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Wednesday, August 09, 2006 

PRGF Programs and PSIA: The IMF Touch

In the complex web of relationships between growth and poverty reduction, policy-makers have found themselves debating about the type of policies needed to carry-out economic growth, while also considering approaches in pro-poor growth strategies and appropriate measures to adapt income distribution to strengthen the productive capacity of economies.
With these ongoing debates the role of the IMF/World Bank and their conditionalities on developing countries carry significant outcomes through the implementation of PRSPs (Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers) and PRGF (Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Programs), where reforms have to be guided through specific set of objectives touching fiscal policy, market liberalization and institutional change.

In recent bulletin the IMF has started to acknowledge the challenges faced by some governments when weighing strategic options vis-à-vis policy choices, and the integration of poverty focus frameworks to drive economic growth. And according to the IMF:

The introduction of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) in 1999 reflected a desire to make pro-poor growth con­siderations central to the design of IMF-supported programs in low-income countries. Since the introduction of the PRGF, empirical research on the impact of these programs on poverty and growth has accelerated. In addition, the Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) Group was created in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department in July 2004 to facilitate the absorption of policy insights from PSIAs into the design of PRGFs on a more systematic basis.”

IMF Reseach Bulletin, September 2006

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