This paper outlines how PRA can be of value to the policy making process by drawing on practical examples from around the world. The paper argues that not only is PRA important in providing poor people with a voice but that it can also challenge the perceptions, behaviours and attitudes of those in authority. The paper warns of the dangers of rapid scaling up of PRA.
Participation in poverty reduction strategies: a synthesis of experience with participatory approaches to policy design, implementation and monitoring
This synthesis offers a review of experiences in applying participatory approaches to macro-level policy formulation, implementation and monitoring in poverty reduction. The participatory experiences are drawn from research initiatives, donors' country strategies, aid coordination processes, policy advocacy campaigns, institutional change processes, budgetary analysis and formulation and citizens' monitoring mechanisms. The review highlights significant challenges that must be overcome in order to establish participatory, sustainable, country-owned poverty reduction strategies.
In a new approach announced by the World Bank and IMF, civil society is being offered a part in shaping and implementing national anti-poverty strategies. In order to trigger debt relief, countries are being asked to produce a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) drawing on inputs from all sections of society. This Policy Briefing details what a PRSP actually is, who should be involved, how to build participation into the process, what can be learnt from previous efforts to build participation into policy, where problems lie and how to monitor the process. It argues that learning from previous experience is vital if this new approach is to live up to its ambitious rhetoric.