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Chronic poverty and PRSPs: a desk study

Ursula Grant
Rachel Marcus


As the main focus of poverty reduction activity in poor countries, the PRSP approach has the potential to make a major difference to chronic poverty. This paper examines the ways in which PRSPs treat chronic poverty and their potential to make significant impacts on it.

Many recent reviews have sought to assess how well PRSPs tackle certain themes, such as, HIV/AIDS, gender, child wellbeing, rural development and forestry. This paper does not
attempt to do the same for chronic poverty - firstly, chronic poverty is too broad - almost all aspects of a PRS affect it. Secondly, a desk study cannot illuminate the all-important questions of implementation; only locally-informed analysis can do so. Instead this paper has two purposes:
• to summarise what can be gleaned from a desk study with regard to the treatment of chronic poverty in PRSPs, focusing in particular on poverty analysis and monitoring; and key areas of policy and action likely to impact on chronic poverty
• to contribute to defining the agenda for the Chronic Poverty Research Centre’s forthcoming primary research on how far PRSPs are contributing to reducing chronic poverty. This will focus largely on questions related to implementation and how it can more effectively reduce chronic poverty.

Our focus in this paper was to obtain a good overview of how chronic poverty is treated in a range of PRSPs, rather than undertake in-depth analyses of particular contexts; this will be done in the primary research.

Publication Type(s)

Background Paper to the Chronic Poverty Report 2008-09


politics PRSP poverty reduction


Chronic poverty and PRSPs: a desk study PDF 451.7 KB

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