Development Strategies in Africa: Current Economic, Socio-Political, and Institutional Trends and Issues

By Aguibou Y. Yansane | Go to book overview

Part III

GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT, AND
SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF
STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT

Peter Heller's "Fund-Supported Adjustment Programs and the Poor" points out that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) goal is to help member countries to maintain or restore internal and external financial balance and sustainable economic growth and development. An IMF study in seven countries (including Ghana and Kenya) looks at the short-term aggregate demand implication and the longer-term supply side effects of adjustment politics for income distribution. The results of the IMF study suggest that many of the poor do indeed benefit from adjustment, both in the short- and medium-terms and that there is room in the design of programs to enhance these beneficial effects. Some groups of the poor may be adversely affected by program measures, particularly in the short‐ run. "Not adjusting is costlier for the poor. Although adjustment has costs, the poor can and should be protected."

The World Bank's "Social Dimensions of Adjustment in Africa: A Policy Agenda" recognizes that Africa is in crisis containing thirty-four of the poorest countries of the world. The Social Dimensions of Adjustment (SDA) was jointly sponsored by the African Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank. It first discusses the background of structural adjustments programs in Africa in the early 1980s. It then explores some of the principal approaches for incorporating the social dimensions into policy formulation and implementation.

SDA strategies for intervention are: investing in the household's human capital increasing the household's productive assets, to which the poor have access; raising the returns on these assets; promoting wage employment; and empowering the poor to expand their economic and social participation. The SDA policy agenda for a country's activities are aimed at integrating social dimensions into policy design and into programs and projects. They are projects to help vulnerable socioeconomic groups; strengthened national information

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