Structural adjustment programmes are the largest single cause of increased poverty, inequality and hunger in developing countries. This book is the most comprehensive, real-life assessment to date of the impacts of the liberalisation, deregulation, privatisation and austerity that constitute structural adjustment. It is the result of a unique five year collaboration among citizens' groups, developing country governments, and the World Bank itself. Its authors, the members of the Structural Adjustment Participatory Review International Network (SAPRIN), reveal the practical consequences for manufacturing, small enterprise, wages and conditions, social services, health, education, food security, poverty and inequality. The stark conclusion emerges: if there is to be any hope for meaningful development, structural adjustment and neoliberal ecomics must be jettisoned.
SAPRIN is a global network established to expand and legitimize the role of civil society in economic policymaking and to strengthen the organized challenge to structural adjustment programs by citizens around the globe. It is composed of broad-based civil society networks in Argentina, Bangladesh, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Hungary, Mexico, the Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe, which along with non-governmental organizations based in Europe, Canada and the United States comprise SAPRIN's Steering Committee. The network has brought together trade unions, small business and farmers' associations, environmental and indigenous peoples' organizations, women's and community groups, religious and human rights organizations, development and research institutes, NGOs, and associations of youth, pensioners and the disabled. SAPRIN's diverse program has included extensive citizen mobilization, local workshops and national public fora, participatory field research, economic literacy training, and the development and promotion of alternative economic policy proposals at the country level on four continents. At the global level, SAPRIN's advocacy work vis-a-vis the World Bank, United Nations agencies and national governments has focused on the elimination of adjustment conditionality and on the democratization of the economic policymaking process and on opening it to new policy options. The SAPRIN Secretariat is based at The Development GAP in Washington, D.C.