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Do Poverty Reduction Strategies Help Achieve The Millennium Development Goals?

Eggen, Andrea and Bezemer, Dirk J (2007): Do Poverty Reduction Strategies Help Achieve The Millennium Development Goals?

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Abstract

This paper examines the partnership in development policies between the World Bank/IMF and the United Nations. Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are instruments used by the Washington institutions to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) initiated by the UN. We review and interpret the genesis and development of MDGs and PRSPs in this perspective, and examine their institutional connections. The analytical aim of the paper is to conduct the first investigation in the literature of the impact of PRSP features on progress in achieving the MDGs. We introduce a unique dataset of PRSP indicators and match these to MDG data on MDG indicators. We find robust effects of PRSP features on the youth literacy, women’s employment and child mortality indicators. The quantitative evidence suggests that PRSPs appear to become more effective over time, and that more focused PRSPs, more participatory PRSP formulation, and better proposed policy actions may enhance their effectiveness in achieving MDGs. We discuss these findings in the context of other PRSP assessments in the literature and propose future research avenues

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