THE GUYANA POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY PAPER – Page 12
C. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and its Nexus with the National Development Strategy
In recognition of the causes of poverty, the Government developed the NDS. The objectives of the NDS are to (i) achieve sustainable growth rates; (ii) reduce poverty; (iii) achieve geographical unity; (iv) ensure equitable geographical distribution of economic activity; and (v) diversify the economy. The achievement of sustainable growth is predicated on prudent economic policy and management, including the introduction of far-reaching reforms to enhance the business environment; good governance with inclusivity, participation, accountability and transparency; and development of strategic investments in the infrastructure sector to complement rapid private sector development.
In addition, although rapid and sustainable growth may reduce poverty, the NDS advocates comprehensive reforms in the social sector as essential for improving service delivery, especially to the poor, and providing opportunities for the future. The NDS thus envisions significant increases in resources to provide universal access to secondary education, health, water, housing and other social programs. Further, the NDS provides a thorough analysis and proposes comprehensive recommendations for improving the regulatory and institutional framework, laying out a broad legislative agenda critical to the successful implementation of economic and social programs.
Although the NDS enjoys widespread support from the public, political parties and the donor community, there are disagreements on some of its recommendations. The anticipated debate on the Strategy in the National Assembly will assist in producing a document that will be supported by all political parties and thereby secure its full implementation, regardless of the Government of the day. Already, Government is implementing several recommendations in the NDS and donor programming is being informed by this document.
The PRSP is directly linked to the NDS in the areas of economic policy, good governance, infrastructure development and improvement in social services with the objective of reducing poverty. However, the NDS has limitations which are addressed in the PRSP. The NDS is a strategy for development that spans a 25-year period and contains broad and general ideas of the way forward. However, it does not contain (i) an action plan for implementation; (ii) costing; (iii) financing requirements; and (iv) sources of financing. In contrast, financing is available for the implementation of programs in the PRSP, and the PRSP not only provides a strategy for poverty reduction in the medium term, it also sets priorities and develops an action plan for implementation.
Like the Policy Framework Paper (PFP) that it replaces, the PRSP will be revised every three years through a participatory process. With its 25-year horizon, the NDS will serve as a reference document for future PRSPs. However, to maintain the relevance of the Strategy, the NDS itself will go through a series of consultations and revisions on a periodic basis, to take into account emerging issues, lessons learned, changes in development orientation and overall economic progress in Guyana.
Link to the PRSP Secretariat website: http://www.povertyreduction.gov.gy