Targeting: How Do We Find The Extremely Poor?

To ensure we are working only with the ultra poor, Village Enterprise employs two systems to target our potential business owners from different angles. To seek out the extremely poor, we use two complimentary targeting tools- Poverty Wealth Ranking (PWR) and a Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI). While the latter predicts the likelihood of someone being categorized as extremely poor, the PWR focuses on analyzing the actual lifestyles of the villagers to determine who is ultra poor.

Village Enterprise staff member writing on a chalkboardAs the first step in the targeting process, our staff meets with village leaders, those within the village who are respected and know the people of the surrounding area well. Together with Village Enterprise Business Mentors, the 6 to 8 village leaders come up with criteria or characteristics for ranking wealth.  The group then uses a village roster to place every household in one of the following categories seen in the above photo: wealthy, moderate, poor, and extremely poor.

Characteristics of these different groups vary; they can range from the number of livestock a person has to the type of material used to make their home. The criterion used varies from village to village, allowing us to be culturally appropriate. For example, in one village, someone who is very poor may only have a few chickens whereas in another village, the extremely poor may have no livestock. We want to account for these cultural differences, so the Poverty Wealth Ranking system is vital for the targeting process.

After compiling this list of villagers and sorting them into categories, Village Enterprise staff surveys potential program participants using the Progress out of Poverty Index, a country specific survey created by the Grameen Foundation. A business mentor will visit each household to verify the results of the Poverty Wealth Ranking process.

Once we have completed both targeting processes, those characterized as extremely poor are offered a place in our program where they will gain the tools to lift themselves- and their families- out of extreme poverty.

We use these two tools to enhance each other- ensuring that Village Enterprise only serves the ultra poor in Uganda and Kenya.


Kelsey Krook






Kelsey Krook

Social Media and Marketing Intern

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