The Security Sector and Poverty Reduction Strategies

Provision of security is both a core function of the state and a necessary condition for the delivery of other essential services and investments for poverty reduction. Improving the effectiveness and accountability of security provision is therefore becoming an increasingly important element of Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS) in countries emerging from conflict.

This note aims to clarify the challenges for integrating security sector priorities into PRSs by drawing on existing and emerging knowledge and practice in conflict-affected countries. Introduced in the late 1990s, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are standard tools for developing countries to articulate medium-term macroeconomic and social policies for growth and poverty reduction. Countries take the lead in setting a development plan, while the World Bank and other donors align their assistance programs with those national strategies.
This note focuses specifically on the World Bank’s role in supporting governments during the preparation of PRSs and discusses entry points for engagement in the security sector drawing from experience in a mix of conflictaffected countries. It is intended to serve as a resource for World Bank country teams and their national counterparts when designing PRS processes in countries where improved security has emerged as a national priority.

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