2002 Review of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Approach

News Brief: IMF and World Bank Invite Public Participation in Review of Poverty Reduction Strategy Program

Key Questions

External Reviews:
External Comments and Contributions on the Joint Bank/Fund Staff Review of the PRSP Approach
Volume 1 - Bilateral Agencies and Multilateral Institutions (pdf file)

Volume 2 - Civil Society and Individual Contributions (pdf file)

Synopses of External Comments and Contributions on the Joint IMF/World Bank Staff Review of the PRSP Approach (pdf file)

Seminar Series

Summary of the Joint IMF, OECD, World Bank PRSP Review Meeting
September 18, 2001

Regional PRSP Events
International Conference on Poverty Reduction Strategies

Links to External Sites

IMF Policy Papers on the PRSP Approach

IMF/World Bank Comprehensive Review of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) Approach

Last Updated: August 20, 2002

In 2001-02, the IMF and World Bank conducted a Joint Staff Review of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) Approach.
This page was prepared for that review.


Key Questions for Review of the PRSP Approach

The Bank-Fund Staff Review of the PRSP Approach proposes to focus on the key questions set out below. Contributors to the Review, including stakeholders in PRSP countries and external development partners, may wish to focus their inputs on these questions. Feedback on the questions themselves is also welcome, because it is expected that these questions will be refined and modified as the Review proceeds.

Because countries are at different stages in the PRSP process, it is recognized that not all of these questions will be equally relevant to each country. In this context, it may be useful to divide countries into four broad categories: (1) those not yet completed an I-PRSP; (2) those that have completed an Interim PRSP (I-PRSP); (3) those that are well advanced in the completion of their first full PRSP; and (4) those that have already completed their first full PRSP. To facilitate this, each key question below indicates (in parenthesis) the relevant country category(s) to which it applies.

There are two overarching questions, followed by a series of questions directed at specific dimensions. These questions are intentionally broad. Therefore, associated with many of the questions are bullet points that are indicative of some (not necessarily all) of the elements that might be considered when addressing the question.

Overarching questions

1. What have been the main achievements and challenges to date in developing and implementing poverty reduction strategies?

2. In light of experience to date, how might the guidelines and modalities of the PRSP approach be modified in order to improve its long-term developmental impact?

Key questions

Ownership and Participation

3. Has the preparation of PRSPs been country-led and, if so, have governments assumed full leadership of the PRSP process? (2, 3, 4)

    · Endorsement by highest political authorities
    · Involvement by sectoral ministries
    · Involvement of parliaments
    · Behavior of staff of international financial institutions

4. To what extent have governments been preparing and implementing PRSPs in an open and participatory way? (3, 4)

    · Extent of involvement of local governments and civil society
    · Role of development partners, including IFIs
    · Effectiveness of arrangements for consultations and feedback on how decisions were made
    · Impact of capacity constraints among CSOs
    · Participatory monitoring of implementation

5. To what extent have participatory processes influenced the content and implementation of poverty reduction strategies? (3, 4)

6. Have countries drawn on existing strategies and integrated the preparation and implementation of their PRSPs with their core processes for policy making and program implementation, including annual budget cycles and medium-term expenditure frameworks? (2, 3, 4)

Content of Strategies

7. To what extent do poverty reduction strategies represent an improvement over previous development strategies? (4 only)

8. To what extent are PRSPs built on adequate poverty diagnostics? (4 only)

    · Quality of data, including its disaggregation by region, social groups, and gender
    · Understanding of poverty trends and determinants
    · Assessments of impacts of past policies and programs
    · Ex ante analysis of the social impact of key proposed macroeconomic and structural reforms

9. To what extent do PRSPs have relevant targets and indicators for poverty reduction and appropriate proposals for monitoring and evaluation? (4 only)

    · Selectivity and monitorability of targets and indicators
    · Efforts to improve data collection and analysis/use
    · Transparency of arrangements for monitoring PRSP implementation

10. To what extent do PRSPs clearly define, cost, and prioritize public actions that are likely to reduce poverty? (4 only)

    · Adequate attention given to pro-poor growth
    · Appropriateness of policies in light of diagnosis, costs and implementation capacities
    · Realism of the macroeconomic program and its financing plan
    · Allocations of public expenditures and comprehensiveness of their presentation
    · Structural and sectoral policies, taking into account analysis of their likely impacts on the poor
    · Policies for social inclusion and equity
    · Policies to improve governance and public sector management

Donor Assistance and Partnerships

11. Have countries' needs for technical assistance in the preparation and implementation of their PRSPs been adequately addressed by development partners? (2, 3, 4)

    · For strengthening data systems, and building financial management capacity and accountability
    · Respect for country leadership

12. Have the Bank and Fund staff provided useful analytical inputs into PRSP preparation consistent with principles of country ownership and partnership? (2, 3, 4)

    · Quality and utility of Joint Staff Assessments
    · Sharing of information with development partners

13. To what extent have external development partners, including the Bank and the Fund, begun to align their financial assistance and policy conditionalities behind the PRSPs? (4 only)

    · Content of IMF PRGF programs
    · Content of IDA CASs, PRSCs, and other lending and non-lending services
    · Content of UNDAFs
    · Content of strategies and lending of other development partners

Implementation of Strategies

14. What has been the experience thus far in the implementation of PRSPs? (4 only)

    · Operationalization of strategies in budget allocations and execution
    · Implementation of proposed policy measures as intended
    · Usefulness of annual PRSP progress reports in tracking implementation


15. To what extent have financial, institutional, and political constraints facing both governments and civil society adversely affected the development and implementation of PRSPs, and has the PRSP approach to date taken adequate account of these country-level constraints? (1, 2, 3, 4)

    · Role of the I-PRSP in alleviating short term capacity constraints
    · Sufficient flexibility in the guidelines for the PRSP approach

16. To what extent has implementation of poverty reduction strategies been constrained by external factors? (4 only)

    · Limited access to external markets
    · Lower than expected aid flows

17. To what extent have external factors affected timing of PRSP preparation? (1, 2, 3, 4)

    · The desire to obtain donor concessional assistance based on the strategy
    · Effectiveness of I-PRSPs as a transitional device
    · The desire to reach the completion point under the HIPC Initiative

18. Has an appropriate balance been achieved between country ownership and the need for donors to be held accountable for the use of their resources? (2, 3, 4)