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TitleCivil Society in the Formulation of Malawi's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper: A Long Walk to Participation
AuthorJames, Rick; Chirwa, Wiseman
SubjectCivil Society
Date of Publication2006
Number of Pages12 pages
Geographical CoverageMalawi
KeywordsPoverty Reduction, Structural Adjustment Program
AbstractThe last six years has witnessed a remarkable shift in the thinking and approach of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as illustrated by the quote above. They have attempted to replace the much-maligned and imposed conditionalities of Structural Adjustment Policies by the concept of a ‘country-owned’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) as the framework for future concessional lending to aid-dependent countries and for debt relief. The view of the World Bank is that this enhanced framework for poverty reduction will ensure a robust link between debt relief and poverty reduction by making debt relief an integral part of the broader efforts to implement outcome-oriented poverty reduction strategies (see McGee and Norton 2001). A key element of this ‘country-ownership’ is that it is not simply government-owned, but developed in co-operation with other stakeholders, and particularly those directly affected by or working to address poverty. In this way, policy and planning processes should be open to extensive participation by ordinary people and civil society groups. Civil society involvement in the PRSP is in fact part of a much wider and shifting debate about the relationship between civil society, state and the market
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