Strengthening Anti-Poverty Strategy Frameworks

The Anti-Poverty Strategy Frameworks initiated in 1999 by the World Bank and the IMF have gradually come to the fore as the central tool for development policies in low-income countries. The APSFs describe, in a single document, a country’s development strategies (growth policy, sector-specific strategies, institutional reform). This all-encompassing view contributes to the consistency of sector-specific policies and serves as a foundation for harmonising the action of donors in view of achieving ensuring greater effectiveness for anti-poverty policies.

Drafted by the partner country, they are designed to improve ownership and democratic processes. They are based on consultation of the population and social stakeholders, making it possible to better take into account the aspirations of an entire society. They also contribute to structuring dialogue within the national authorities, in particular between sector-specific ministries and the Ministry of Finance while the budget is being prepared.

The implementation of the first-generation APSFs show, across the board, a lack of ownership and operationality of the documents. Against this background, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has launched strategic think-tank efforts designed to make the APSFs fully operational.

The aim is to foster a better match between the policies described in the APSFs, the sector-specific strategies and policies and their budget-planning, with a view toward achieving consistency between the macro-economic objectives and the fight against poverty. Special attention is paid to poverty diagnoses and action aimed toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, all the while taking into account the impacts of the expected increase in public development aid, in line with the commitments made at the Monterrey Conference. The aim is also to better tie the APSF objectives into existing budgetary and human resources, in a medium-term outlook, and to secure the expenditure channel.

So as to fully bring the APSFs in line with the principles of France’s governance strategy, adopted in 2006, French cooperation promotes the involvement of all stakeholders in society foreign development partners, in defining, implementing and monitoring-assessing poverty-reduction strategies. It fosters the creation of special places for dialogue and capacity-building, in particular aimed at non-governmental players (unions, NGOs, private sector).