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Politics and the PRSP Approach - Vietnam Case Study

Working papers

Vietnam is an atypical 'PRSP country'. It is not aid-dependent, does not qualify for HIPC II debt relief, and has already achieved much on its own: since 1986, cautious economic liberalisation, building upon a foundation of investments in human development and egalitarian land distribution, has resulted in high growth and an extraordinary rate of poverty reduction. Although the incentives to produce a strategy acceptable to the IFIs remain significant, they are not overwhelming. This fact, combined with the fact that the IFI approach is unusually flexible, has empowered the government of Vietnam (GoV), helping it to hold donors to the principle of national ownership. GoV embarked on the PRSP process in mid-2000, producing the final document (the Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy - CPRGS) in May 2002. The impact of the CPRGS will only become clear over the coming years, as it becomes possible to judge the extent to which provinces and line ministries have come to know of and adopt the CPRGS as a framework for their subsequent policy developments. An interim assessment of the gains achieved during the process of PRSP drafting is made in this working

Tim Conway