The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 230–251 | Cite as

The Reach of Rural Services in Ethiopia: An Asset and Gender-Based Public Expenditure Benefit Incidence Analysis

  • Tewodaj Mogues
Original Article


Agricultural extension and food security transfers have constituted the bulk of public spending in agriculture in Ethiopia. This article assesses who exactly is benefiting from this public spending, by undertaking a benefit incidence analysis of these programmes in agricultural areas. A mixed picture of these programmes emerges: extension provision generally has an incidence benefitting low-wealth households. However, comparison between average and marginal benefit incidence suggests that additional expansion of the programme would be less pro-poor than the programme is as a whole. The benefit incidence of food/cash for works programmes is, interestingly, more progressive than free food/cash transfers, possibly reflecting varying effectiveness of different targeting mechanisms underlying these two. The gender incidence of extension is strongly skewed, reflecting a bias towards men.


agricultural extension food security safety-nets transfers rural services public spending gender 


La vulgarisation agricole et les transferts de fonds pour la sécurité alimentaire constituent la plus grande partie des dépenses publiques dans l’agriculture en Ethiopie. Cet article cherche à déterminer les bénéficiaires précis de cette dépense publique, en procédant à une analyse de l’incidence des avantages de ces programmes dans les zones agricoles. Un bilan contrasté se dégage : les mesures de vulgarisation bénéficient généralement aux ménages à faible revenu. Néanmoins, une comparaison de l’incidence marginale et moyenne des bénéfices suggère qu’une nouvelle expansion du programme serait moins favorable aux pauvres que le programme ne l’est dans son ensemble. Chose intéressante, l’incidence des avantages des programmes « travail contre nourriture/argent » est plus progressive que les transferts de nourriture et d’argent, indiquant peut-être une efficacité variable des mécanismes de ciblage qui sous-tendent ces deux types de programmes. L’incidence par sexe de la vulgarisation est fortement asymétrique, ce qui reflète un déséquilibre en faveur des hommes au détriment des femmes.



The authors are grateful to the Ethiopia country offices of IrishAid and the World Bank for financial support that made this study possible. Josee Randriamamonjy and Carly Petracco provided useful research assistance to an early stage of this article. The work has also benefited from comments by participants of seminars at which it was presented, including a seminar at the Ethiopian Development Research Institute and another at IrishAid. Further, written comments by an anonymous reviewer for IrishAid, by Laketch Mikael (Senior Rural Development Specialist, World Bank), and by two anonymous referees have been very helpful in improving the article. Any errors are that of the author.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tewodaj Mogues
    • 1
  1. 1.International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)Washington

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