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The Politics of Poverty Reduction$
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Paul Mosley, Blessing Chiripanhura, Jean Grugel, and Ben Thirkell-White

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692125

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692125.001.0001

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The global politics of poverty reduction

The global politics of poverty reduction

(p.190) 7 The global politics of poverty reduction
The Politics of Poverty Reduction

Paul Mosley

Oxford University Press

Especially in poorer countries and regions, international financial institutions (multilateral, bilateral, and increasingly international NGOs) have been important in financing the implementation of the pro-poor ideas, policies, and structures described in previous chapters. They have attempted to make their aid more effective – and since the 1990s more pro-poor – by attaching policy conditions to their aid, which is achieved through a combination of liberalization, good governance, and commitment to poverty reduction. This idea forms the basis of the Washington institutions’ Poverty Reduction Strategy documents. However, as this chapter shows, what really matters in practice is not adherence to formal conditionality but trust between international financial institutions and recipients; and this is determined more by personal relationships than by technical performance criteria. In spite of this personalization of the aid relationship, this chapter finds that aid does influence policy (for example, the level of the PPE and PPI indices developed in Chapters 5 and 6) and thereby, in the poorer countries, plays a significant part in reducing poverty. Indonesia, Ghana, Uganda, and Bolivia, and outside the study’s sample also Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India, would have had totally different poverty trajectories in the absence of support from the international financial institutions.

Keywords:   international financial institutions, IMF, World Bank, aid, conditionality, trust

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