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Structural Adjustment Programs

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Dalhousie University
Political Science
POLI 3311
Peter Arthur

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 Exam: 2 Hours, 5 Essay questions, answer any 2. Be able to cite readings Structural Adjustment Programs Revisiting Structural Adjustment Programs: Strengths: • Draws on the connection between SAPs ad a specific vulnerable section of the population • Provides a historical context to both SAPs and child health in SSA • Thesis is supported by sources and data • Solution is well established Weaknesses: • Lack of elaboration • Linear argument • Summarization of other author’s points • Lack of theoretical application SAPs: - IMF/World Bank economic policy package - Implemented in SSA countries in the early 1980s - Presented as neutral policies to enhance efficiency and technical expertise - SAP Conditions: - deregulation - privatization - trade liberalization The reality: - A way to ensure African countries remained within the capitalist camp (context of the Cold War) - Anti--statist, pro-market Thatcher and Reagan revolutions - Trickle-down benefits did not materialize - Varied greatly from East Asian model: protection of domestic markets - Lack of manufacturing - Opening up of African markets benefits Western states - An attempt to re-colonize Africa: harsh conditionalities - Poverty measures worsened - Macro-economic gains favoured over micro-economics Healthcare in SSA prior to SAPs: - 60’s/70s efforts made in SSA to increase access to healthcare Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 70s/80s support from international aid programs contributed to improvement of health and child survival SAPs and Child Health: - Require cuts to government spending in social services - Force poor nations to privatize government assets - Require the imposition of user fees for social services ex. Nigeria - Repayment of debts reduces money that could be invested in social services Solutions: - In the pursuit of health public policy, government sectors are required to take into account health as an essential factor when formulation policies across various sectors and levels of government SAPs and the Alternatives: Ghana - Undergoing World Bank and IMF sponsored SAPs since 1983 - Bretton Woods - most successful of SAPs in Africa (does not take into account microeconomic factors) Ghana: Economic Recovery Program: - Cuts to social services and retrenching public workers - Devaluation of Ghana’s currency - Abolishing domestic price controls - Broadening of the tax base and strengthening of tax administration - Privatization of state-owned enterprises - Efficient allocation of resources - Rehabilitation of economic infrastructure - Reliance on market-based instrument of monetary policy - Encouraging sector development - Massive export drive **Article did not provide specific examples, does not take into environmental degradation. No reforestation to makeup for deforestation caused from SAPs. Does not take into account the administrative sector **Article is dated - $19 billion in debt Ghana: “The Saga Continues” - Key task of SAPs is to reduce governmental budgetary expenses to the barest minimum, and social services tend to become the obvious casualties.” (475) Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - According to the IMP and the World Bank, African countries are unnecessarily encumbered by over subsudized state enterprises, and overspend on social services such as education, health and basic services (479) Globalization and the IMF: Mkandawire: - Globalization is a policy-driven process - Globalization will be judge
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