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despite the limitedavailability o f data; (iiithe comprehensiveness o f the strategy and i t s focus on macroeconomic stability, highand sustainable growth, human development, the strengthening o f access to basic social services, private sector development and good governance; (iv) the efforts to draw up a long-term strategic vision consistent with sectoral strategies; and (v) the attempt to cost the strategy. The PRSP also makes a notable assessment o f the risks associated with the implementation o f the strategy, including Mali’s vulnerability to exogenous shocks.

Box 1: The Participatory Process During the Preparation of the PRSP

The PRSP clearly lays out the process followed in its preparation, which has drawn from and built upon a tradition o f implementing consensus-basedpolicies and debating major issues and strategies. Consultation activities for the formulation o f the PRSP included two notable elements. First, eleventhematic discussion and working groups were established under an overall NationalTechnical Committee. Second, consultations on the draft PRSP were held at the national level, in each o f the eight regions, and in the district o f Bamako. This approachresultedin the identificationand inclusion in the PRSP o f the major development constraints and strengths o f each region, the consideration o f certain specific regional issues in PRSP projects and programs, the buy-into the PRSP process by regional and local actors, and the establishment o f regionaland local committees to steer and implementthe PRSP. However, hrther work i s requiredto mainstream participationand consensusbuildinginthe management o f public affairs and to strengthen and sustainthe dialogue with the poor during the consultation process. Developmentpartners also playeda key role in this process, notablythe UNDP, the EuropeanCommission, the Netherlands, Canada, USAID, Sweden, and B e l g i u m . I [ S o u r c e : J o i n t S t a f f A s s e s s m e n t , ( J S A ) M a l i P R S P 2 0 0 3 1

8.

The JSA noted a number o f areas where the PRSP could be improved. First, there i s

a needto deepen the policy analysis once the expenditure data from the 2001 household survey becomes available in2003 (see Box 2). Second, while there i s a comprehensive coverage o f the development challenges, there i s a lack o f prioritization inoutlining them.

The G o M i s beginningto prioritize, as exemplifiedby the framework letter introduced by the President to the G o M in October 2002, where employment, health, education, and increasing purchasing power were indicated as Mali’s top four priorities. Third, the G o M needs to ensure that components o f all existing sector strategies are adequately reflected inthe PRSP (notably those for transport, drinkingwater supply and sanitation, urban development, and soil fertility). Fourth, there i s a needto reinforce and buildupon existing mechanisms to monitor and evaluate strategy implementation and outcomes. Finally, the PRSP proposes a widening o f the economic base to better withstand external shocks (climate, regional instability, international commodity prices) and emphasizes that growth should be drivenby the private sector with a strong foreign investmentfocus. It i s critical for M a l i to develop new sources o f growth through diversification o f the agricultural base into fmits, vegetables and Arabic gum, development o f agri-business and transformation o f agricultural products (i.e. textiles), expansion o f mining, development o f the tourism and handicrafts industries and promotion o f small and medium-sized enterprises in services, communications and other non-agricultural sectors. However, a clear, integrated strategy on pro-poor growth, including

diversification o f growth sources, has yet to be articulated.

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