The Challenges of Distribution of Poverty Programs with Integrated Targeting

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – The aim is the distribution of poverty reduction programs is more targeted and appropriate (improve outcomes). Is the government’s choice to use an integrated system right?

This time, Lecturer at Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) Universitas Airlangga, Achmad Tohari with researchers from the University of Western Australia Christopher Parsons, and Anu Rammohan conducted a study about it.

The three of them wrote a journal entitled Targeting Poverty Under Complementaries: Evidence from Indonesia’s Unified Targeting System, which was published in the Journal of Development Economics, the best journal in the field of development economics.

According to Achmad, Poverty is a problem that is often faced by developing countries in the world. Likewise, various efforts have been made by the government to overcome the problem of poverty. In the period from 2005 until now, there are at least four main programs implemented by the government targeting low-income families.

“These programs are Family Hope Program (PKH), Rastra (non-cash food aid) which the results of the program resolution from Raskin program, Smart Indonesia Card, which formerly a Poor Student Scholarship program, and Healthy Indonesia Card, an evolution of Jamkesmas program, “said the lecturer in Economics.

Although there are already several low-income family programs, Achmad said the experience shows that not all low-income families accept these programs.

“For example, family A, a low-income family in Surabaya received Raskin assistance. At the same time, the family was not registered as a beneficiary of Jamkesmas. “Conditions are more severe in Family B, neighbours of Family A. Family B is no better economic condition than Family A, but it does not receive government assistance at all,” said the lecturer who graduated from Ultrect.

Departing from that experience, in 2011, the Government intends to improve the system of targeting poverty programs in Indonesia, by forming a National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K). One of the main tasks of the team is compile an Integrated Database (BDT), to ensure that all poor households in Indonesia can receive all Government poverty reduction programs.

“In other words, if a family is classified as poor in Raskin database, then the family should also be categorized as poor (deserving of program assistance) in the list of BSM or Jamkesmas. Reliable categorization of poor and non-poor is expected to help accelerate target families to get out of poverty, “Achmad explained.

To answer the first question, Achmad used a method to evaluate the targeting system, with the condition that the government distributed more than one program such as Raskin, Jamkesmas, and BSM.

Could the implementation of BDT improve the targeting system of poverty programs? and is there better welfare for low-income families after the implementation of the policy?

To answer the first question, Achmad used a method to evaluate the targeting system, with the condition that the government distributed more than one program such as Raskin, Jamkesmas, and BSM.

“This is a big problem in the economic development field because the focus of all studies is only evaluating the targeting system for one program only. This problem is not only faced by Indonesia but also other developing countries. Thus, the most significant contribution of this research is develop an evaluation system that can be used to assess the targeting system under conditions of multiple programs or complementary programs, “he emphasized.

It can be seen that after the implementation of BDT, the possibility of low-income families to receive all poverty programs rose significantly by 117 per cent compared to the absence of BDT.

“After answering the first question, we also evaluated the impact of improving the targeting system on improving the welfare of poor families in Indonesia,” he explained.

By using several econometric methods to ensure the results of his evaluation are accurate, Achmad and his team found the fact that improving the targeting system also had an impact on improving the level of welfare of poor households.

As a result, the improvement in the level of welfare is equivalent to an increase in per-capita consumption expenditure of 30 percentage points for low-income families who received three Raskin, BSM, and Jamkesmas programs, compared to households that only received one Raskin program, BSM only, or Jamkesmas only.

“After seeing that, the challenge for development economists in the future is to contribute significantly in creating policy breakthroughs and instruments that can be utilized by the government to accelerate poverty reduction efforts,” hoped Achmad.

Penulis : Fariz Ilham Rosyidi

Editor    : Khefti Al Mawalia

Link        : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030438781830573X?via%3Dihub

Achmad Tohari, Christopher Parsons, dan Anu Rammohan. 2019. Targeting Poverty Under Complementaries: Evidence From Indonesia’s Unified Targeting System, Journal of Development Economic

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