Poverty Reduction through the participation of the poor!? : A study of the Poverty Reduction Strategies in Uganda and Bolivia from a civil-society perspective

by Tanghöj, Erike

Abstract (Summary)
The situation of the low developed countries has been on the agenda of IMF and the World Bank throughout the years. However, after the disastrous failure of the Structural Adjustment Programs, the two financial institutions left the ideas of 'one model fits all' and economic growth equals development. Rather, tailored development programs and poverty reduction became the new foci. Further, it is today stressed that the broad-based participation of the civil-society and the ownership of the nation over the development process are the most important factors for successful and sustainable development. These ideas conforms the basis of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) initiative which was adopted by IMF and the World Bank in 1999. This paper will investigate indications and perceptions, given by the civil-society, of the concepts of its participation and ownership within the Poverty Reduction Processes in Bolivia and Uganda. The objective is also to, in an inductive manner, develop and increase the understanding of how, and through what means, the two concepts have been realised and contextualised. In order to fulfil this purpose, the contents and origins of the PRS initiative are outlined and the definitions of participation and national ownership, in accordance to IMF and the World Bank, are stated. Secondly, against the derived theoretical framework an empirical pilot study will be conducted, based on literature studies. The primary conclusion drawn from the analysis is that it is impossible to broaden the understanding of what types of participation that have been applied. However, important and interesting insights have been reached in relation to how participation has been contextualised. First and foremost, for a genuine participation of the civil-society it is not enough with physical presence at official consultation meetings. The people must be enabled to actively and directly participate in, and influence the agenda of, all the stages of the PRS process. In regard to national ownership it has been concluded that the term bestow more than the balance between national, governmental and international influence - it is also a feeling of being able to participate in, and influence the outcome of, PRS process. Overall, the major finding is that for a real apprehension of national ownership and participation the perception of the civil-society must be accounted for. It is the people who decide whether they have been adequately involved and if they see themselves to be the owners of the process!
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:uganda bolivia poverty reduction strategies participation national ownership civil society


Date of Publication:02/19/2007

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