Food Security

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 457–472 | Cite as

Targeting mechanisms for cash transfers using regional aggregates

  • Jad Chaaban
  • Hala Ghattas
  • Alexandra Irani
  • Alban ThomasEmail author
Original Paper


We propose an empirical method for improving food assistance scoring and targeting, which minimizes under-coverage and leakage of food and cash assistance programs. The empirical strategy relies on a joint econometric estimation of food insecurity and economic vulnerability indicators at the household level, using data-driven instead of predetermined quantiles. We applied the method to recent micro data on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, to explore how regional and community-based aggregates can improve the targeting effectiveness of aid programs, notably food aid by the World Food Program in Lebanon. Our results confirm that using regional aggregates are useful for augmenting the Balanced Poverty Accuracy Criterion, and our method performs much better than the current policy in terms of targeting effectiveness and accuracy for economically vulnerable households.


Targeting Food security Economic vulnerability Food aid Refugees 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature and International Society for Plant Pathology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AgricultureAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Center for Research on Population and HealthAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Toulouse School of Economics, I.N.R.AUniversity of ToulouseToulouse Cedex 6France

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