“Beneficiary” Revisited

May 9, 2016


One topic of debate that periodically seems to crop up on major M&E (and development) listservs is what to call the people our interventions (e.g. projects and programs) target to help. From “beneficiaries” and “clients” to “target population” and “people reached,” semantics vary, with salient considerations (and complications) for measurement. In this blog I’ll 1) discuss a couple glitches with the use of “beneficiary,” 2) acknowledge that wordage ultimately adapts to context, and 3) stress the important distinction between measuring service coverage versus impact.
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