A report prepared as part of the Zambia Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA).
This document reports on the findings and methodology used to investigate the following issues in rural Zambia:
- local perceptions of poverty, vulnerability and relative well-being
- what the poor themselves see as the most effective actions for poverty reduction which can be taken by i) individuals or families ii) communities iii)government agencies iv) other institutions
- the main concerns and problems in poor rural people's lives at present and how these have changed over the last 5-10 years
Finally, the report summarises the most significant policy related findings of the PPA.
The article looks at the relationship between civil society organisations (CSOs) and the government in Zambia, which has been developing since the government invited civil society to participate in the formulation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Prior to this, NGOs and other CSOs had been operating as a separate group, largely excluded from decision-making processes. In 2000, civil society in Zambia galvanised itself into a networkùCivil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR). The article concludes that despite the limitations facing the government-civil society interactions, Zambia represents one of the best-practice cases in sub-Saharan Africa.
This study is part of a global research effort entitled Consultations with the Poor, designed to inform the World Development Report 2000/1 on Poverty and Development. The research has used participatory methods to involve and give a voice to poor people in twenty-three countries around the world. This report is from Zambia, from sites selected to give a rural/urban balance. The study focuses on four main topics, each with a set of key themes, as follows:
- Exploring well-being: How do people define their quality of life, their ill-being or well-being? How have these changed over time? How do people perceive security, risk, vulnerability, opportunities, social exclusion and crime and conflict, and how have these perceptions changed over time? How do households and individuals cope with a decline in well being and how do these coping strategies affect their lives?
- Priorities of the poor: Listing of problems faced by different groups within the community and identifying problems faced by the poor. Prioritisation of problems, in terms of the most pressing needs of the different groups. Have these problems changed over time? What are people's hopes and fears for the future?
- Institutional analysis: Which institutions are important in people's lives? How do people rate these institutions? Do people feel that they have any control or influence over these institutions? Which institutions support people in coping with crisis?
- Gender relations: What are the existing gender relations within the household? What is women's relative position today as compared with the past, and to men? What are the existing gender relations within the community? Are there differences in gender relations among different groups within the community?
En un nuevo enfoque anunciado por el Banco Mundial y el FMI, se ofrece a la sociedad civil un papel en la definición y puesta en práctica de las estrategias nacionales en contra de la pobreza. Con el fin de tener acceso a reducciones en sus deudas, se pide a los países que prepaen un documento de Estrategia de Reducción de la Pobreza, fundamentado en contribuciones de todos los sectores de la sociedad. Si bien las experiencias previas muestran que es mucho lo que se puede hacer para que los procesos de diseño de políticas respondan más a las necesidades de los pobres, esas experiencias también indican que esto implica muchos retos y dificultades. Es esencial tomar en cuenta estas lecciones para que el nuevo enfoque esté a la altura de su ambiciosa retórica.