European Development Cooperation and the Poor

By Aidan Cox; John Healey et al. | Go to book overview

4 The Approach to Poverty Reduction in the Country Programmes

What donors actually do: starting questions
This chapter does not start with a 'model' of how the agencies ought to go about their country operations if they are serious about poverty reduction. However, five questions are posed about their recent country operations which are considered to bear significantly on effectiveness and indeed which reflect the actual formal policies of some agencies.
Do the European agencies have a clear conception of who the poor are? Do they identify and target the poor by geographical area or socio-economic group?
Are their operational strategies or specific interventions designed on the basis of participatory processes, involving a wide or narrower domestic community in decisions?
Do they engage in dialogue with their partners on how to reach poor people most effectively through policies and measures?
What is the nature of their portfolios of interventions to achieve their poverty goals and what modes or instruments have they chosen to implement them effectively?
Do they try to ensure that local governments and communities 'own' their poverty initiatives?

To test actual practices and some answers to these questions the activities of the main European agencies operating within them were examined in seven countries ( Bolivia, Burkina Faso, India, Nepal, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). Those donors without

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