Design and implementation features of the national household targeting system in the Philippines

This note describes the main design and implementation features of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Philippines. The system consists of a set of uniform and objective criteria to identify the poor. An objective criterion to select those that need help the most was seen by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the main tool to improve delivery of social services. This was one of the main objectives defined by the social welfare reform, initiated by DSWD, since 2006. The targeting system uses a proxy means test (PMT) methodology to estimate the level of economic welfare of a household based on its socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The system was centrally designed and implemented by DSWD. The design incorporated a set of three sequential steps such as geographic targeting, household assessment and validation to produce best results. The implementation was carried out in phases over a three-year period, which allowed for the incorporation of lessons from early to subsequent phases.