Participatory Economic Policy Reform in Support of peace building

Fast Facts:
• Project Document
Location: Khartoum
Duration: July 2003 - December 2010
Focus area: Democratic Governance
Donors: The World Bank, CIDA, UNDP
Partners: Civil Society Organizations
Delivery(USD): 2009:37,414
Contact person in UNDP: John N. Akol,
Sudan is endowed with rich resources, such as vast areas of agricultural land, extensive water resources and the River Nile, a wealth of livestock of all kinds, and mineral and other underground resources, including oil and gold. With its growing oil exports reaching production in the region of some 500,000 barrels per day, Sudan is already the sub-Saharan’s third largest oil producer. The country also has increasing public resources to invest in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In addition, the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the formation of the Government of National Unity (GoNU), as well as the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) strengthened Sudan's cooperation with the international community. Sudan applied to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in October 1994. Its Accession is currently in progress. However, one of the country’s main challenges is to sustain the current economic growth, increase broad-based employment generation and reduce poverty. In fact, since its independence, Sudan has adopted several socio-economic policies and since 1992 has implemented self-imposed economic policies that do not concur with the Bretton Woods institutions. As a result, while some indicators show an improvement of the growth performance, others indicate that the incidence of poverty has increased. The Participatory Economic Policy Reform project, jointly funded by the World Bank (through the WB Post-conflict Fund), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and UNDP, focuses on promoting intra-Sudanese dialogue on the allocation and use of public resources. The engagement of the civil society in this debate and its involvement in the elaboration of a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) is considered to be a critical component of this programme.

The overall objective of the project is to improve the national capacity to plan and monitor a comprehensive approach to the reduction of human and income poverty, in line with the Millennium Development Goals and the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

To this end, the specific objectives of the project are:
- To identify needed policy reforms that would help manage an inclusive poverty reduction and growth process.
- To guide, inform and refine the collective contribution of participating actors towards the elaboration of an equitable and participatory PRSP that will lead to pro-poor growth.
- To identify and establish linkages between new and ongoing efforts dealing with various manifestations of human poverty, and to support the development of appropriate synergies in favour of peace.
- To initiate a process for revitalizing the planning function within the government, while promoting a participatory bottom-up planning process.

Snapshots of the project's major achievements
• The project interacted with and closely monitored the formulation of a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper through regular meetings with the Poverty Unit in the Ministry of Finance and National Economy and other international partners interested in financing the paper;
• Organized two workshops to discuss policies for poverty reduction in Sudan and commissioned a report entitled “The Macroeconomic Policies for Poverty Reduction: the Case of Sudan". The report, mainly funded by the World Bank’s Post-conflict Fund, summarises the findings of a comprehensive study consisting of nine background papers, prepared by a team of national and international consultants, published in collaboration with UNDP’s Beirut-based Sub-Regional Resource Facility (SURF);
• Formed a donor support group which enriched the discussion regarding the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper; and
• Trained fourteen government officials in fiscal and tax policies at Georgia State University, USA.
• To promote an intra-Sudanese dialogue on the allocation and use of public resources, the project organized in collaboration with UNICONS Consultancy Ltd. a workshop on “Public Expenditure Management In Sudan”. The event was held on 19 June and brought together a number of State Ministers of finance from around the country, Sudanese academia, NGOs, UN agencies, and the media.
• On 26 June, the project organized a workshop on “Institutional Mapping of Economic Policy Making and Government Institutions” with the participation of lead Sudanese academia, policy makers and development partners. Three of these papers are available through UNDP Sudan website under publication:
• Following a UNDP-sponsored nation-wide survey on civil society organizations engagement in poverty alleviation, the project organized on 6-7 August a workshop during which papers on the role of civil society organization in combating poverty in Sudan.

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