Front Matter

Front Matter

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
Published Date:
October 2008
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    Established in July 2001, the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) provides objective and independent evaluation on issues related to the IMF. The IEO operates independently of IMF management and at arm’s length from the IMF’s Executive Board. Its goals are to enhance the learning culture within the IMF, strengthen the IMF’s external credibility, promote greater understanding of the work of the IMF throughout the membership, and support the Executive Board’s institutional governance and oversight responsibilities. For further information on the IEO and its work program, please see its website (http://www.ieo-imf.org) or contact the IEO at +1-202 623-7312 or at info@ieo-imf.org.

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    Contents

    The following conventions are used in this and other IEO reports:

    • In tables, a blank cell indicates “not applicable,” ellipsis points (…) indicate “not available,” and 0 or 0.0 indicates “zero” or “negligible.” Minor discrepancies between sums of constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    • An en dash (–) between years or months (for example, 2005–06 or January–June) indicates the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months; a slash or virgule (/) between years or months (for example, 2005/06) indicates a fiscal or financial year, as does the abbreviation FY (for example, FY2006).

    • “Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.

    • “Basis points” refer to hundredths of 1 percentage point (for example, 25 basis points are equivalent to ¼ of 1 percentage point).

    As used in these publications, the term “country” does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained on a separate and independent basis.

    Some of the documents cited and referenced in IEO reports are not available to the public at the time of their publication. Under the current policy on public access to the IMF’s archives, some of these documents will become available five years after their issuance. They may be referenced as EBS/YY/NN and SM/YY/NN, where EBS and SM indicate the series and YY indicates the year of issue. Certain other documents are to become available 10 to 20 years after their issuance, depending on the series.

    Message from the Director

    This fifth Annual Report describes the activities of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) during the year to April 30, 2008. This period saw the completion of two evaluations, “Structural Conditionality in IMF-Supported Programs” and “Governance of the IMF,” the reports on which have also been discussed by the Executive Board of the IMF. For the Structural Conditionality evaluation the Executive Board also subsequently discussed the Management Implementation Plan (MIP), prepared by IMF staff in response to the Board-endorsed recommendations arising from that report.

    The Executive Board also had a number of other discussions related to IEO reports in FY2008. The report of the evaluation of “IMF Exchange Rate Policy Advice,” which was completed in FY2007, was initially discussed by the Executive Board in May 2007, and the MIP was discussed in September 2007. The Board also discussed the MIP for the evaluation of “The IMF and Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa” in June 2007.

    FY2008 saw the realization of a new framework for following up on, and monitoring, the implementation of IEO recommendations approved by the IMF Executive Board. As highlighted above, this framework includes the production of MIPs in response to Board-endorsed recommendations arising from IEO reports, as well as a Periodic Monitoring Report (PMR) on the state of implementation of previous recommendations. This new framework is discussed in more detail in Chapter 1 of this Annual Report.

    Chapter 2 of the Annual Report summarizes the findings and recommendations of the evaluations “Structural Conditionality in IMF-Supported Programs” and “Governance of the IMF.” The chapter also highlights the Executive Board’s assessment of those evaluation reports, as well as providing an overview of the MIP for the Structural Conditionality evaluation. In addition, the chapter includes details on various Executive Board discussions of the reports “The IMF and Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa” and “IMF Exchange Rate Policy Advice” which took place in FY2008.

    Chapter 3 presents messages, issues, and themes that are common to many of our evaluations. The central message coming from the IEO’s work in FY2008 is the need to better manage institutional change at the IMF. The recently completed evaluation on “Governance of the IMF” calls for major changes in the governance of the IMF to strengthen its relevance and accountability and allow it to continue to play a central role in global financial and monetary matters into the future. Other cross-cutting lessons from our reports in FY2008, some of which have also been highlighted in previous years’ reports, include the need for greater clarity about the goals of various IMF initiatives and properly aligned external communications, the importance of strengthening partnerships with other international financial institutions and donors, and the desirability of clear metrics to facilitate the assessment of the impact of IMF’s policy advice.

    Finally, Chapter 4 discusses ongoing projects and the process leading to the identification of topics of future evaluations.

    Thomas A. Bernes

    Director Independent Evaluation Office

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