This article provides a general overview of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach, listing the main international institutions that were involved in the initiation of the approach in 1999 and the main principles underpinning the approach. The article analyses the PRSP experience by looking at some of the main principles to assess the formulation, monitoring and implementation of the PRS processes and contents on the part of civil society. The analysis is based on a review of secondary sources and existing literature. The article concludes by suggesting that PRSPs can be credited for marginal improvements in poverty orientation and opening up policy debate. However PRSPs can also be criticised for not being based on processes that promote country ownership and accountability. The article mentions the links between power dynamics and policy choices, and in turn explores the link with conditionality used by International Financial Institutions. To improve PRSPs, the author argues that PRSPs need to be anchored in national budgetary and parliamentary processes for greater accountability.
International Institute for Environment and Development