• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19
  20. 20
    20

PRSPs: The International Financial Institutions(TM)s New Anti-Poverty Agenda. A New Start or More of the Same?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

PRSPs: The International Financial Institutions's New Anti-Poverty Agenda. A New Start or More of the Same? Table of Contents Section Page Title page Abstract Table of contents Introduction Definition of key terms Wider conceptual context Critical analysis of specific literature Interpretation of relevant case study material Conclusions Bibliography Appendices Abstract The World Bank and International Monetary Funds answer to the previously inept structural adjustment programme was the poverty reduction strategy paper, formulated in 1999. Today, countries are required to formulate their own poverty reduction strategy paper, if they wish to receive financial aid from either of the global financial institutions. Our study is based around the debate as to whether the PRSP process is a new start, or more of the same with 3 overriding themes; the wider conceptual context and how PRSPs fit into the global context, critical analysis of specific PRSP related literature and finally case study material, focusing specifically on Zambia and Ethiopia. Introduction Today's globalizing world is one of great controversy, with the rich seemingly getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The concept of global inequality is emphasised by Marcon and Puech who claim that, 'The spatial distribution of economic activity is not homogeneous' (Marcon and Puech, 2002, p1) and through the statistic that 'Almost 1/4 of the worlds total GDP is accounted for by the USA' (Daniels et al, 2005, p295). Poverty, defined by Daniels, 2005 as "The condition of possessing an income insufficient to maintain a minimal standard of living" is of growing global concern and it has been estimated that "over one billion of the world's six billion population live in absolute poverty" (Thirlwall, 2002, cited in Desai and Potter, 2002). It can be argued that this is a consequence of the decline of the state led model. Consequentially, an increasingly neoliberal perspective has been adopted by leading global International Financial Institutions (IFI's) in order to stimulate economic growth and development. ...read more.

Middle

'donor countries', 'more prosperous' and 'modern' It has also been argued by Slater that the West only exposes itself to Western writers ideas of development and the south's writings have been largely ignored. The Economic Commission of Latin America was set up because the Central American countries felt they were powerless to stop the west's dominance (Slater, 2004). Allied to these criticisms there is constant talk of corruption within the organisations, the sacking of Paul Wolfowiz (news.bbc.co.uk,www) although unrelated to 3rd world policy was damaging to the institution and to George.W.Bush who elected him. It also called into question the election criteria for these high profile jobs. To understand the reasons and the circumstances as to why the World Bank and the IMF decided on their Millennium Development Goals and PRSPs it appears important to appreciate the circumstances that have made these policies necessary. In many cases the global position of countries was pre-determined by colonialism a long time before the Bretton Woods Institutions were formed. Therefore these international establishments are fighting against historical inequality and prejudice. The arguments against the World Bank and the IMF however are many in number, the most relevant and important ones being possible political motivation behind 3rd World Initiatives. The need for PRSPs is an indicator that world policies towards tackling global inequality have been disappointing at best and ineffectual at worst. Literature Analysis Having studied a wide range of literature focusing on new anti-poverty agendas, a number of the key themes and alternative viewpoints relating to the topic can be identified. The failings of the Structural adjustment programs (SAPs) prior to the Poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSP) approach are well documented, for example Christiansen and Hovland (2003) of the Overseas Development Institution (ODI) talk of Policy Framework papers (PFPs), part of the 'old' SAPs, which instead of being 'country-driven', a key goal of the new agenda, provided governments with very little ownership. ...read more.

Conclusion

By studying the PRSP for Ethiopia, "Ethiopia: Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Programme (SDPRP)" (Bijlmakers, 2003) a wide array of criticisms emerge. In his critique, Bijlmakers suggests that Ethiopia's main determining factors are beyond the control of mankind, or at least of the Ethiopian people. This bold statement intensifies the belief that in some situations, a PRSP is insufficient in combating ever increasing global poverty. On the contrary those in favour of PRSPs would argue that it is in fact the application and utilisation of PRSP policies in Ethiopia that have contributed most significantly to the countries downfall. This idea is intensified through the statement, 'low aid utilisation has been seen as a major detriment to PRSP implementation in Ethiopia.' (Bhattacharya, 2005, p18) Whilst there are many sources which solely highlight the negative aspects of PRSPs, it is important to find sources which see PRSPs as beneficial to a country's economy and a successful and effective way to combat poverty. The Second PRSP Implementation Progress Report (2004) suggests that the PRSP in place in Zambia is seeing success. With their economic performance seeing marked improvements between 2002 and 2003, with a real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth increase from 3.3 percent to 5.1 percent. Which is not only a significant increase in itself, but it surpassed the PRSP target of 4 percent. This in turn led to an increase in real per capita income of 2.6 percent in 2003, from 2.2 percent in 2002. These statistics are evidence that Zambia experienced economic growth during the period which the PRSP was implemented; suggesting the growth experienced was as a direct consequence of policy efficiency.. In order to conclude this section it is imperative to understand that PRSPs are dynamic; in the way that different countries are affected in different ways and indeed that they provoke great impetus for debate. It also seems apparent that despite the criticisms, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that if PRSP implementation is well managed, then there is great potential for economic and social development. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Human & Social Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Human & Social Geography essays

  1. The causes, conditions, and solutions of Underdevelopment: A case study of Brazil

    Thus it would be a disastrous mistake to try to use the aid program as a direct instrument for achieving such changes. Essentially, the cornerstone of our foreign assistance to Brazil, as well as many other countries, is a commitment by the Brazilian people and their government to self-help (ibid, 202).

  2. To what extent is the west to blame for the failure of the global ...

    With regards to agriculture, there is a belief that the south could maybe compete with the north to some degree. "The existence of tariffs, administrative barriers, quota restrictions, etc on the imports of agricultural commodities, required as a consequence of subsidies and high prices granted to local farmers"1.

  1. Class appears to have returned convincingly to geography agendas (Stenning, 2008: 9). Discuss

    "Karl Marx focused his search for the basic principles of history on the economic environments in which societies develop. He believed that society is divided into those who own the means of producing wealth and those who do not, giving rise to class conflict".

  2. Homelessness. Of course poverty is just a general effect from the corporate capitalist ...

    The average pay of Bangladeshi men and Black African women is almost 21% lower than the average pay of White British men, while the gap for Black African men and Bangladeshi women is almost 18%" 4 In this case it is undeniable that ethnics are facing discrimination to some extent

  1. Has neoliberalism impacted men and women differently?

    Also it is important, to discuss what are women and men rights in neoliberalism philosophy? It is easy to explain, that the main gap between citizenship rights for men and women arises from disparities in social citizenship rights. Some authors suggest that this is because women benefit disproportionately from the

  2. Environmental Philosophy. Roderick Nashs book titled The Rights of Nature and Ernest Partridges ...

    This is done by incorporating Nash's historical analysis into my case studies. For example, in the 1952 Chalk River Laboratories case, Nash's historical analysis will be appropriate. This is demonstrated when Nash discussed his first school of thought where "some people believe that it is right to protect and wrong to abuse nature (or certain of its components)

  1. Criticism of sustainable development and Sustainable development in the Southeast Asian context

    The state sovereignty is an influential actor and catalyst of environmental change, there remains a conflict in its role. The construction of the Nam Theun Hinboun hydro-power project in Laos which it hopes to become the battery for Southeast Asia and earn valuable foreign exchange for its struggling economy represents

  2. Geopolitical Analysis of Regional Security Issues Surrounding Europe

    The presence of Russian troops in South Ossetia increases the risk of friction between Georgia and Russia. 2. The general instability of Transcaucasus threats the development of the three countries. 3. The situation in North Caucasus, and more precisely in Chechnya is not without impact on the situation in the 4.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work