In 1999, in response to a number of critical pressures, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) re-introduced poverty reduction as a major element of policy making, and Poverty Reduction Strategies were born. Since that time ActionAid offices have actively embraced the potential of these new spaces and processes for interaction in policy making - processes which had previously been closed This brief is drawn from a seven country review of ActionAid's engagement with World Bank/IMF policies, with particular focus on Poverty Reduction Strategies. The review itself analyses the extent to which AA was able to facilitate the participation and involvement of marginalized and vulnerable groups in the PRS debate, the impact this engagement has had on social, economic and political rights, pro-poor policy-making and budgetary allocation with the seven selected countries. This brief summerises the four major findings and eight recommendations and then goes on to ask what has changed in the content of PRSs. It also asks has the paradigm of the Washington consensus lifted, and goes on to summerise the experience of participation and process, key elements of PRSs but requiring immense effort by civil society organisations and other actors. Finally the brief looks at the question of country ownership of these processes.
In this book World Vision takes a look at Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). Starting from a position of supporting PRSPs and constructively engaging with the process, World Vision undertakes an analysis of their own experience and uncovers the frustrations that have been felt by many of those involved. The following is covered in the six chapters of the book:
" Making PRSPs Work: Can Rhetoric and Reality Coincide?
" All For Naught? An Analysis of Senegal's PRSP Process
" Working Towards an Ethiopian PRSP
" Process Before Strategy: Planning a PRSP for Cambodia
" How is the Next Generation to Live? The Enhanced HIPC II and a Strategy to Reduce Poverty in Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua
" Conclusion: Beyond Jubilee Towards Justice
Training Workshop on Participatory Rural and Urban Appraisal Methods for Participatory Poverty Assessment, Ghana
This training workshop was designed to introduce participants to appraisal techniques suitable for use in a Participatory Poverty Assessment study being conducted in Ghana by the World Bank. Written by one of two trainers, the report covers only the rural appraisal methods. The Darko field work section describes in detail the PRA methods, including sequencing, materials used and findings. Gender issues underlie the lively analysis: eg the wealth and well-being ranking shows how differently men and women tackled the activity. The report includes a list of topics covered in the theoretical sessions, comments on logistical problems on the course, and finally highlights the methodological innovations made (well-being ranking being superimposed on wealth ranking and the frequency distribution health matrix).
The programme of economic reform being implemented in Ethiopia is likely to hit the urban poor hardest. Various schemes have been planned by the government to mitigate the impact, including introducing a system of vouchers to be exchanged with local traders for food and kerosene. The article describes a limited, one-day RUA which was carried out in Addis Ababa as part of an assessment of the feasibility of the voucher system. Information was sought on the characteristics, indicators and measurement of poverty, the type of assistance required, and whether potential beneficiaries would receive information about such programmes. A supplementary question of interest was whether Rapid Appraisal techniques were useful in designing such large-scale programmes.
This article presents a critique of an agency study which used rapid research methods to investigate the role and consequences of structural adjustment programmes and the introduction of a multi-party system in Tanzania. The authors compare the findings of the agency study to their own village-level studies. They argue that the genuinely poor were not included in the analysis by the agency study team, thereby casting doubt on the study's provisional findings that 'trade liberalization has been good for rural people'. They suggest that special efforts need to be made to ensure that 'the unseen and unknown' come to the fore when using rapid research methods.
This book evaluates the impact of a sample of NGOs on poverty in rural South India. It provides an overview of the Government of India's poverty alleviation programmes, and discusses the role of NGOs. Four case studies are presented of the Rural Development Trust Community Organisation Programme (credit funds), the Church's Auxiliary Programme for Social Action (village organization and planning for self-reliance), the Kanyakumari District Fishermen Sangams Federation (marketing cooperatives), and the Arthik Samata Mandal Agricultural Development Programmes (credit, land levelling and irrigation). Each case study is examined with respect to its context, history and structure, impact in terms of realisation of objectives, economic and social impact, distribution of benefits, external influences, cost-effectiveness, sustainability and potential for replication. Strengths, weaknesses and lessons from each case are discussed, The concluding section summarizes the case studies in terms of reaching the poorest, types of benefits, innovation and flexibility, costs and reasons for success. Each case study contains discussion of methods and extents of participation, and the conclusions consider the impact on the poorest.
This report presents the preliminary results of a participatory study of urban poverty and violence in Jamaica carried out during September - October 1995 using a Participatory Urban Appraisal (PUA) methodology. It describes findings from 5 poor urban communities in Jamaica on local perceptions of poverty and violence, and the causal relationships that produce and reproduce violence. The PUA began by eliciting local people's conceptions of poverty and vulnerability as an "entry-point" to discuss the sensitive theme of violence. The study clearly identified that violence in the selected communities erodes two key assets - labour and social capital - which are vital for reducing poverty, and ends with conclusions of specific relevance to the design of the Jamaican Social Investment Fund.
This describes a Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA) undertaken by the Government of Kenya and the World Bank during Febuary-April 1994. It had three primary objectives; to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor, to start a process of dialogue between policy makers, district level providers and the poor and to address the issue of the 'value added' of the PPA approach to understanding poverty. Methods used included mapping, wealth ranking, seasonal analysis, trend and price analysis, focus group discussions, key informant interviews; visual card methods, gender analysis, understanding health seeking behaviour; and incomplete sentences. Statistically the findings of the PPA and the Welfare Monitoring Survey based on an established poverty line were strikingly similar. The study also found a gap in the perception of poverty between the poor themselves and district officials. Separate chapters look at poverty in urban Nairobi and Mandera district.
Participatory Poverty Assessment: incorporating poor people's perspectives into poverty assessment work
This paper makes the case for conducting Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) and sets out a methodology for conducting them. PPAs have the following principal elements: a poverty profile (which analyses the depth, social and cultural nature, gender disparities and geographic spread of poverty); a review of current government policies relating to poverty; an overview of NGOs and community-based organisations working towards the alleviation of poverty; an analysis of the safety nets (both government programs and sociocultural mechanisms) in place; and, based on the above, a suggested country strategy of priority measures the government should take to reduce poverty. The section on methodology discusses interviews, focus groups, participant observation, institutional assessment, mapping, ranking and triangulation as important techniques. The paper concludes with a timetable for setting up and conducting a PPA.
This document addresses the World BankÆs approach to country poverty assessments. It looks at the increasing involvement of stakeholder groups, with the aim of building in-country capacity to address the problems of the poor. With examples from a number of countries, it argues that the participation of government and other institutional stakeholders in all aspects of the work increases sensitivity to poverty issues, enhances analytical skills, and builds allegiance to the measures proposed for poverty reduction. In addition it claims that, conventional statistical analysis is complimented by qualitative information from participatory social assessments, which reveal the concerns voiced by the poor.
This working draft traces the process by which the Bank has attempted to understand and make better use of methodologies, and also examines the current status of participatory efforts within the Bank, based on the Participation Action Plan endorsed by the Board of Directors in 1994. It gives a history of the use and trends in participatory methodologies in the Bank and is a good source to review the World BankÆs participatory experiences.
The Participation of non governmental organisations in poverty alleviation: a case study of the Honduras Social Investment Fund Project.
The report analyses the role of NGOs in the Honduras Social Investment fund (FHIS) operations. The primary purpose of the report is to asses actual NGO participation against the role envisioned for NGOs in the Staff Appraisal Reports (SARs) for both credits. It also presents information and suggestions that may be useful in future collaborations among the World Bank, governments, and NGOs. The report is divided into various chapters. It provides a summary description of the project, and overviews of NGOs in Honduras, and NGO participation in the FHIS from 1990 to 1995. It looks at the types of involvement, the participation of NGOs as Subproject Executors, the outcome and a cost benefit analysis of NGO participation. The remaining section is on lessons learned for the future roles of NGOs in the FHIS, NGO selection, Technical Assistance and Training, supervision and evaluation, administrative delays and the Subproject sustainability.
This is a letter written to Mr. Wolfensohn as a comment on a talk delivered at the professional Bankers Association. The letter specifically refers to an issue raised on not judging by volume, but by results. This is in connection with the way the World Bank judges effectiveness as part of the change management process. According to this letter, judging effectiveness of work in the Bank should be linked to the key question ôwhose reality counts?ö The letter says that the Bank has predetermined indicators for monitoring and evaluation of its operations from its own perspective. In order for the Bank to understand its effectiveness in alleviating poverty, it should try to understand its own biases and to offset them by putting the views of the poor first. In conclusion, the letter says that indicators for monitoring and evaluation should not be determined by the Bank, but by the stake holders. The indicators should remain part of an on-going negotiation process because perceptions change.