable for the unwary

What can a 19th Century work of literary nonsense teach us about global social protection debates? To mark April Fools’ Day, our guest blogger Nicholas Freeland suggests that Lewis Carroll’s work The Walrus and the Carpenter can tell us more more about prevailing dogmas in the sector than you might imagine! Lewis Carroll...

Publication IconThe Social Protection Flaw – or how not to win fiscal space for entitlements

The many disadvantages to poverty-targeted social protection include the fact that they never become entitlements that attract popular demand and the financial backing of governments, writes Nicholas Freeland, independent consultant. Freeland highlights...

blog iconWhat a bunch of oxymorons in international social protection!

Nicholas Freeland Let me begin by clarifying that an oxymoron is not some kind of bovine nincompoop. An oxymoron defines a phrase that is inherently self-contradictory. The word itself is a good example, deriving as it does from two contradictory Greek words: ὀξύς (oxys), which means sharp or clever, and...

blog iconPoor targeting: a response to Pathways’ paper on how best to reach those in poverty

Nicholas Freeland Sometimes in life there are things that you know, instinctively, to be true; but you lack the proof with which to convince others. It is then particularly gratifying when the necessary proof emerges. I have experienced just such a moment of gratification with the appearance of Development Pathways’...