Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs) are country-owned and participatory, taking into account the views of Parliament, line ministries, development partners, civil society and specifically the poor themselves. The PRSPs are comprehensive and recognize the multidimensional nature of the causes of poverty. They highlight strategies to alleviate poverty and acknowledge the need for a coherent macroeconomic framework to support them. The PRSPs also base themselves on both medium and long term perspectives, including appropriate monitoring indicators against which progress could be measured. The PRSP approach, thus, aims to provide the crucial link between national public actions, achievement of socio-economic outcomes, and assistance from development partners for the attainment of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed at the Millennium Summit (September, 2000), which are centered on halving poverty by 2015.
The PRSP formulation process took off in Pakistan with the finalization of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP) in November 2001, which after further refinement was evolved into the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in December 2003 for the period up till 2006. The PRSP since then has been the key strategy document of the government for social development of the country.
With the PRSP-I having successfully completed its three years of implementation in 2006, the next step in the ongoing process inevitably was the compilation of its successor – the PRSP-II. The PRSP-II draws upon lessons learnt from the implementation of the PRSP-I and takes into account recent political, economic and social events, both domestic and international, which have considerable development impacts for Pakistan.
The National PRSP Implementation Committee oversees PRSP policy reforms, evaluation of their impact, and appropriate adjustments (as required) in the policy regime. To assist this Committee, the government in 2000 established a PRSP Secretariat.