MBK uses two tools, applied sequentially, to identify and target its programme to low-income households:
1. Cashpor Modified Housing index
2. Ganesha Self-Employed Income Estimate
The process of identifying the poorest households begins with field officers completing a housing index form for the houses of the women who express interest in joining the programme. Through visual inspection, the field officers allocate points for each main component of the house, namely its size, structural condition, building materials used for walls, floor, type of toilet, electricity and water. If the household passes the housing index test, the Account Officer proceeds to estimate the household income. If the household passes the income test, i.e. income level of the bottom 25% of the population (IDR 500,000 percapita per month in 2014), she becomes eligible for the Compulsory Client Preparation Training.
The Cashpor Housing Index is a poverty targeting tool developed by CASHPOR and adapted afterwards with some adjustments to Malaysian conditions by Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM), and several other Grameen Bank replicators. This index is an effective tool for poverty measurement. It is low-cost and quick, since different features of a house can be visually appraised with a fair level of accuracy without the need for interviewing the owners.
Households joining MBK for the first time and living in a house scoring less than 12 pass directly to the second stage of the assessment, which focuses on their income. The households which scores 13 - 14 are referred to the Field Office Manager. Applicants whose houses score above the cut-off point of 14 are not eligible. Before disbursing the working capital, the Field Office Manager double-checks the results of the poverty assessment with other center client to avoid leakages of programme services to the non-poor.
In 2003, Ganesha Foundation, MBK’s predecessor, developed the following tool for estimating the household income of self-employed earners as well as labourers earning casual or seasonal income.