Learning from Experience

Perspectives on Poverty Reduction Strategies from Four Developing Countries

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Learning from Experience explores how the Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative (PRSI) process is working, as seen from the perspective of four recipient countries. This initiative of the World Bank and IMF was introduced in 1999, with the aim of making aid more effective. It has been implemented in over forty low-income countries. Support for it from international institutions, donors and others, has ranged from enthusiastic to hostile.

The four country studies in this volume, from Tanzania, Ghana, Malawi and Bangladesh, consider the PRSI process under six headings: design of the strategy; the extent of country ownership and how to strengthen it; implementation; accountability; alignment of development partner support; and improving donor practices and procedures and cutting transactions costs.

Learning from Experience presents the effects of the PRSI process as they are experienced from recipient countries themselves, and will help international and national economic planners improve the way in which future Poverty Reduction Strategy plans are developed and implemented.



Monitoring Donor Support for the Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh: Rethinking the Rules of Engagement

The process of preparing a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) was undertaken seriously in Bangladesh after a new government with a strong parliamentary majority was elected in October 2001. An interim PRSP (I-PRSP) entitled ‘A national strategy for economic growth, poverty reduction and social development’ was finalised in March 2003 (Government of Bangladesh [GOB], 2003). Earlier, an initial draft of the I-PRSP had been made available for discussions with various stakeholders including Bangladesh’s development partners2 . A much more extensive process of consultations was involved in moving from the I-PRSP to the full PRSP, a draft of which was produced in December 2004. Further rounds of consultations followed and the final version of the PRSP, entitled ‘Unlocking the potential: national strategy for accelerated poverty reduction’ was produced in October 2005 (GOB, 2005).


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