This study explores the implementation of policies that respond to chronic poverty in Ethiopia. It demonstrates that Ethiopia's two PRSPs contain a range of policies which are either inclusive of the poorest or are specifically targeted at addressing the roots of chronic poverty and ameliorating its symptoms. On the whole, the study finds that the government has committed its resources and political will to the implementation of these policies. This commitment has resulted in some significant improvements in access to services for chronically poor groups, and greater social protection for chronically food insecure people in rural areas. The study, however, shows that a range of factors limit the chronic poverty impact of some policies and programmes. These limiting factors include: capacity and resource constraints at all levels; poor sectoral, policy and programme linkages; political and ideological factors; and limited accountability and substantive responsiveness to the voices of chronically poor citizens.
The study is structured as follows. Section 2 examines chronic poverty in Ethiopia. It attempts to quantify and characterise the chronic poor, to explore where they live and to understand what makes them vulnerable to long term destitution. Section 3 examines the processes of policy making and implementation in Ethiopia. In particular, it highlights the political and ideological dimensions of policy formation, the key actors involved in shaping and implementing policies, and the capacity constraints that can limit impact on the ground. Section 4 explores Ethiopia's PRS process. Specifically it compares the country's two PRSPs: the Sustainable Development Poverty Reduction Programme (SDPRP) implemented and the Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP). It then focuses on the implementation of the SDPRP which was completed in 2005. The report then examines two key policy areas that were central to the SDPRP and have a direct bearing on chronic poverty in Ethiopia: food security and education. The implementation and impact of both of these policies and their constituent programmes are then explored in detail. The final section of the report explores the implications of the report's analysis for Ethiopia's PRS process.
Background Paper for the Chronic Poverty Report 2008-09. Chronic Poverty Research Centre, London, UK, 57 pp.