Several studies (including those produced by FAO, GTZ, IFAD, ODI and the World Bank) have recently focused on the treatment given to rural poverty and the rural economy in PRSs. These identified a series of weaknesses and knowledge gaps regarding the PRS policy content and process. The context specific nature of some of these issues call for further country level investigation. More specifically, additional country case-studies, which constitute a critical element of the pathway for follow up to current multi-stakeholder efforts to sharpen the PRS rural focus, are expected to help in:
- understanding the context specific weaknesses in PRS processes;
- illustrating successes and failure;
- identifying good practices and the required conditions for replication; and
- providing the basis for a more focused support to specific country-level processes by development partners.
For the purpose of country case studies a forward-looking approach is proposed, which builds on accumulated evidence and lessons learnt, so as to provide a constructive approach to poverty reduction and rural development policies and policy processes. Answers will be sought to two overarching questions:
- What are the root-causes to the identified weaknesses in PRS processes, in particular with regards to the limited participation of rural stakeholders as well as to the observable gaps and disconnects between poverty assessments and prioritisation of policies and public action and resource allocation?
- In the light of experience to date, how could PRS processes be strengthened to improve long-term development impact?