Rwanda demonstrates how a process of community consultation and participation is able to identify and rank community members according to ‘social poverty’, drawing on the Ubudehe tradition which is considered a strength of Rwanda’s social fabric. However, with the Ubudehe categorisation now the basis for determining eligibility to a range of social benefits, the process has come under some strain.
This article highlights two issues related to targeting and graduation: (1) the difficulty in identifying the poor/non-poor and ranking the population using community participatory techniques; and (2) the sensitivity of eligibility criteria and graduation thresholds to different targeting modalities. Our primary interest is to establish whether improvements for identifying the poor and non-poor can be made without undermining community ownership and what these improvements would look like. This will be useful for policymakers in Rwanda as the new five-year development strategy places importance on graduating households out of extreme poverty.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 46.2 (2015) Challenges of Measuring Graduation in Rwanda