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n Institute of African Studies Research Review - The political economy of pro-poor development : the case of Ghana's poverty reduction strategies
The paper interrogates the pro-poor growth concept as a new global development construction using Ghana as case study. The basic argument of the paper is that to attain pro-poor growth, not only sustainable growth, but human rights and social inclusion must be at the heart of all development policies. The eradication of poverty, and hence also sustainable growth, can only be achieved through the engagement of poor people in the development processes which affect their lives. This makes domestic policy ownership central and critical to pro-development.
The paper, which analyzes the Ghana government's policy interventions regarding poverty alleviation and livelihood empowerment strategies, is to help generate ideas about the contribution which institutional analysis can make to our understanding of the circumstances under which growth (and pro-poor growth in particular) occurs. The central hypothesis underpinning the paper is that pro-poor growth depends critically on the interactions of formal and informal political, social, and cultural institutions with economic institutions. Jointly, these interactions constitute an institutional matrix which may either augment or constrict pro-poor growth. Accordingly, the paper explores different aspects of economic, political and social institutions - and their interactions - so as to deepen our thinking on pro-poor development.
A major contribution of the paper to the pro-poor development literature is that pro-poor development cannot be accomplished in conditions of mass estrangement, of lack of accountability, participation, and transparency.
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