The Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country. The system makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a database of poor families as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs. The National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) spearheads the implementation of this project.
Why do we need a targeting system instead of just giving goods or money indiscriminately?
Our resources are limited. Thus, we need a targeting system in order for the government to equitably distribute its resources and services to the poor. With the system, the issue of the leakage (of non – poor being included) and deprivation (poor being excluded as beneficiaries) of social services will be addressed. A recent study cited by the World Bank revealed that poorly targeted social services result in the exclusions of the poor from necessary social services and the waste of resources on those who are not actually poor. Thus, spending P1B-2B wisely on an objective targeting system is better than wasting P20-30B on a poorly targeted rice subsidy program for an example.
Listahanan aims to:
- Establish an objective targeting system
- Reduce the leakage (inclusion of non-poor) and under-coverage (exclusion of the poor) in social protection programs and services.
How does Listahanan identify poor families and households? Targeting is conducted following these four phases:
- Preparatory Phase. The areas to be assessed and their appropriate and corresponding data collection strategies are identified.
- Data Collection and Analysis Phase. Home visits are conducted to collect socio-economic information and basic information of family members thru the Family Assessment Form (FAF). FAF is a four-page questionnaire with 46 variables. The data is encoded online at the DSWD regional offices. A Proxy Means Test (PMT) is run to estimate family income. PMT is a statistical model that estimates the income of families using the proxy variables indicated in the FAF. These include family composition, education of family members, family conditions, and access to basic services. Estimated income of a family is compared to the poverty threshold per province to determine if it is poor or non-poor. Two separate models are used to estimate income for urban and rural households.
- Validation and Finalization Phase. The initial of poor families are posted for validation at the local level and by forming a Local Validation Committee (LVC) to act on complaints and appeals. The official list of poor households is shared with data users to serve as their guide in selecting beneficiaries of their social protection programs.
- Report Generation Phase. The National and Regional Profiles of the Poor are generated based on data extracted from the database. Collect feedback from data users as to how they used the data for their social protection programs and resolve appeals or complaints on beneficiary selection.
Listahanan is led by the DSWD through the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) with a National Technical Advisory Group composed of the National Statistics Office (NSO), National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), and the academe.