Structural Adjustment in the Name of the Poor: The PRSP Experience in the Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet

by Jenina Joy Chavez Malaluan and Shalmali Guttal
This paper provides an overall critique of the PRSP framework, process and content. The paper draws from actual experiences in the Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam, a review of relevant documents and other studies of World Bank-IMF lending programmes.The Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam have been through the first stage of the PRSP process and have interim poverty reduction strategy papers in place. They are expected to complete their full poverty reduction strategy papers at various times in 2002-2003. Vietnam has already received a poverty reduction support credit (a loan) based o­n its interim strategy paper.1 In reality, however, country governments have had little control over the policy prescriptions laid out inthese documents, thus making a mockery of Bank-Fund claims of national ownership, public accountability and broad based participation. Despite the rhetoric of “nationally driven” development, the PRSP-PRGF frameworks continue to conflict with local and national development priorities of reducing poverty, ensuringequity, and promoting popular participation in the design of development policies.

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Uploaded 25 January 2002