Abstract

1. This chapter summarizes the main conclusions of this study on the extent of prolonged use, on the factors underlying it, and on its effects. We then make a number of specific recommendations designed to counter the ill effects associated with this phenomenon. An important caveat is in order at this stage: since the IEO’s mandate is to evaluate the IMF and not the policies followed by its member countries, the emphasis of both our conclusions and recommendations is on the IMF’s role. This focus may give the impression that the IMF should be able to solve all problems in its areas of expertise, if only its interventions and modus operandi could be perfected. Clearly this is not the case. There are obvious limits to what any external agency can achieve, and the primary responsibility for the successes and failures of economic policies necessarily lies with the governments of the countries concerned. This point was emphasized by many officials we met during the evaluation and is the essence of ownership.