International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Somalia’s Second Review Under the Staff-Monitored Program and Request for Three-Year Arrangements Under the Extended Credit and the Extended Fund Facility. The three-year financing package will support the implementation of the authorities’ National Development Plan and anchor reforms between the heavily indebted poor countries Decision and Completion Points. Reforms will focus on a continued strengthening of public finances to meet Somalia’s development needs in a sustainable manner; a deepening of central bank capacity; improvement of the business environment and governance; and enhancing statistics. Risks to the program and outlook remain elevated, although there is also upside potential. The immediate political risks concern the upcoming elections, while frequent climate shocks continue to contribute to agricultural loss and human displacement. On the upside, greater-than-expected impact from reforms under the program and additional development financing, together with the development of new industries, could lead to higher and more inclusive growth than the baseline.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on policies to drive diversification for Qatar. Diversification is important for a large commodity exporter like Qatar: it helps manage temporary shocks and prepare for sweeping changes to the economic setting. Qatar’s large financial holdings can help diversify revenues. Both structural reforms to improve the business environment and sector-specific policies can support diversification of activity and exports. Sector-specific policies should build on existing economic strengths in areas with room for exports and innovation. Emphasis should be placed on developing expertise in specific clusters. Export markets and competition provide crucial mechanisms to ensure discipline. Further diversification is important to help Qatar manage temporary shocks and prepare for far-reaching shifts to the economic context. Well-targeted, structured, and sequenced policies to encourage specific sectors can also play a role in diversifying Qatar’s economy. Export markets and competition should be deliberately used to hold recipients of support accountable. Policies to encourage specific sectors have resulted in little more than inefficient import substitution in many countries. Avoiding this outcome requires discipline: support should be withdrawn in the absence of progress.
"Capacity development (CD) is one of the Fund’s three core activities and has grown in importance in recent years. It supports member countries’ efforts to build the institutions and capacity necessary to formulate and implement sound economic policies, thereby complementing the Fund’s surveillance and lending mandates. Member countries, partners, and external commentators give the Fund high marks for the quality of its CD. At the same time, efforts need to continue to strengthen Fund CD to serve members’ current and evolving needs.
The 2018 CD Strategy Review examines progress under the Fund’s 2013 CD Strategy and proposes a CD strategy for the next five years.
It notes substantial progress in addressing the 2013 recommendations, which included strengthening the CD governance structure, enhancing the prioritization processes, clarifying the funding model, strengthening monitoring and evaluation, promoting greater integration of TA and training, exploiting new technologies for delivery, and leveraging CD as outreach. However, background work for this review also pointed to the need to strengthen the CD framework further.
The review builds upon the existing CD strategy, focusing on two mutually reinforcing objectives. First, the impact of Fund CD needs to be increased by further strengthening integration with the Fund’s policy advice and lending operations, while continuing to make progress in framing CD through comprehensive strategies tailored to each member’s needs, capacity, and conditions, focusing on implementation and outcomes. Stronger coordination between CD and the Fund’s other core functions will better connect CD with countries’ risks and vulnerabilities and ensure surveillance and lending integrate lessons from CD more effectively. Second, the efficiency of CD needs to be increased by improving CD processes and systems. This will enhance transparency and strengthen the basis for strategic decision making.
Five specific areas of recommendations support the strategy. Likewise, they mitigate institutional risks stemming from the Fund’s CD activities. They include clearer roles and responsibilities for key internal and external stakeholders in the CD process; continued strengthening of prioritization and monitoring; better tailoring and modernization of CD delivery with a focus on implementation of TA recommendations; greater internal consultation and sharing of CD information; and further progress in external coordination, communication, and dissemination of information (Annex I)."
This paper discusses Niger’s Second Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement, and Request for Modification of a Performance Criterion (PCs). With all PCs met, implementation has been satisfactory, except for the large miss of the indicative target on fiscal revenue augmentation—an important concern, considering that it is instrumental for fiscal consolidation and fiscal space to address pressing social and infrastructure needs. The indicative target on domestic arrears clearance in the first quarter of 2018 was also missed, but by less than the overperformance in 2017. The structural reform agenda is advancing, though more slowly than envisaged. The IMF staff supports the conclusion of the second review under the ECF.
This Economic development Document presents an overview of Malawi’s Development Plan. Disappointing results with respect to implementation of Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II have triggered a qualified rethink in Malawi’s development planning process. There is a growing recognition that Malawi needs a more realistic development plan, in terms of both the underlying assumptions and resource availability, as well as with fewer priorities and a greater emphasis on implementation. Climate change has also become a major new factor in this process. The recent formation of a quasi-independent National Development and Planning Commission is expected to help in improving the independence of the planning process in Malawi.
This Economic Development Document highlights the Moldova 2020 National Development Strategy focus on producing a social and economic impact on various development priorities. Poverty reduction has progressed significantly during the past eight years: the national poverty rate decreased from 26.4 percent in 2008 to 9.6 percent in 2015. Remittances by emigrants and higher agricultural income, salaries, and social benefits were the major drivers of poverty reduction. The means-tested social assistance program had a significant impact. This social aid has proved to be the most efficient social protection against poverty; however, social support programs that are not means tested are ineffective.
Management has received a request from the Argentine authorities to publish documents on economic developments in the country prepared by Fund staff for informal Board briefings in 2013–15. The Argentine authorities see publication of these papers as part of their commitment to transparency and accountability in their operations. The documents were prepared pursuant to the Fund’s policy on excessive delays in the completion of Article IV consultations and mandatory financial stability assessments, which requires that staff informally brief Executive Directors every 12 months on the economic developments and policies of relevant members. The objectives of the policy are to promote re-engagement with members with excessively delayed consultations, and to share information with the Board to help it fulfill its surveillance function. Under current policy, the briefing documents are not published. Instead, a short factual statement is issued in a press release, noting that the Board was given an informal staff briefing on the member’s economy based on available information. Under the policy, the Fund decided against publication of the briefing documents since it was considered that publication could expose the Fund to a significant reputational risk if the analysis set out in the documents missed key vulnerabilities due to large information gaps created by the lack of consultation with the member. Also, outside audiences may not appreciate that the documents represent the views of staff, not the views of the Board, and do not constitute an Article IV consultation. A further concern was that publication could reduce the pressure on members to proceed with an Article IV consultation. In light of the current policy, any publication of these documents would require a change in policy approved by the Executive Board
This paper sets out Management’s response to the Independent Evaluation Office’s (IEO) evaluation report on Self-Evaluation at the IMF.
The implementation plan proposes specific actions to address the recommendations of the IEO that were endorsed by the Board in its September 18, 2015 discussion of the IEO’s report, namely: (i) adopt a broad policy or general principles for self-evaluation in the IMF, including its goals, scope, outputs, utilization, and follow-up; (ii) give country authorities the opportunity to express their views on program design and results, and IMF performance; (iii) for each policy and thematic review, explicitly set out a plan for how the policies and operations it covers will be self-evaluated; (iv) develop products and activities aimed at distilling and disseminating evaluative findings and lessons.
The implementation of some of these proposed actions is already underway. The paper also explains how implementation will be monitored.