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Pro-Poor Governance and the Policy Process: A Framework
UNDP Oslo Governance Centre
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This framework serves as a tool for assessing the extent to which policy making processes are pro-poor and to help in diagnosing the necessary corrective actions for enhancing poverty sensitivity of policy processes. The framework is applied to experiences of participatory budgeting in Latin America.
This paper provides a conceptual framework for assessing the pro-poor characteristics of policy making as a process. A process approach focuses on stages of policy making and the role of the main actors, their institutional environment, including participation and accountability mechanisms, and the values and incentives that shape choices. The paper is informed by recent research by the Institute of Development Studies. The paper hopes to enable UNDP country offices and national counterparts to include policy making processes as an integral component in broader governance and poverty assessments.
The paper also serves as a framework to guide the assessment of governance interventions and their contribution to enhanced pro poor policy environments. In so doing, the main aim of the framework is to serve as a tool for assessing the extent to which policy making processes are pro-poor and to help in diagnosing the necessary corrective actions for enhancing poverty sensitivity of policy processes. The framework is applied to two experiences of improved pro-poor governance in policy making: participatory budgeting in Latin America [a cross country macro perspective] and participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre in Brazil [a micro perspective].
Finally, the paper provides examples of critical questions to ask at each stage of the policy making process. It also includes a list of references to toolkits, handbooks and internet resources on issues concerned with pro- poor governance of policy with particular emphasis on participation in policy processes and participatory budgeting.