PREM Notes

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This note series is intended to summarize good practices and key policy findings on poverty reduction and economic management (PREM) topics.

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    Looking for More from Adjustment : Africa's Experience
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1999-05) Pape, Elizabeth
    By the mid-1990s, after more than 15 years of adjustment lending, it had become clear that adjustment programs in Africa had not accelerated growth or reduced poverty, except in a handful of countries. The main reasons? Recipient governments did not "own" the reform programs, and they perceived the conditionality attached to the programs as being imposed on them. Adjustment programs were often unresponsive to country conditions and changes in external circumstances. In most cases the World Bank and recipient governments did not have a shared vision of what adjustment programs were supposed to achieve. In response to this diagnosis, in 1995 the Bank's Africa Region introduced the Higher Impact Adjustment Lending (HIAL) initiative. The initiative aimed to achieve a quicker, stronger, broader, and longer supply response from structural adjustment programs by: 1) increasing country selectivity and strengthening government ownership; 2) allowing more flexibility in adjustment operations--in particular, introducing new tranching mechanisms; and 3) introducing performance indicators to define expected results and assess actual outcomes. This note describes how the approach and design of these operations were adapted to achieve higher impact.
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    Using Surveys for Public Sector Reform
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1999-05) Reinikka, Ritva
    Diagnostic surveys can provide vital information for decisionmakers when institutional weaknesses inhibit a more regular flow of information. If strategically designed, a survey can help induce policy change by pointing directly to the main bottlenecks, making it easier for policymakers to find solutions. This note summarizes two cases in Uganda where diagnostic surveys proved particularly useful. The first case involves public spending on health and education; the second considers tax administration from the perspective of taxpaying firms.