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WDR 2000: Is There a New ‘New Poverty Agenda’?


Written by Simon Maxwell

A new construction on poverty reduction links the Millennium Development Goals, an international consensus on how to reduce poverty, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, a new set of instruments for delivering aid, and, underpinning the others, results-based management. This new construction has undoubted strengths. There are also cross-cutting risks, that targets will oversimplify, citizenship will be neglected, trade-offs and conflicts of interest will be obscured, macro-economic policy will be neglected, social sectors will be emphasised at the expense of growth policies, and commitment to partnership will degrade into a form of covert conditionality. These risks are not immutable. A way forward is proposed, with a list of six principles and a set of Dos and Don'ts.

Simon Maxwell