Front Matter

Front Matter

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
Published Date:
October 2005
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    IMF technical assistance: evaluation report/[prepared by a team lead by Marcelo Selowsky]—[Washington, D.C.]: International Monetary Fund, Independent Evaluation Office, 2005.

    p. cm.

    Includes bibliographical references.

    ISBN 9781451964646

    1. International Monetary Fund—Evaluation. 2. Technical assistance—Evaluation. I. Selowsky, Marcelo. II. International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office.

    HG3881.5.I58I43 2005

    Price: US$25.00

    Please send orders to:

    International Monetary Fund, Publication Services

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    Contents

    The following symbols have been used in this report:

    • - between years or months (e.g. 2002-03 or January-June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

    • FY to indicate a fiscal (financial) year. FY2003 is May 2002 to April 2003 and FY2004 is May 2003 to April 2004.

    • “Billion” means a thousand million.

    Some of the documents cited and referenced in this report were not available to the public at the time of publication of this report. However, 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 ten or twenty years after their issuance, depending on the series. Technical assistance reports referred to in this evaluation report are generally not released to the public.

    Foreword

    Technical assistance (TA) is one of the key services provided by the IMF to member countries—particularly lower-income countries. It covers a wide set of activities, ranging from TA to support IMF policy advice to longer-term TA assisting countries’ institutional development.

    Over the years many questions have been raised regarding the relevance and effectiveness of TA and how to enhance ownership of its recommendations by the authorities. This evaluation examines these issues and derives recommendations for both management and the Executive Board. It unbundles the TA process into three stages—prioritization, delivery, and monitoring progress and evaluating impact. The methodology involves the use of statistical analysis of a large number of countries as well as in-depth case studies with field work to explore more qualitative issues.

    In trying to assess the effectiveness of technical assistance, the study distinguishes between the impact at different stages of the results chain—the immediate improvements in the technical capabilities of agencies receiving TA, the ability of agencies to then apply and enforce that know-how, and, whenever possible, ultimate outcomes on the ground. Attribution of results to TA becomes more difficult the further out the results chain we go. While such assessments inevitably rely heavily upon qualitative judgments, the report draws upon various performance indicators and benchmarks wherever possible.

    The report recommends making priority setting of TA more strategic and with heavier involvement of the authorities; stronger participation of the authorities in the design and follow-up of TA to signal and enhance country ownership; deeper efforts to identify and discuss options prior to drafting TA recommendations; and more systematic and rigorous practices to track progress on major TA activities to better identify reasons for shortfalls. Because IMF resources devoted to TA are small relative to global efforts and because of the wide variety of country circumstances in the membership, there are important trade-offs between serving the wide membership and developing a deeper core of expertise within the institution. The evaluation recommends that management and the Executive Board of the IMF examine such trade-offs.

    David Goldsbrough

    Acting Director

    Independent

    Evaluation Office

    IMF Technical Assistance

    This evaluation report was prepared by a team headed by Marcelo Selowsky and including Jeffrey Allen Chelsky, Mariano Cortés, and Emilio Pineda, and was approved by David Goldsbrough, Acting Director of the Independent Evaluation Office. Chapters of the report benefited from inputs from Isabelle Mateos y Lago and Daouda Sembene. Research assistance from Patricia Yang-Yang Chen, administrative support by Arun Bhatnagar, Annette Canizares, and Maria S. Gutierrez, and editorial assistance from Esha Ray are gratefully acknowledged.

    Abbreviations and Acronyms

    AFR

    African Department (IMF)

    AFRISTAT

    Economic and Statistical Observatory for Sub-Saharan Africa

    AFRITAC

    Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center

    AML/CFT

    Anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism

    APD

    Asia and Pacific Department (IMF)

    APR

    Annual progress report

    BRS

    Budget Reporting System

    CARTAC

    Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre

    D+A

    Direct plus allocated cost

    DQAF

    Data Quality Assessment Framework

    EFF

    Extended Fund Facility (IMF)

    EU1

    European I Department (IMF)

    EU2

    European II Department (IMF)

    EUR

    European Department (IMF)

    FAD

    Fiscal Affairs Department (IMF)

    FSAP

    Financial Sector Assessment Program

    GDDS

    General Data Dissemination Standard

    GDP

    Gross domestic product

    GNI

    Gross national income

    GST

    General sales tax

    HIPC

    Heavily Indebted Poor Country

    IEO

    Independent Evaluation Office

    IMF

    International Monetary Fund

    INS

    IMF Institute

    I-PRSP

    Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

    LEG

    Legal Department (IMF)

    LTE

    Long-term resident expert

    MAE

    Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department (IMF)

    MATTS

    MAE/MFD Technical Assistance Tracking System

    MED

    Middle East and Central Asia Department (IMF)

    MEF

    Ministry of Economy and Finance of Cambodia

    MFD

    Monetary and Financial Systems Department (IMF)

    NBC

    National Bank of Cambodia

    NIS

    National Institute of Statistics of Cambodia

    OED

    Operations Evaluation Department (World Bank)

    OFC

    Offshore financial center

    OIA

    Office of Internal Audit and Inspection (IMF)

    OTM

    Office of Technical Assistance Management (IMF)

    PEM

    Public expenditure management

    PFTAC

    Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre

    PMS

    Project Monitoring System

    PRGF

    Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility

    PRS

    Poverty Reduction Strategy

    PRSP

    Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

    RAP

    Resource Allocation Plan

    ROSC

    Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes

    RTAC

    Regional technical assistance center

    SBA

    Stand-By Arrangement

    STA

    Statistics Department (IMF)

    TA

    Technical assistance

    TAIMS

    Technical Assistance Information and Management System

    TC

    Technical assistance consultation

    TCAP

    Technical Cooperation Action Plan

    TIMS

    Travel Information Management System

    TOR

    Terms of reference

    TSA

    Treasury Single Account

    UFR

    Use of Fund resources

    UNDP

    United Nations Development Program

    VAT

    Value-added tax

    WHD

    Western Hemisphere Department (IMF)

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