Targeting in Urban Displacement Contexts

Smith, G., Mohiddin, L. & Phelps, L.
Publication language
Date published
01 Jun 2017
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Forced displacement and migration, Response and recovery, Targeting, Identification and Profiling, Urban
IIED DFID Urban Crises Learning Fund

Targeting is the process by which individuals or groups are identified and selected for humanitarian assistance programmes, based on their needs and vulnerability. It is a way to focus scarce resources on those within the population that would most benefit from support.

This document aims to provide guidance to ensure a coherent, consistent, practical and flexible approach to targeting in urban displacement contexts. It has been developed for humanitarian practitioners on programmes designed to address needs arising from displacement in urban contexts. The guidance assumes an existing level of technical knowledge and experience in targeting humanitarian assistance. It is comprised of guiding principles; theoretical and practical guidance for selecting targeting criteria and mechanisms in urban displacement contexts, along with tools for decision making; more detailed practical guidance on the methodological processes to implement two targeting mechanisms (community-based targeting and use of scorecards); and case studies highlighting lessons learned.

The guidance note is part of a suite of complementary urban tools to enable appropriate urban responses for displaced and host populations. More information is available at