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Poverty Reduction Strategy in BangladeshRethinking participation in policy making$
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Palash Kamruzzaman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305699

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305699.001.0001

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(p.197) CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusion
Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh

Palash Kamruzzaman

Policy Press

The PRSP approach has been accepted by a large number of countries - such a statement from the architects of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) framework hides the underlying politics of its widespread ‘acceptance’. Why have so many poor countries agreed to prepare a PRSP? Evidence suggests that the PRSP has been largely a presentational device required for the purposes of gaining access to donor ‘assistance’ and client countries have played the card right resulting in strikingly similar PRSPs for almost all the poor countries. This book, in its concluding chapter, advocates the idea of thinking local, as well as acting local in contrast to any universal and one-size-fits-all approach. On issues like poverty reduction, it is more likely that desired results will be obtained if the policies are developed primarily from and in local contexts instead of through the influence of external recommendation. If poverty reduction is the agenda, then conditions aiming to facilitate conventional unequal growth should not be included. Also, if the purpose is to serve the interest of a global elite and multinationals, and promote plutocracy, then this exploitative aid and debt relationship should not take place in the name of ‘poverty reduction’. It seems that political leaders are playing possum and are happy with the slogan of poverty reduction rather than committing to resolute efforts to reduce poverty. Is poverty actually mightier than humankind and its aspirations and dreams of a better world? Or is it that, nationally and internationally, ‘poverty reduction’ is gobbledygook in contrast to a genuine intent. A true intention should comprise national and international concerted political commitment from the local and global political leaders. This book concludes with the option for the readers to make up their minds and policy makers to ask themselves whether that is going to happen in the foreseeable future.

Keywords:   think local, act local, one-size doesn’t fit all, poverty reduction, political leaders

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