The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Xavier Debrun, Peter Heller, Theo Thomas, Menachem Katz, Isabell Adenauer, and Taline Koranchelian
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Debt relief and the scaling up of aid to low-income countries should allow for greater fiscal space for expenditure programs to create long-term growth and lower poverty rates. But designing a suitable medium-term fiscal framework that fosters a sustainable delivery of better public services and infrastructure while maintaining a credible commitment to fiscal prudence confronts many challenges. This paper discusses what low-income countries can do to shape fiscal policy frameworks that are ambitious in trying to absorb additional aid while still ensuring longer-term sustainability for government expenditure programs and finances. It suggests what approaches can be used to manage the greater fiscal policy risks associated with a scaled-up aid environment, including coordination with monetary policy. The paper also discusses what institutional changes are needed if donors and countries are to facilitate the implementation of a higher level of aid-financed spending programs.