I have given a presentation today at an International Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey, organised by Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University and Sosyal Politikalar Dernegi. The argument was this:
The Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers have become a significant experiment in world governance. Poverty is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon, and responses to poverty need to be adapt to a wide range of circumstances. In the belief that deliberative democracy is the route to prosperity, international organisations have directed governments around the world to undertake a process of strategic planning, based on participative development and negotiation of policy with stakeholders. However, the emphasis in the PRSPs seems to have fallen more on the methods they use than the substance of the strategies. Democracy is not valued only for its process; it matters what it achieves. If PRSPs are to help the poor, they need to extend their focus, moving beyond procedural issues towards substantive policies that stand to benefit the poor.