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Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN)

Regional workshop on Poverty Reduction Strategies:
Moving from formulation to implementation

Roode Vallei Country Lodge, Pretoria, South Africa

Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN), Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR)

21st and 22nd November 2006

[Concept note]    [Papers]
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Concept note

Motivation for regional workshop

A number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have completed their first PRSPs (Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers), and are now in the process of moving to the second phase - the implementation phase - of their Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS).

Most countries have developed PRS documents along side other national development plans, some of which have been incorporated into one document. But for most countries, these documents still remain separate; this raises the question about exactly which document informs the poverty reduction program under implementation. This lack of harmonization highlights challenges related to ownership which, in turn, has implications for policy implementation.

The World Bank and IMF acknowledge that "where PRSPs are developed in parallel with other documents, their role in government decision-making is often unclear…"

Running parallel to the PRS process have been discussions on Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) - which did not show very promising progress, according to a 2005 review. Key to bringing the MDG perspective into national poverty reduction policies is the relationship - if any - with the PRS processes.

The key question is whether PRSs and MDGs can be or aligned with each other and to what extent. It has been observed that both PRSs and MDGs have serious shortcomings regarding participation, financing and monitoring mechanisms.

SARPN and its partner in Zambia, CSPR (Civil Society for Poverty Reduction), are hosting a regional workshop to encourage continued involvement with and examination of poverty reduction processes.

Objectives of the regional workshop

The overall objective of the Workshop is to gather information and evidence to analyze:

  1. the nature of PRSP2 in each country;
  2. the country's experience with implementation;
  3. the linkages between PRS and MDGs and other regional processes;
  4. the fundamental difference between PRSP1 and PRSP2, in terms of process and content;
  5. the evidence around how CSOs are engaging with PRSP 2.
Target group for the workshop

The workshop is targeted at civil society, policy makers, the media and other stakeholders from the region and beyond.

Expected outcomes

The expected workshop outcomes are:

  • A proceedings paper summarizing information about country experiences which will inform policy and CSO processes around PRSPs.
  • Networking opportunities and renewed vigor to engage in the PRSP process as it unfolds.
  • Panelist papers.
  • Links with other processes already underway in the sub-regions.

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