The civil society, in their continued participation in the PRSP process, convened a National Forum, which provided a platform for it to review of the first draft of the Government PRSP for Zambia. The forum drew participants from a cross section of the community country-wide. In attendance too, were international development agencies such as UNDP, GTZ, OXFAM-GB, World Bank and Government officials involved in the PRSP process. The discussion was guided by the broad agreement and appreciation of the overwhelming nature of the PRSP process and the limitations insofar as the resources envelope was concerned with regards to effectively addressing the various poverty concerns in the nation and thus the need to prioritise issues in order to attack poverty on a sustainable basis. It was noticed that certain specific interventions, proposed in the draft, were non-financial and basically required minor institutional changes and policy adjustments. The civil society were alive to the fact that there are other intervention programmes and processes that government has/and was implementing which therefore required to be integrated within the specific suggested processes in the PRSP framework.
The process of arriving at priority issues was guided and traded off by two broad objectives which are viz:
- To identify those specific priorities that would lead to sustainable poverty reduction, and have immediate impact on the various categories of the vulnerable in society.
- To identify specific priorities that would stimulate immediate economic growth and have corresponding immediate impact on poverty levels.