Annex 1: Questions for consideration when determining what advice to provide in the JSAN
A range of questions are presented below which staffs should consider when preparing a JSAN. The bullet points associated with some of the key questions are only reminders of potentially important issues for consideration, not a checklist of issues that must be covered in every case. There may be other issues not included in the bullet point that are important in a particular country and that should be covered.
Given institutional capacity constraints, the quality of data, diagnosis, analysis, strategies and other elements in PRSPs will vary widely among countries, and it is not expected that all PRSPs will address thoroughly all of the issues raised in the questions below.
Moreover, in preparing the JSAN, staff need to consider each of the questions below but should focus in the JSAN on those that are most relevant in the country context. JSANs should not attempt to address all these questions. JSANs should prioritize the advice which is provided.
A. Building Country Ownership through Participation4
A.1 Does the PRSP describe the participatory process that the government conducted to design and to build ownership for the strategy?
Participatory processes within government (among central ministries, parliament, and subnational governments).
Other stakeholder involvement (for example, civil society groups, women’s groups, ethnic minorities, policy research institutes and academics, private sector, trade unions, and representatives from different regions of the country).
Bilateral and multilateral external development partners’ involvement, including collaborative analytical work to support PRSP development.
Mechanisms used to consult the poor and their representatives.
A.2 Does the PRSP summarize major issues raised during the participatory process and the impacts of the process on the content of the strategy? How has the participatory process evolved over time?
Extent to which the participatory process has been well integrated with existing processes of the government for policy and decision making.
Comparison with earlier practices and with the plans in previous PRS documents.
A.3 How closely is the PRSP related to any other current government documents that set forth national or sectoral development plans and/or budgets?
A.4 What are the plans for public dissemination of the PRSP?
B. Poverty Diagnosis
B.1 How adequate are existing poverty data?
Extent of disaggregation of poverty data by regions and by demographic groups, including by gender.
Degree to which quantitative data were complemented by qualitative information.
Accessibility of data for policy analysis, especially outside government.
B.2 How well have the nature and determinants of poverty outcomes (income and non- monetary dimensions) been identified? Have trends in key poverty determinants and outcomes been presented?
Extent of income/consumption and other dimensions of poverty (health, including environmental diseases and HIV/AIDS, education, natural resource degradation, vulnerability, disempowerment) and their evolution over time.
Analysis of gender dimensions of poverty.
Distribution of assets of various types—natural (especially land), physical, financial, and human.
Identification of economic, social and institutional (including corruption and poor governance) constraints to poverty reduction.
B.3 To what extent have the growth and distributional impacts of past policies and programs been assessed?5
Macroeconomic policies, including the ability to respond to exogenous shocks.
Structural and sectoral policies, including the distributional impacts of past reforms and policies affecting private sector development, trade, the operation of product and factor markets, and environmental management.
Equity, effectiveness and efficiency of existing pattern of public expenditures, service delivery, and systems for budget management, financial management, and procurement.
Other key constraints on implementation capacity.
Policies with regard to gender inclusion and social inclusion.
C. Targets, Indicators, and Monitoring
C.1 Does the PRSP define medium- and long-term goals for poverty reduction outcomes (monetary and non-monetary), establish indicators of progress, and set annual and medium-term targets? Are these indicators and targets appropriate given the assessment of poverty and the institutional capacity to monitor? And are they consistent with the policy choices in the strategy?
Selectivity in the choice of monitorable indicators and targets, in line with priority public actions and capacity.
Inclusion of indicators related to the Millennium Development Goals, recognizing that the appropriate indicators, as well as specific targets, will vary among countries.
Indicators and targets which appropriately capture disparities by social group, gender, and region.
C.2 Are current and proposed monitoring and evaluation systems adequate and sustainable?
Adequacy of efforts to improve data collection and analysis.
Transparency of arrangements for, and results of, monitoring the PRSP, including service delivery to the poor.
Use of participatory methods for monitoring.
Adequate use of results of monitoring and evaluation in policy formulation.
D. Priority Public Actions
D.1 Does the PRSP present clear priorities for public action? Are these priority actions appropriate and feasible in light of the diagnosis, the targets, their estimated costs, available resources, institutional capacities, and the effectiveness of past policies? In making this overall assessment, staff should also consider the following questions:
Macroeconomic Framework, Fiscal Choices, and Financing Plan
D.2 Does the macroeconomic framework promote: (i) growth that is consistent with the poverty reduction objectives laid out in the PRSP; (ii) a level of inflation that does not undermine macroeconomic stability, private sector growth, or the purchasing power of members of society without access to inflation hedging financial instruments; (iii) an external position that is sustainable in the medium- to long-run; and (iv) an overall fiscal stance that is compatible with the PRSP’s poverty reduction and growth objectives?
Growth projections that are realistic and take into account likely sources of growth, including external trade.
Possible tradeoffs between the pursuit of short-term versus long-term poverty reduction and other macroeconomic goals.
Robustness of the macroeconomic program in light of the risks of exogenous shocks.
D.3 Are fiscal choices consistent with the poverty reduction and growth objectives of the PRSP? Is the allocation of expenditures consistent with the strategic priorities, institutional capacities and efficiency, and realistic cost estimates? Have domestic revenue measures been designed in light of likely distributional impacts? Is fiscal management capacity adequate to effectively implement the proposed expenditure program?
Quality of cost estimates for key programs.
Comprehensiveness of budget data, i.e., extent to which all programs (including externally financed projects) are included in an integrated budgetary framework.
Status of a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework to improve the capacity to undertake propoor budget allocations over time.
Disaggregation of expenditure programs by sector and key programs for poverty reduction and by recurrent and investment expenditures.
D.4 Does the strategy have an adequate and credible financing plan—including domestic borrowing and projected aid (and other external) flows?
Realism of external financing projections and implications for long-term debt sustainability.
Extent to which external development partners have begun—or indicated their intention to align and coordinate their own strategies with the PRSP.
Contingency plans for expenditures in the event of a shortfall in revenues or financing.
Structural and Sectoral Policies, Policies for Social Inclusion and Equity, Governance and Public Sector Management
D.5 To what extent do the structural and sectoral policies address the key policy, incentive, and institutional constraints to poverty reduction? How well has the PRSP estimated the likely impact of its proposed policy measures on the poor and included measures to mitigate any negative impacts?
Measures to expand opportunities for the poor and to distribute the benefits of growth and public services more equally by region, by economic and social groupings, and by gender.
Prioritization and sequencing of reforms, considering expected impacts on the poor.
Private sector and financial sector development, including sector, financial and labor market regulations, trade policies, and domestic pricing policies.
Key social sector policies and programs, including those related to HIV/AIDS.
Policies and institutions for environmental sustainability.
D.6 To what extent do policies for social inclusion and equity address the key policy, incentive, and institutional constraints to poverty reduction?
Measures to promote fair and equitable treatment of all people under the law and avenues of recourse, including with respect to property rights.
Social protection and labor policies.
D.7 To what extent are improvements in governance and public sector management being pursued in areas that are important for poverty reduction? How adequate are proposed improvements in laws and in institutions at the central and local levels with regard to ensuring accountability for use of fiscal resources and better service delivery?
Measures to address systemic problems in budget formulation and execution, financial management and procurement systems, and monitoring of public spending, as well as short-term measures to ensure accountability for the use of HIPC debt relief.
Plans for improvements in governance arrangements and service delivery, including the role of local communities and local government.
Steps to be taken to improve transparency and ensure accountability of public institutions and services vis-à-vis the needs and priorities of the poor.
Efforts to address critical problems inhibiting civil service performance and any issues of corruption in the public service.
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers—Progress in Implementation, IMF Staff Memorandum SM/04/292; World Bank Report Number 30063.
See Appendix 1, “Possible Elements of a PRSP,” Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers: Operational Issues, Joint IMF/World Bank Paper, December 10, 1999, which is available on the Bank and Fund websites.
Data on the public expenditure program should be as comprehensive as possible and should not be limited to activities financed by budgetary savings from HIPC debt relief and/or by projected increases in external assistance. However, allocations of specific uses of HIPC debt relief should also be presented.
The Executive Boards have instructed the staffs to describe, but not to evaluate, the participatory process. It is recognized that the participatory process is designed and managed by the government and that staff knowledge of the process and its impacts will often be incomplete.
Monitoring and evaluation systems are usually weak, and rigorous quantitative assessments are seldom possible. Nevertheless, judgments about the efficacy and impacts of past policies, even if qualitative, are crucially important for improving strategies over time.