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Trustees of development from conditionality to governance: poverty reduction strategy papers in Ghana

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 October 2005

Lindsay Whitfield
Affiliation:
St Antony's College, Oxford

Abstract

The World Bank and IMF launched the Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative in the context of longstanding criticisms of their structural adjustment programmes. This article examines the process of formulating Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) from two perspectives. From the perspective of reforming the Bretton Woods institutions, it assesses the extent to which the PRSP approach alters the lending practices of these institutions in Ghana. From the perspective of understanding policymaking in highly indebted, aid-dependent African countries, it reveals the multiple interfaces of politics in such countries produced by relations among and within donors/creditors, the government and non-governmental actors. Its conclusions echo the growing body of literature critiquing PRSPs, and emphasise the constraints which the foreign aid regime places on democratic governance.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

The research on which this article is based was carried out with financial assistance from the Maurice Latey Fund of the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, and the Stahl Fund and Kirk-Greene African Travel Fund of St Antony's College, Oxford. The author thanks the anonymous referees for their useful comments and suggestions. This paper is a condensed version of a chapter from the author's doctoral thesis, to be submitted in June 2005. The author would also like to thank Gavin Williams for his time, dedication and intellectual inspiration as thesis supervisor, and David Anderson for encouragement to publish this article.
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