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Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky

Abstract

In 1999, the IMF and the World Bank adopted a new frame work for supporting economic reform in low-income member countries to achieve the objectives of poverty reduction and economic growth. The frame work consists of two key elements: country-authored Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, drawing on broad-based consultations with key stake holder groups; and a vehicle for the provision of IMF concessional lending, the Poverty Reduction andGrowth Facility. This evaluation takes stock of progress to date and attempts to identify short comings that may require course corrections in the design and implementation of the initiative.

Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky

Abstract

The IMF and the World Bank introduced the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach in 1999 to strengthen their approach to providing assistance to low-income countries, including both new financial assistance and debt relief under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative. The new approach was accompanied by the transformation of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF)—the IMF’s concessional lending window—into the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), with a view to giving a more central role to pro-poor growth considerations in the design of IMF-supported programs in low-income countries.

Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky

Abstract

Key Messages

Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky

Abstract

Key Messages

Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky

Abstract

The Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) approach consists of a series of process innovations designed to encourage broader-based participation in the development of a country-owned, long-term strategy for growth and poverty reduction that could also be a framework for coordinating donor support. It was accompanied by a transformation of the IMF’s concessional lending facility into the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). It is too early to evaluate the success of the new approach in achieving its longer-term objectives, especially the extent of reduction of poverty; progress in this dimension will become evident only over a longer period of time. The evaluation has, therefore, focused on intermediate stage outcomes, that is, the quality of the broader-based policy formulation process, the nature of the strategy and policy framework that has evolved, the interaction between this framework and the PRGF, and the effectiveness of the IMF’s role. We summarize here our major findings as well as the lessons to be drawn from them and make a number of recommendations for the future. The final section reflects on some implications of the evaluation for the longer-term role of the IMF in low-income countries.

Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky

Abstract

The Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) approach consists of a series of process innovations designed to encourage broader-based participation in the development of a country-owned, long-term strategy for growth and poverty reduction that could also be a framework for coordinating donor support. It was accompanied by a transformation of the IMF’s concessional lending facility into the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). It is too early to evaluate the success of the new approach in achieving its longer-term objectives, especially the extent of reduction of poverty; progress in this dimension will become evident only over a longer period of time. The evaluation has, therefore, focused on intermediate stage outcomes, that is, the quality of the broader-based policy formulation process, the nature of the strategy and policy framework that has evolved, the interaction between this framework and the PRGF, and the effectiveness of the IMF’s role. We summarize here our major findings as well as the lessons to be drawn from them and make a number of recommendations for the future. The final section reflects on some implications of the evaluation for the longer-term role of the IMF in low-income countries.