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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This paper analyzes that the IMF has moved beyond its traditional fiscal-centric approach to recognize that social protection can also be macro-critical for broader reasons including social and political stability concerns. Evaluating the IMF’s involvement in social protection is complicated by the fact that there is no standard definition of social protection or of broader/overlapping terms such as social spending and social safeguards in (or outside) the IMF. In this evaluation, social protection is understood to include policies that provide benefits to vulnerable individuals or households. This evaluation found widespread IMF involvement in social protection across countries although the extent of engagement varied. In some cases, engagement was relatively deep, spanning different activities (bilateral surveillance, technical assistance, and/or programs) and involving detailed analysis of distributional impacts, discussion of policy options, active advocacy of social protection, and integration of social protection measures in program design and/or conditionality. This cross-country variation to some degree reflected an appropriate response to country-specific factors, in particular an assessment of whether social protection policy was macrocritical, and the availability of expertise from development partners or in the country itself.

Mr. John C Bluedorn, Rupa Duttagupta, Mr. Jaime Guajardo, and Miss Nkunde Mwase
Growth takeoffs in developing economies have rebounded in the past two decades. Although recent takeoffs have lasted longer than takeoffs before the 1990s, a key question is whether they could unravel like some did in the past. This paper finds that recent takeoffs are associated with stronger economic conditions, such as lower post-takeoff debt and inflation levels; more competitive real exchange rates; and better structural reforms and institutions. The chances of starting a takeoff in the 2000s was triple that before the 1990s, with domestic conditions accounting for most of the increase. The findings suggest that if today’s dynamic developing economies sustain their improved policies; they are more likely to stay on course compared to many of their predecessors.
International Monetary Fund
A major element of the persistent fiscal imbalances in Guinea-Bissau is the relatively low level of revenue compared with other sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Fiscal revenues, including grants, trended downward significantly in Guinea-Bissau from 1991 through 2005, especially during the last five years. Nontax revenues are stagnant as a proportion of GDP as a result of weak fisheries administration and control. Tax revenues as a proportion of GDP are relatively low in Guinea-Bissau even compared with other low-income countries.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Mozambique highlights that in the period 1987–97, the economy of Mozambique made impressive gains. Real GDP and exports grew on average by 6.8 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively, and the ratio of investment to GDP rose from 36.1 percent in 1987 to 45.2 percent in 1997. In the two years ended December 1996, the 12-month inflation rate fell dramatically from 70.1 percent to 16.6 percent.