5.1.2 Basic principles
According to the World Bank and the IMF, PRS should be national programmes that are:
- country-driven and country-owned, and developed through a broad-based participatory process;
- results-oriented, focusing on outcomes that will benefit the poor;
- comprehensive in scope, recognising the multidimensional nature of the causes of poverty, and formulating measures to attack it;
- partnership-oriented, providing a basis for the active and coordinated participation of development partners (bilateral, multilateral, non-governmental) in supporting country strategies; and
- based on a medium and long-term perspective for poverty reduction, recognising that sustained poverty reduction cannot be achieved overnight (adapted from Klugman, 2002, p. 3).
The central idea behind the new approach is to ensure the broad participation of different stakeholders, such as representatives of NGOs, civil society organisations, people living in poverty, government, parliaments, the private sector, etc. The degree of participation depends on the country’s specific situation, and can vary from simple information exchange to joint decision-making. The World Bank and the IMF have clearly stated that they cannot set standards: “The design and execution of the participatory process, however, is a matter for the national authorities” (Klugman, 2002, p. 5). The aim of this participatory approach is country ownership: if the stakeholders are allowed to contribute ideas, negotiate and develop the strategy, they will identify much more with the results, and will be convinced and willing to advance the strategy.
Normally a section or department of the national government – very often within the Ministry of Finance – is in charge of conducting the PRS process. The level and intensity of civil society participation depends on the decisions and abilities of individual stakeholders. Most often participatory events are organised (e.g. workshops) where different members of the civil society can come together, discuss and work on specific issues. Participation can take a variety of different forms, ranging from information and consultation to joint policymaking. Until now, a consultative approach has generally channelled participation in most countries.
Most countries choose their own name for their PRS. Some have even integrated the PRS approach into their own planning system, e.g. Vietnam, which has incorporated PRS into its "Socio-economic Development Plan".
Examples: PRS in different countries
|Country||Leading agency within the government||National name|
|Albania||GPRS Technical Secretariat within the Ministry of Finance||Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS)|
|Bangladesh||PRS planning commission within the Ministry of Finance||Unlocking the Potential. National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction|
|Cambodia||General Directorate of Planning in the Ministry of Planning||National Strategic Development Plan 2006-2010|
|Honduras||Ministry of the Presidency||Estregia para la Reducción de la Pobreza (ERP)|
|Tanzania||Vice President's Office||National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP - MKUKUTA)|