The Latin American experience with the PRS approach
Introduction In 1999, countries that wished to qualify for the Enhanced Initiative for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC initiative) had to elaborate Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) and had to do so with participation of civil society. Since then, the elaboration and subsequent implementation of PRSs (Poverty Reduction Strategies) have been seen as a tool for the international donor community to guarantee that not only debt relief, but also aid in general would be spent well. All low income countries that want to access the concessional facilities of IMF (PRGF) and World Bank (IDA credits) must present a PRSP. The PRS approach was going to embody the following five principles: national broad-based ownership with participation of civil society, partnership with donors, and the plans themselves would be comprehensive, long-term and result oriented. Together, the application of these five principles was expected to bring about more democratic accountability, more effective aid and ultimately more poverty reduction.