This article explores links between the social unrest in Bolivia in October 2003 and the processes involved in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Poverty reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The article suggests that the participation of civil society organisations has been limited and ineffective in these processes for a number of reasons. The author analyses the role that civil society has played in monitoring and implementing the PRSP, focusing on how the Grupo Nacional de Trabajo para la Participacion (GNTP) has worked with the government, NGOs and other civil society organisations. Specifically, the author looks at one case of successful peopleÆs participation in Vallegrande and concludes by drawing out lessons learnt from the Bolivian experience. These include: bottlenecks for peopleÆs participation can in part be overcome by strengthening networks and learning communities; key factors enabling peopleÆs participation in PRSP processes include government openness to participatory processes, access to information, organisational capacity within civil society organisation and commitment to participatory processes; and the role that South-South exchanges can have in strengthening learning communities.
International Institute for Environment and Development