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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Assessing Sub-Saharan Africa's Structural Adjustment Programmes: The Need for More Qualitative Measures
Author:Bar-on, Arnon
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:economic policy
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
Economics, Commerce
Structural adjustment programmes
income distribution
Social service
Social equity
Abstract:Any meaningful assessment of sub-Saharan Africa's structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) must use the programmes' own terms of reference. Given that these are grounded in New Right or liberal theories, egalitarian income distribution cannot be used as a measure of the success or failure of SAPs. Instead, other criteria must be used. For proponents of the New Right basic, universally available macroeconomic indicators suffice. For the supporters of liberalism, assessing SAPs is more difficult, largely because few current socioeconomic indicators successfully gauge the notion of social belonging. To overcome this lacuna, it is necessary to refine the nature of the data which are collected and analysed. Two sets of indicators are suggested. One pertains to the liberal notion of social equality. This can be assessed by combining measures of a communal standard of living, the sense that this standard of living will be maintained in the future, and people's expectations about improving this standard of living. The second set of indicators pertains to a more sensitive assessment of the means by which social equality is attempted, and consists of a variety of determinants of demand and supply accessibility that have to be fulfilled to ensure that social services are genuinely universal. Bibliogr., notes, sum.