2. Location. The poorest people tend to be concentrated either in rural areas or in urban slums. Subsidies are unlikely to reach the poorest segments of the population if they are available exclusively in urban areas. Unfortunately, the very isolation of rural areas that tends to exacerbate poverty also heightens the administrative difficulty and cost of projects designed to reach the poor in those areas. Investment in safe water, electricity, health or education for urban areas tends to involve lower unit cost than for rural areas and therefore tends to be justified on grounds of efficiency. The problem can be approached by considering how programmes are financed. Avoiding subsidies to urban services but rather relying increasingly on local taxes and user charges makes possible the achievement of both efficiency and equity.
3. The programme's ability to reach the informal sector. Government programmes which apply only to employees in the formal sector, such as social security and other public pension schemes, subsidized employee health insurance or civil service housing assistance, are not likely to alleviate the worst conditions of poverty in developing countries.
4. An explicit focus on employment and poverty alleviation in project design, as in labour-intensive rural work programmes such as rural road maintenance or in major irrigation and flood control programmes, can efficiently create many jobs for the poor. Targeted projects cost less per beneficiary family and therefore reach more families for equal cost.