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This report discusses the participatory aspects of the protracted policy-making process that led to the formulation of Malawi’s and Zambia’s respective Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP). It argues that participation was considerable in both countries, especially by civil society organisations, and that, by contrast, key political institutions such as the parliaments were marginalised. It goes on to detail specifically the extent to which the range of stakeholders actually took part. The account does not, however, evaluate the substance of the policy outcomes in terms of their likely efficacy in reducing poverty, or their feasibility in the context of contemporary politics in Malawi and Zambia.