Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Question: How do you assess a country’s ownership of a PRSP?

Answer: Bit by bit. There have been plenty of questions raised about the extent to which PRSP’s are really owned by the government of the country they refer to. (See Google search on ownership of PRSPs). But how do you assess whether a PRSP has country ownership? Well, maybe the way the question is asked could make a difference. One way is to ask who owns what parts of a PRSP. Rather than asking whether the whole document is owned by the whole government. In XXXX there are some PRSP objectives and associated indicators that could easily be adopted and owned by specific sections of government. For example, those relating to education or health, or macro-economic management. Okay, then how would you recognise when sections of government had taken ownership of specific objectives like these? Beyond simply saying so, which may not mean too much, these sections of government might actually collect and make information available about the associated progress indicators. Even stronger ownership might be associated with a detailed analysis of that data, as well as its collection and dissemination. In other words, the section of government would be investing its resources into M&E of their objective, and actually paying a cost in order to enable achievement of that objective. Back in country XXXX, the recently produced Annual Progress Report does not show any signs of any sections of government visibly owning specific sections of the PRSP. Nor is it clear who has been able to provide what information relating to PRSP indicators. In fact there has been an apparent unwillingness to explicitly state what information has not been made available by whom. The scale of lack of ownership has effectively been withheld from view.

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