21 Jun 2013 02:46:18 GMT
Six years of impressive economic growth and classical poverty reduction policies in Mozambique have demonstrated the limited extent to which this has ‘trickled down’ to the local level – with the country falling on the Human Development Index and poverty reduction having come to a complete halt. Important progress has been made in public administration, physical infrastructure, education and health, but deep structural changes will be necessary in order to generate employment and income and reach the 55 percent of all Mozambicans who remain poor.
This briefing looks at attempts to reduce poverty on the basis of Poverty Reduction Strategies (‘Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty’/ PARPA II 2006 to 2010’, and ‘Poverty Reduction Action Plan’/PARP 2011-2014’).
The author argues that overall, for further poverty reduction to take place, three main types of interventions will be necessary.
13 Apr 2011 07:20:02 GMTThis dialogue report provides a view of poverty in Bangladesh. The country has been performing well from the growth perspective in the recent past as GDP growth rate has been on average of 5.8% per year during 2000-2010.
15 Jul 2010 03:47:59 GMT
09 Oct 2009 11:57:43 GMTThis report is a case study of Bonde la Mpunga, a wetland in Dar es Salaam which was formerly used for rice growing. It is an area abundant in natural resources with fishing being the main economic activity. It is a sprawling unplanned place which continues to attract people because of cheap accommodation and its proximity to Dares Salaam.
26 Jan 2009 04:10:10 GMT
Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world: approximately 53 percent of the population live below the poverty line, the average literacy rate is 28 percent and life expectancy just 43 years. In addition, some 136,000 people are estimated to be internally displaced. But what is the government’s approach to poverty reduction and what are its ongoing activities? In an attempt to build stakeholder support for it's initiatives the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR) has recently produced a plain language guide to increase public understanding of poverty and development initiatives in Afghanistan.
Divided into eight parts and including a glossary, the report describes the different types of poverty in Afghanistan, summarises poverty information for the country and outlines the key goals, benchmarks and targets of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), the country’s first PRSP.
To qualify as a PRSP, the ANDS was formulated in consultation with the public. ACBAR also carried out a medium-scale poverty assessment – the Afghanistan Pilot Participatory Poverty Assessment (APPPA) - to include poor people’s voices in the ANDS. In 2007, the APPPA conducted research in 8 field sites over a period of 12 weeks using a range of communication tools. According to its findings, which are included in the report, the development priorities of the Afghan people are:
The report encourages civil society actors to monitor the government’s delivery of the ANDS by working with the legislature to form pressure groups that can work with the government to ensure that progress towards ANDS targets is being met.
04 Nov 2008 10:15:09 GMT
There is much doubt whether the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be realised but why is this? This paper asks whether the structure of national development programmes and aid strategies are undermining MDG priorities and targets.
The authors analysed 22 developing countries’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) along with the policy frameworks of 21 bilateral programmes, and principally considered:
The paper’s findings/recommendations include:
25 Sep 2008 01:02:39 GMTThis article gives practical guidance to developing country practitioners and international donors working on low income countries. The article stresses the importance of linking Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and a country’s national budget, whether at the formulation, execution, or reporting stage. It says that linking the budget and the poverty reduction strategy is integral to the successful implementation of the PRS and vital for strengthening government accountability. The article highlights three benefits which emerge when the two systems are well integrated, which are:
01 Sep 2008 12:04:50 GMTUganda’s Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) incorporates poor people’s voices and perspectives. This paper focuses on the lessons learnt in the implementation of the PEAP by using examples from the Ugandan participatory poverty assessment process.
16 Jul 2008 04:15:35 GMT
The Hima is a traditional system of resource tenure that has been practiced for more than 1400 years in the Arabian Peninsular. With the numerous deteriorations that came and halted advancement in the Arab world, and at times for different reasons, the Hima also declined. The progressive concepts of the Hima became hav been masked by the general regression suffered in the region and the recent advances accomplished by other countries, civilizations and people. This digital book brings back recognition for the positive contributions that traditional knowledge and ingenious approaches of this region had brought and can still give to development and conservation.
The book presents these traditional approaches as a tool that existed and can still exist to advance the conservation and poverty paradigms and to meet upcoming challenges related to conflicts and climate change, as the concept of Hima emphasises is closely linked to resilience. The authors outline how the most successful revival attempts to date have taken place in Lebanon where the Hima efforts aim to complement conservation efforts not to replace them. Various other regional advances are discussed in countries including Iran and Indonesia.
The authors highlight that to be Hima, a protected area should:
10 Jun 2008 10:57:02 GMT
Due to their multisectoral nature Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) offer a unique opportunity to fight malnutrition, the agreed upon indicator monitoring the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1. Nutrition interventions should therefore become an integral component of poverty reduction strategies.
This paper reviews 40 PRSPs and finds that:
three quarters of the PRSPs recognize that malnutrition is a development problem that leads to loss of human capital and/or productivity
a majority of PRSPs include strategies and specific actions to mitigate the effects of malnutrition
many PRSPs, either explicitly or implicitly, include country nutrition profiles in their poverty analysis
However, there appears to be little prioritisation or sequencing. More importantly, the strategies and actions included in PRSPs often do not reflect an appropriate response to the nature of the nutrition problem in the country. Moreover, institutional capacity and budget allocations are not sufficient. This leads to a lack of impact of PRSPs on nutrition and will further contribute to the marginalisation of nutrition in future PRSPs.
06 May 2008 05:59:06 GMTThis issue examines the usefulness of two recently developed analytical tools: Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) and Poverty Impact Assessment (PIA). Both approaches provide a framework to analyse the distributional impact of policies, programmes and projects:
02 May 2008 04:12:42 GMT
The aim of this report is to explain technical aspects in using and developing Poverty & Environment indicators (P&E) by providing a toolbox that will enable the readers to use indicators to mainstream environment into poverty reduction strategies. The document targets policy-makers working with poverty and environment issues in Africa.
The main messages of this document include:
08 Apr 2008 03:10:05 GMTIn Mozambique, the government and the donors have invested considerable resources and effort in economic and social development. Nevertheless, Mozambique is still one of the poorest countries in the world. This short brief presents the first in a series of three participatory and qualitative studies on poverty in Mozambique. The studies will be used as baselines for monitoring and evaluating Mozambique’s poverty alleviation efforts, by following the implications of government policies and interventions at the local level and ascertaining changes in the conditions, perceptions and relations of poverty after periods of three years.
07 Feb 2008 03:28:28 GMT
This paper examines how the role of science and technology (S&T) as a driver of economic growth and poverty reduction has, in the last five years, been addressed in poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSP). This analysis is based on a review of 11 PRSP documents prepared in countries in the sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America regions; and on a case study of the policy process that lead to the formulation of Mozambique’s second PRSP.
It finds that overall the incorporation of S&T in PRSPs is somewhat weak. This is especially notable in areas such as international trade and investment, private sector development or the generation of local scientific and technological knowledge.
The paper’s recommendations include:
17 Jan 2008 03:20:10 GMT
This paper is part of a research project analysing the participation of stakeholders beyond the drafting process of Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS). A number of constraints impede meaningful participation in many countries. However, exceptions demonstrate that meaningful participation in PRS processes is possible. The author argues that this requires strengthening democratic accountability, institutionalising participation and empowerment.
Recommendations for reaching these objectives include:
14 Sep 2007 09:06:27 GMT
This paper discusses policies that have inhibited the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regions. Specifically, the paper argues that neo-liberal structural adjustment policies (SAPs) have exacerbated poverty in the region and that there is a need to balance the role of the private and public sector if the MDGs are to be achieved.
The paper points to a number of negative experience and outcomes of structural adjustment in the 1980s. It describes that economic growth is stagnant or declining in many countries and poverty is increasing the context of rising inflation and unemployment. In addition, food shortages have increased particularly in Southern Africa, due to the combination of natural and policy related factors, and HIV and AIDS has ravaged the sub-continent.
The paper outlines a number of economic alternatives to structural adjustment which have emerged in the region including:
The paper argues that a number measures are needed to meet the MDGs in the SADC region, which include:
02 Aug 2007 11:36:55 GMT
This policy brief presents a case study of general budget support (GBS) in Ghana. It is argued that, by providing aid as budget support, donors have taken risks and made important contributions to poverty alleviation and governance. In particular, the paper explores the impacts of the Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) Programme, in support of the newly-adopted Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).
In assessing the immediate effects of MDBS, the study finds that:
The brief argues that while MDBS has kept reform on the agenda and as has had a generally pro-poor influence, it has not been able to minimise the risks by supporting more effective public finance management systems, nor has it managed to maximise the payoff in terms of poverty-reduction.
The brief recommends that action be taken along the following lines:
18 Jul 2007 02:58:03 GMT
Case-studies from the Poverty Observatory (PO) in Mozambique examine citizen participation and social accountability processes in Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) implementation and monitoring.
The following recommendations are outlined for improvement:
The authors find that simpy appreciating citizen participation is not enough for meaningful participation to
happen. Stakeholders need to make things work proactively. The drive or motivation to meaningful participation must come from the stakeholders themselves. This attitude should also be encouraged by surrounding organizations. Successful citizen participation needs investment in time, thinking energy, design effort and money.
28 Jun 2007 01:14:33 GMT
Public spending on agriculture is now recognised to be an important means of promoting economic growth and alleviating poverty in rural areas. However, this paper reveals that agricultural spending is not being prioritised within current budgets and, in many cases, is actually falling. The paper is based on a recent study by Oxford Policy Management, which reviews global trends in public spending on agriculture using evidence from six case-study countries: Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Argentina, and Vietnam.
Key findings from the case studies include:
The authors argue that the low share of spending allocated to agriculture should be of concern - especially in Africa, where agriculture and poverty are closely interlinked. Based on the study’s findings, they conclude that:
22 Jun 2007 03:17:13 GMT
This study examines what challenges have arisen in countries where efforts have been made to integrate poverty reduction strategies (PRSs) with national budgets. It argues that both PRSs and national budgets offer scope for enhanced domestic accountability, but that fractures in planning and budgeting systems pose obstacles for donors and national governments. Challenges that emerge include:
Reviewing at the experiences of higher-income countries, the study argues that if broader reforms, rather than narrow technical solutions, is the goal three principal lessons are instructive:
The study suggests that systems for monitoring government performance in implementing budgets could provide a solid basis for reporting on a critical part of PRS implementation. It outlines three essential building blocks for the integration of PRS and budget reporting:
The study outlines four lessons from the experiences of the country case studies:
13 Jun 2007 12:13:37 GMT
This article argues that Uganda’s Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) has brought significant gains to development management, but that its performance against several of the PRS (Poverty Reduction Strategy) principles is disappointing. The key lesson from the Ugandan experience is that the PRS principles remains valid, but that government and development-partner practice around the PRS process has not always done justice to these principles.
As countries prepare and implement their second-generation poverty-reduction strategies, a return to the spirit of the PRS principles is in order. To foster true national ownership, PRSs have to be integrated into domestic policy and accountability processes. Development-partner standards and requirements should be secondary. Results orientation by development partners often results in an external focus of accountability mechanisms. The authors call for a shift in the focus of PRSs to mutual accountability and a strengthening of domestic accountability processes.
The authors argue that a more general lesson emerging from Uganda’s experience is that there is a tension that needs to be resolved between the desire to be comprehensive and the need to prioritise rigorously within a given fiscal space. Budgets need to be oriented towards the achievement of development results, whereas at present they often merely reflect historical allocation patterns.
Development partners also need to be realistic regarding their expectations of the quality of the PRS and its associated processes. Less emphasis should be placed on PRS products and more on the PRS process. Where development partners cannot compromise on the standards they set, they need to invest in the long-term capacity needs they create as a result. The authors conclude that the existence of a strong Medium-Term Expenditure Framework provides a good basis for the formulation of a PRS. But at the same time, when it is applied rigidly, it can stifle the reorientation of the development path in line with newly emerging priorities.
28 Mar 2007 11:00:00 GMTThis report provides an overview of the latest data available for indicators of progress towards the goals of the Tanzanian National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (MKUKUTA). The paper comments on gaps in the data and adjustments which may need to be made to the indicator set.
The reports overall findings are that:
The authors recommend:
This report is a reference document which complements the series of Tanzania Poverty and Human Development Reports. It was produced in accordance with the MKUKUTA Monitoring Master Plan and is published by the Research and Analysis Working Group, which is part of the MKUKUTA Monitoring System within the Ministry of Planning, Economy and Empowerment.
15 Mar 2007 12:00:00 GMTHas the PRSP (Poverty Reduction Strategy Process) paved the way for a new and more democratic participatory way of governance and policy-making, or was it just an ad hoc gimmick promoted by the donor community? Has it contributed to effective poverty reduction in the rural population? This report aism to answer these questions, based on information gathered from Rural Producer Organisations (RPOs)in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda.
More specific questions addressed in the report are:
Some of the key findings were:
05 Mar 2007 12:00:00 GMTThis country study from the UNDP's International Poverty Centre examines fiscal policy in Zambia, particularly how expenditure and taxation could be used to accelerate growth and reduce poverty.
Drawing on results from a national study, the paper finds that:
The authors recommend:
16 Feb 2007 12:00:00 GMTHave Zambian citizens benefited from their country's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)? This compilation of poverty assessments covers the PRSP phase from 2002-2005. It reports on local communities' perspectives of the impact of poverty reduction programmes. Overall, it concludes that PRSP implementation in Zambia, whilst successful in some areas, has in general been weak
The report evaluates PRSP implementation in:
As a result of poor implementation, and even given the short duration of the PRSP, its impact on poverty reduction has been less than it could have been. The authors do, however, argue that the findings should serve as a firm base for continuing monitoring exercises.
07 Feb 2007 12:00:00 GMTAccording to a recent survey, the 2006 targets for poverty and inequality set out in the Namibian National Development Plan II seem to have been achieved ahead of schedule. According to this article taken from the daily Namibian newspaper, the southern African nation now finds itself among a small group of African countries that are on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving poverty by 2015.
Although meeting the MDG in question would mark a major achievement, the article warns of the damage that persistent inequality could do to Namibia's poverty reduction efforts. Issues that could hamper these efforts include inequality largely favouring urban residence over rural dwellers - this inequality also mirrors gender inequality.
Overall, however, the author argues this survey should be cause for celebration because the results are truly remarkable. Meanwhile, the survey should be scrutinised and analysed by researchers and policy makers inside and outside of government so to derive a better idea of how stable the findings are, how accurately they reflect the real situation, the impact of HIV and AIDS and the key factors that have contributed to reducing poverty and inequality.
16 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe popular backlash to the Washington Consensus (an agenda of enforced open market policies) has been witnessed in protest marches and anti-globalisation campaigns for quite some time. This revolutionary mood, the authors argue, has been hijacked by the influencial, articulate voices of Jeffrey Sachs and Thomas Friedman. This article presents a critique of these two figures' work, and warns of the risks their policy prescriptions entail.
Arguing that Sachs and Friedman's solutions to ending poverty are over-simplistic, the authors add that such claims are merely loosely-vieled interpretations of the market liberalisation policies of the 1980s and 1990s. Accepted as simple truth by many, these straight-forward answers to poverty eradication are, according to the authors, built upon dubious facts about the poor, aid, trade and the options available to donor countries.
Having debunked a number of myths which the authors believe underpin the work of Sachs and Friedman, examples of alternatives in action are presented. Policy reforms at the local, national and regional level in Africa and Latin America are detailed, suggesting the possibility of successful alternatives to the prevailing consensus in poverty eradication.
15 Oct 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis article analyses the content of 15 Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers from a growth and poverty reduction perspective. It argues that, contrary to new trends in developed and middle-income countries, their policy frameworks lack the necessary flexibility to deal with external shocks and address macroeconomic volatility appropriately. This is because their fiscal and monetary policies are too narrowly focused on fiscal balance and price stability and consequently pay too little attention to economic fluctuations arising from external shocks, which have major effects on poverty and growth. To address these issues, the article proposes a set of policy measures.
Policy recommendations are:
05 Oct 2006 11:00:00 GMTThe case studies compiled in this book emerged from an October 2005 World Bank seminar on extreme poverty. They show how helping the very poor to emerge from poverty requires not only extra public resources, effort, and time, but also a broader approach to development policy.
Relying on contributions from the International Movement ATD Fourth World, the book deals with questions such as:
In answering these questions, the emphasis is on exploring what type of knowledge is needed to fight extreme poverty. A key argument is that apart from academic knowledge, a concerted effort is needed to recognise and listen to indigenous knowledge, as well as the practitioners who are engaged with the poor on a daily basis.
Following commentary from ATD Fourth World, case studies are provided on participatory approaches to attacking extreme poverty in both developing countries (Madagascar, Tanzania, Bolivia, Guatemala and Peru) and developed countries (the United States and Belgium).
03 Oct 2006 11:00:00 GMTDisabled people's organisations (DPOs) and people with disabilities rarely participate in any PRSP process, despite the professed importance of civil society involvement in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of a country's national poverty reduction strategy. This handbook presents experiences, proposes ideas, and comments on how DPOs and people with disabilities may enter and participate in national PRSP processes.
The handbook seeks to be as concise as possible and as comprehensive as is necessary. It covers the following areas:
16 Aug 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis paper looks at how Rwandan households adjusted their cropping and income generating strategies to produce an outcome of reduced malnutrition rates from 1990-2000, despite population and land pressures and the impact of the 1994 genocide. This study might be used to help influence formulation of appropriate food policies not only in Rwanda, but also in other countries recovering from similar domestic crises or facing critical land shortages.
Despite political upheavals and increasing land pressure, the survey evidence suggests that by 2000 average incomes returned to the 1990 level, while the nutritional status among rural children was better in 2000 than in the early 1990s. However the nutrition improvement is tempered by evidence of increasing rural inequality. While the least poor households expanded their access to income through skilled labour, the majority of households retreated into a more self reliant mode of production focused on key subsistence crops. The change in crop mix seems to be associated with the improved the nutritional status of children.
The paper concludes that the poorest groups are unlikely to derive much, in any, direct benefit from agricultural commercialisation given that they have withdrawn form the market and are mostly cultivating land areas too small to be able to produce a surplus. Measures to increase the productivity, and sustainability, of Rwanda’s small scale agriculture are critical but there is a clear risk that commercialisation by itself could further increase rural inequality. It is also found that many of the poorest rural households will never obtain adequate consumption levels based on agriculture alone although at the moment the opportunities for off farm work for these households appear very limited. The proposed widespread introduction of labour intensive public works, also envisaged in the Poverty Reduction Strategy and currently under discussion in Rwanda, may offer opportunities.
13 Aug 2006 11:00:00 GMTThis volume provides lessons on the design and functioning of Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) monitoring systems, based on the experience of twelve PRS countries. The focus is on the institutional arrangements of PRS monitoring systems - the rules and processes which bring the various actors and monitoring activities together in a coherent framework.
Part I of this volume summarises the findings and lessons that have emerged from the analysis of poverty reduction strategy monitoring systems in 12 countries in Africa, Central and South America and Central Asia.(Albania, Bolivia, Guyana, Honduras, the Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Niger, Tanzania, and Uganda).
Part II provides two tools for practitioners. The first is a diagnostic tool that provides pointers for designing or reviewing a poverty reduction strategy monitoring system. The other offers principles and guidance for policy makers and their advisers who are engaged in the design and implementation of a poverty reduction strategy monitoring system.
Part III describes the institutional arrangements of each of the 12 countries examined (Albania, Bolivia, Guyana, Honduras, the Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Niger, Tanzania, and Uganda).
07 Aug 2006 11:00:00 GMTBased on perception of civil society representatives in Nicaragua, this study assesses constraints and potentials of civil society involvement in poverty reduction strategy (PRS) monitoring processes in Nicaragua. The study applies an innovative tool – the so called "CSO Participation Matrix" – which helps to structure the information, to identify critical gaps and existing potentials, and to identify key challenges to civil society's participation. The tool used in this study is intended to serve civil society organisations in strengthening their voice in the multi-stakeholder dialogue on PRS monitoring.
The study concludes with recommendations to enhance the role of civil society in the monitoring process. Key findings include:
26 Jul 2006 11:00:00 GMTEconomic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are thought to be a pragmatic fix to world trade problems, and their supporters also believe they can facilitate the achievement of broader development goals. This briefing paper examines what EPAs must offer if they are to be 'development agreements'.
The authors assess the benefits of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) and discuss potential gaps which may be filled by the integration of more substantial EPAs. By examining the increasing marginalisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations of the CPA, the paper provides numerous illustrations of the agreement's underlying problems. Other analyses, however, demonstrate that the provisions within the CPA may not be stretched that much further through an EPA.
The discussion leads to the overall conclusion that there are, in fact, some ways in which an EPA could supplement the CPA. For example, it could increase certainty of implementation for the wide raft of measures needed to improve the supply capacity of the ACP and enhance the poverty reduction effects of any increased trade. A binding commitment to deliver to ACP nations the resources necessary to manage the challenges of globalisation is suggested as a good place to start.
14 Jun 2006 11:00:00 GMTOnce a nation struggling with the damaging effects of two decades of civil war, Mozambique now towers over its neighbours in terms of human security and development. However, it remains a poor country facing numerous obstacles to equitable poverty reduction. The Government's economic programme is designed to reduce absolute poverty by 30 percent by 2010, requiring a GDP growth rate of around 8 percent per year. This paper argues that whilst this is an ambitious goal, it is feasible. The author outlines a number of strategies for meeting this target.
The author points to other countries that have managed to maintain a 5 percent growth rate per year, two of which (Botswana and Mauritius) are in the same region as Mozambique, sharing some environmental and historical characteristics. Using these examples, the author provides an analytical framework to help establish strategies to accelerate the growth rate. This framework, adapted to the particular characteristics of Mozambique, is informed by six fundamental ideas about development. These include:
The analysis lead the author to a number of ways in which a sound and effective strategy for economic growth can be established and implemented.
24 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe PRS (poverty reduction strategy) approach has become widespread over the last five years. This paper presents a review of the PRS approach in the form of an extensive discussion of implementation experience up until 2005. The review is based on the views of a wide range of stakeholders.
Following a prologue of experiences in Albania and Zambia, the paper presents an overview of the development challenges in low-income countries. It then focuses on balancing accountabilities - how the PRS approach can support the strengthening of domestic accountability; the accountabilities of donors in terms of providing better aid; and various factors that help external requirements to reinforce rather than undermine domestic the paper discusses: the analytic foundations which can support the strengthening of strategies and their results orientation; and how the PRS process can support ambitious development plans by providing a framework for scaling up assistance and addressing absorptive constraints so that additional aid is used well.
Specific points the review highlight include:
Supporting a balance of accountabilities:
Scaling up results:
[adapted from author]
21 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe Cameroonian poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP), approved in 2003, is presented as a document developed in a participatory manner. However, beyond official discourse on participation and consultation with the population in this process, questions still arise as to the consideration of indigenous and tribal peoples' interests and aspirations in this context. This issue becomes even more important as official approaches to the development of indigenous peoples have often focused on their assimilation or conversion to the dominant lifestyle, rather than on a genuine social integration with due respect to their cultural identity. This study assesses the participation of indigenous peoples in poverty reduction efforts, particularly the PRSP, in Cameroon.
The author find that indigenous peoples are marginalised and excluded from poverty reduction efforts in Cameroon. Their basic concerns are, consequently, not taken into consideration. Futher to this, the author concludes that:
[adapted from author]
08 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper reports on the sub-Saharan Africa transport policy programme (SSATP) annual meeting, held in Bakamo, Mali in November 2005. Its focus was on moving forward with implementation of the SSATP long-term development plan -designed to achieve concrete improvements in the transport sector in sub-Saharan Africa, so that it contributes fully to growth and poverty reduction.
The meeting discussed issues including:
The outcome of the meeting was the 'Bamako Declaration' - a statement of political support for the implementation of the SSATP long-term development plan. Particularly noticeable was the concentrated effort to address implementation deficiencies with regard to the needs of women. Proposals were presented for strengthening the way in which implementation should address gender-specific transport needs.
08 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper addresses the perception that poverty reduction strategy (PRS) processes in Latin America and the Caribbean have not grappled effectively with politics, and have not engaged successfully with political actors and institutions. The authors draw upon evidence from documents and interviews on how this situation has arisen and how it might be confronted. It is based on experience in three Latin American highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs): Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The paper's overall argument is that the PRS approach has been compromised by the fact that a single instrument – preparation of a comprehensive plan document, with broad consultation – has been made to serve different purposes. In reality, these need to be met in different ways. As a consequence, it has served none particularly well, although some better than others. Its key failing, according to the authors, has been a lack of political will to buy-in to poverty reduction as an objective.
A coordinated multi-pronged approach is recommended in order to facilitate a more satisfactory relationship between political systems, donor actions and PRSs. The authors also recommend:
[adapted from author]
08 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTIndigenous and tribal peoples represent about 5 per cent of the world's population, but over 15 per cent of the world's poor. The incidence of extreme poverty is higher among them than among other social groups and they generally benefit much less than others from overall declines in poverty. This paper reports on an ethnic "audit" of 14 PRSPs (poverty reduction strategy papers) in 14 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its goal is to ascertain whether and how the rights, needs and aspirations of indigenous and tribal peoples have been taken into account and whether they have been involved in the consultations leading to the formation of the PRSPs.
The main findings of the report include:
06 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTIn January 2006, the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) and the Network on Gender Equality of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held a joint meeting on the implications of the new aid modalities for the achievement of gender equality. This aide-memoire, written in preparation of the meeting, argues that new aid modalities may have limited or adverse effects on developing countries if they do not take into account gender perspectives and the rights and interests of women.
A number of agencies are already tackling the issue of how to integrate gender equality into the various elements of changing aid modalities. Yet the Sector Wide Approach Programmes (SWAPs) and Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS) through which development assistance is now increasingly channelled have often been gender blind, without the necessary budgetary allocations directed towards addressing gender inequalities.
This paper argues that if progress towards the achievement of gender equality is to be maintained and accelerated it is critical that these new mechanisms address gender mainstreaming as a key strategy and ensure that the voices of women in both donor and partner countries are heard.
Summary written in collaboration with BRIDGE and Siyanda
02 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis case study argues that despite the good intentions and increasing realisation of the importance of social inclusion for poverty alleviation and lasting peace, reflected in the PRSP, insufficient attention has been given to indigenous peoples’ issues in Nepal.
Problems of the PRSP as identified by the paper include:
01 Mar 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe main aim of this report is to show how a statistical system for tracking resource and policy impact could be designed and implemented. The system presented is designed to provide easily obtainable statistical information for monitoring the millenium development goals (MDGs), poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs) and the data challenges of PARIS21.
The approach presented follows the monitoring process from resource allocation towards human welfare and quality of life and the feedback towards economic and social development. It is designed for monitoring starting at the national level which could be extended upwards for international comparisons or downwards for local comparisons at the local level.
Three social sectors are examined - education, health and water and sanitation, inclusive of the smallholder agricultural and urban informal sectors, using data from seven Norwegian partner countries.
The main conclusions can be summarised as follows:
The report ends with a number of recommendations for Norwegian users and development partners.
25 Feb 2006 12:00:00 GMTZambia's PRSP was introduced in 2002, based upon a three year time-frame. At the end of this period, civil society conducted independent rapid poverty monitoring and expenditure tracking exercises to establish whether the programme outcomes and impacts were consistent with PRSP aims and objectives. The reports by civil society on poverty assessment equally point to weak implementation of the PRSP and a general failure to improve well being. The focus of this report is an overall assessment of the PRSP process, in respect of its impact on poverty reduction at the local level.
The study, using both primary and secondary data, found that:
27 Jan 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper explores efforts to bridge multi-disciplinary research, policy engagement and practice to improve the life quality of children living in poverty, focusing on Ethiopia.
The paper is structured in two parts. The first section discusses the importance of mapping the policy context so as to carry out effective policy influencing for and with children. The second section draws on an emerging body of literature on bridging policy and research to evaluate efforts made by Young Lives Ethiopia. Young Lives Ethiopia used research on the impact (on child well-being) of the first round of the Ethiopian PRSP (2002-5) to improve the inclusion of child-sensitive indicators and policies in the second PRSP (2005-9).
The paper emphases a number of recommendations to bridge research and policy, including:
The Young Lives Ethiopia experience also offers some insights and recommendations, including:
24 Jan 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis chapter in the UNECA's "Economic report on Africa 2005" examines the prominent features of the poverty challenge in Africa. It outlines the analytical links between growth, employment and poverty to show that employment is a major route out of poverty. The paper also identifies the employment gaps of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) and provides recommendations for strengthening the employment intensity of the growth process and for mainstreaming employment policies in poverty reduction strategies.
The paper finds that:
The paper recommends the following:
[adapted from author]
23 Jan 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper looks at the treatment of rural productive sectors in Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS) for three countries, focussing particularly on agriculture and to a lesser degree forestry, fisheries and tourism. Based on the premise that agriculture and other rural productive sectors will play a major role in poverty reduction, it is assumed that first-generation PRSs have not given adequate treatment to rural productive sectors. The three countries chosen for the study are Malawi, Nicaragua and Vietnam. These countries were chosen mainly on the grounds of diversity of experiences they represent in relation to growth and agricultural development.
The authors examine four specific issues in depth: the debate and policy agenda on pro-poor growth and rural productive sectors, PRS as a policy tool for pro-poor growth, the rural productive sectors’ engagement with PRS processes, and the role of aid donors. With regard to these issues, it finds that:
If the PRS are to remain the centre-piece of donor-funded development, the paper finds there are clear lessons for subsequent rounds of planning:
18 Jan 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper assesses how the needs of children are incorporated into Ethiopia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), known as the Ethiopian Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Programme 2002-2005 (SDRDP), and to develop policy recommendations for the second PRSP based on a comparative content analysis with other countries’ PRSPs.
The paper identifies key components of a child-centred PRSP, which include: consideration of childhood poverty in the document’s poverty analysis; spaces for consultation with children; child specific policies and programmes as well as child-sensitive macro-development policies; institutionalised mechanisms to coordinate these policy approaches; and the inclusion of child-related progress indicators.
A rights-based framework is used to analyse the SDPRP’s policies, programmes and indicators. It assesses the extent to which both the direct (child-specific policy commitments) and indirect (macro-development) policies are in keeping with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) principles of child survival, development, protection, equal treatment and participation.
The paper finds that Ethiopia’s first PRSP did not have an explicit analytical framework and strategy for addressing childhood poverty. Instead it followed the core emphases of the MDG framework. In terms of macro-economic policies, one-fifth of the government budget was to cover pro-poor policy sectors – education, health, road infrastructure, agricultural development and water supply. The education sector was allocated the highest share, however, its per capita expenditure is exceedingly low and much below internationally recommended minimums for low-income countries. The health sector, especially nutrition services, fared considerably worse.
By drawing on the best practices of PRSPs in other developing countries, the paper draws attention to the need for a more multi-dimensional understanding of childhood poverty, including attention to other core principles of the UNCRC, such as a child’s right to protection from exploitation, social exclusion, discrimination and vulnerability, and the right to participate in family and community decisions that affect their lives. Such an approach would, in turn, necessitate a cross-sectoral policy approach to ensure optimal co-ordination of service delivery, as well as sequencing and synergies between policy interventions. The more successful integration of gender equality as a cross-cutting issue into the SDPRP however, does offer some important lessons.
14 Dec 2005 12:00:00 GMTPoverty Reduction Strategy Papers are five years old. It is six years since the Enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC2) placed on the international agenda a new type of donor conditionality, requiring governments to prepare, and hold public consultations about, comprehensive three-year plans for improving their performance in reducing poverty. And it is five years since the first wave of PRSP processes was completed. This paper therefore asks: what have we learned from this experiment?
This paper tries to address three questions:
The paper concludes that it cannot yet be said that the PRSP experiment has failed, if only because no better idea has yet been articulated by anyone. On the other hand, it is clear that PRSPs have not delivered what was hoped for, and the reasons include the rather simple theory of political change that was one of the conceptual underpinnings of the experiment.
This paper also draws attention to three types of possible international action that are missing links in the politics of development after five years of PRSPs, including:
23 Nov 2005 12:00:00 GMTThis paper reviews Guyana's experience with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in drafting and implementing Guyana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, and with reforms in three major areas of the economy in which the World Bank and IMF have been substantially involved: sugar production, bauxite mining and water services.
The review reveals that the relationship between the World Bank and the Guyana government is one of tension and mutual distrust, and policy decisions are not taken in a context of mutual respect, shared perspective, and agreement on objectives. In addition, this defensive environment has led to the exclusion of civil society organisations from decision-making processes. The paper argues that this isolation weakens key programmes like the Poverty Reduction Strategy, and depriving it of legitimacy in the eyes of civil society.
The paper concludes that the country has not moved to "ownership" of economic policies, but continues to be dependent on the financial support and policy guidance of donors. It recommends that: