Four policy messages emerge from the report. First, it is important to manage expectations about the PRSP process. Growth targets, final outcome targets, even the volume of HIPC financing linked to the PRSP are all subject to unrealistic expectations. To make the PRSP process credible (and sustainable) these need to be carefully managed.
Second, the PRSP is not the only show in town. Demands on institutional capacity need to be carefully balanced with the demands made by other reform initiatives. The international community needs to be aware of potentially conflicting demands on Government and to work on aligning their review processes with the larger PRSP review process.
Third, politics matter in poverty reduction and there is a need to continue to support long term governance and political reforms in support of embedding the PRSP paper and process.
Finally, ownership of the rhetoric of PRSPs is not the same as political commitment to the PRSP approach. In Tanzania, political commitment exists at the very top but it dilutes as one goes down the political hierarchy. Building that commitment from the bottom is as important as securing it at the top. In the end the test for the PRSP may not be the quality of the strategy per se, but the degree to which it becomes a platform for doing things differently.