Sustainability Assessment of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers

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Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are a central instrument in international development co-operation and of key importance in guiding donor's policies towards southern recipients. However, many aspects of the PRSP have been criticised by a varity of development stakeholders. A checklist of 85 questions has been developed to analyse the inclusion of aspects of sustainable development in PRSPs and to point to sustainability challenges and opportunities. It thus facilitates targeted advice and quality improvements. The checklist was applied to a selection of 12 PRSPs of developing countries. The results reveal an insufficient integration of the ecosystem services concept, of biodiversity and of climate issues. Property rights, gender issues, water and energy are as a rule well elaborated. PRSPs show significant variation on the integration of environmental sustainability issues. Sustainability assessments can contribute to significant improvements between first and second generation PRSPs provided the assessments are supported by a strong institutional framework and a dedicated political commitment towards sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-258
Number of pages11
JournalImpact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • sustainability assessment
  • poverty reduction
  • poverty reduction strategy
  • PRSP
  • cheklist
  • development cooperation


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