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International Monetary Fund
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).
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

In 2008, the IEO undertook an evaluation on the IMF governance and concluded that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of IMF governance, while accountability and voice had been the weakest. Since then, IMF governance has been strengthened aided by quota and voice reforms to address misalignments in shares and chairs as well as numerous improvements in governance procedures and practices. The update finds that IMF governance has proven its effectiveness in supporting the Fund to fulfill its mandates, but concerns remain on voice and accountability. Challenges remain related to representation and voice, interaction between governance bodies, the selection process for management, and the role of the G20 in IMF governance. Addressing these challenges will take time and may be subject to difficult tradeoffs between governance objectives such as preserving effectiveness while ensuring appropriate representation.

International Monetary Fund
The Fund has been operating under a flat real resource envelope for the past six years. With continued efforts to maximize the use of available resources, spending in FY 17 is projected to reach 99 percent of the net administrative budget, and a low vacancy rate has helped stabilize overtime at 11 percent. Internal savings and reallocations have allowed the Fund to dedicate more resources to country work, including capacity development, without requiring an increase in the approved budget—apart from $6 million provided in FY 17 to cover rising security costs. An unchanged real net administrative budget in FY 18, despite deeper Fund engagement in a number of areas, as well as increased costs for corporate modernization. Accordingly, the budget proposal incorporates significant savings from reallocations and efficiency gains to fund new demands, as well as a further increase in the upfront allocation of carry-forward funds by about $10 million. The broad themes of the proposal are: (i) more intensive country work with a shift from surveillance to programs, but net savings in field offices; (ii) significant policy and analytical work on the financial sector and the role of the Fund (global safety net, facilities, and quotas), albeit less than in FY 17, with more work on structural issues and new challenges; (iii) funding for transforming IT and HR services, offset by central savings; and (iv) enhanced risk mitigation and knowledge management (KM), with the establishment of a KM unit to support cross-country analysis and knowledge transfer. At this stage, a flat resource envelope is assumed also for the medium term, contingent on continued reprioritization and a broadly unchanged global economic environment. Upward pressure on resources will arise from growing capacity development activities and certain revenue losses. Savings are expected from the TransformIT initiative and internal efficiency gains. But for the budget to remain flat, the Fund will need to continuously reprioritize and adjust its activities to make room for new demands. Even then, a more challenging global environment, with a further ramping up of Fund lending, or significant demands for deeper engagement in other areas, would put significant strains on resources over the medium term. The proposed capital budget envelope for FY 18–20 remains broadly unchanged from current levels. Some frontloading, however, is planned for the first two years, due to the cyclical nature of these investments and to accommodate strategic IT projects.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This paper discusses that the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has also launched three new evaluations—which will analyze the IMF’s role on fragile states, its financial surveillance activities, and its advice on unconventional monetary policies—and two evaluation updates—which will look into the IMF’s exchange rate policy advice and structural conditionality. The evaluation found that, for the most part, the IMF’s euro area surveillance identified the right issues during the pre-crisis period but did not foresee the magnitude of the risks that would later become paramount. The IMF’s surveillance of the financial regulatory architecture was generally of high quality, but staff, along with most other experts, missed the buildup of banking system risks in some countries. The report found several issues with the way decision making was managed by the IMF. In May 2010, the IMF Executive Board approved a decision to provide exceptional access financing to Greece without seeking preemptive debt restructuring, even though its sovereign debt was not deemed sustainable with a high probability.

International Monetary Fund
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.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This report describes Solomon Islands’ macroeconomic, structural, and social policies in support of growth and poverty reduction, as well as associated external financing needs and major source of financing. Solomon Islands’ government Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) 2016–20 sets out development programs and projects supporting the draft National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016–35 objectives. The MTDP is rolling out five-year plan, revised annually, comprising development programs and projects. The MTDP effectively addresses key issues of the economy which are as follows: existing poverty situation and trends, factors influencing poverty, strategies and policies for poverty reduction, fiscal and debt framework, and safety nets and risk mitigation.
Iana Paliova and Mr. Tonny Lybek
This paper focuses on EU structural and cohesion funds assistance to Bulgaria during the 2007–13 program period. Initial weaknesses resulted in a low absorption rate, which was mitigated by increasing advance payments; applying electronic application and reporting procedures; simplifying and unifying tender processes; and strengthening the role of international financial institutions and banks in project preparation, evaluation and monitoring. The possible impact on growth and potential output is briefly discussed, while the risks of improper absorption are acknowledged. Valuable lessons have been learned, but it is recommended that additional steps be taken for the next program period 2014–20.
International Monetary Fund
At the time of the 2005 review of the Fund’s transparency policy, it was agreed that information on key trends in implementation of the transparency policy would be circulated to the Board regularly, along with lists indicating the publication status of reports discussed by the Board. The set of tables provided in this report updates the last Key Trends2 with information on documents published through December 2009.