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Poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs)-fulfilling their potential for children in poverty?


  • Rachel Marcus

    (CHIP, Save the Children, London, UK)

  • John Wilkinson

    (CHIP, Save the Children, London, UK)

  • Jenni Marshali

    (CHIP, Save the Children, London, UK)


Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are currently at the centre of development assistance and planning in many countries and donor agencies. As such, they are potentially of enormous significance for children living in poverty. Based on a review of PRSP documents, authors' experiences and other evidence, the paper explores the main policies of economic growth and social sector investment laid out in PRSPs and some likely implications for children's lives and equitable development. It examines how far PRSPs recognize childhood poverty as a priority, and the strategies' often limited commitments to tackle it. The paper reflects on changes in policy planning, budgeting and review processes associated with PRSPs and examines their potential to contribute to effective poverty reduction. It concludes that, to date, changes in these processes are the most significant contribution of PRSPs; while the potential for more effective policy is strong, much work is required by all involved before they are a comprehensive or strategic approach to reducing childhood poverty or securing the wellbeing of future generations. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Marcus & John Wilkinson & Jenni Marshali, 2002. "Poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs)-fulfilling their potential for children in poverty?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(8), pages 1117-1128.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:14:y:2002:i:8:p:1117-1128 DOI: 10.1002/jid.953

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Killick, Tony, 2001. "Poverty-Reducing Institutional Change and PRSP Processes: The Ghana Case," WIDER Working Paper Series 070, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    Cited by:

    1. Harper, Caroline & Marcus, Rachel & Moore, Karen, 2003. "Enduring Poverty and the Conditions of Childhood: Lifecourse and Intergenerational Poverty Transmissions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 535-554, March.

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