This report examines the ways in which Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (I-PRSPs) and PRSPs are tackling social protection issues. By social protection, we mean public policy concerned with the livelihoods and welfare of particularly poor and vulnerable groups - those who have been bypassed or who have lost out in other economic and social policy, and those who, for various reasons, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of poverty. There are now many reports analysing different aspects of PRSPs. Why produce another?
Firstly, the treatment of social protection issues in PRSPs and I-PRSPs has not been systematically examined despite their vital importance to poverty reduction. Secondly, in recent years, international development discourse has started to recognise more fully the importance of adequate social protection. Given the involvement of donors and lenders in the development of I-PRSPs and PRSPs in many countries, these strategy documents are one window on how far international policy discourse and commitments are influencing national policies and strategies.
Finally, this report examines the extent to which PRSPs and I-PRSPs developed to date include specific commitments to tackling childhood and youth poverty, an area which despite its importance has received little attention. By protecting children from some of the harmful effects of poverty on nutrition, health and education, effective social protection can play an important role in both immediate and long-term poverty reduction.
Whose Poverty Matters? Vulnerability, Social Protection and PRSPs, CPRC Working Paper No. 19, CHIP Working Paper No. 1, CHIP/Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, ISBN 1-904049-18-4, 52 pp.