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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This report updates the 2009 IEO evaluation of IMF Involvement in International Trade Policy Issues. Since then, the composition and structure of international trade have evolved, but trade has not regained its former dynamism. With increasing concern about potential winners and losers from trade, there has been a loss of political support for globalization, increasing trade tensions and protectionism, and the institutional framework supporting multilateral trade has come under heavy strain. The report concludes that overall the IMF deserves considerable credit for its active and timely response, playing a prominent role in championing commitment to an open, rules-based multilateral trading system. The Fund has largely implemented the recommendations of the 2009 evaluation and has strengthened and consolidated its trade policy analysis and advice, appropriately focusing on the key macroeconomic effects and associated risks of trade policy developments at the national and international levels. IMF advocacy on trade has been underpinned by a major expansion in the attention to trade policy issues in multilateral surveillance—and to some extent in bilateral surveillance—supported by high-quality research and analysis, building on the Fund’s well-established modeling capacity. Looking forward, the Fund will need to sustain its current high level of advocacy and analysis on trade policy issues and consider how to increase the overall impact of this work. Key challenges include: contributing to foster a recommitment to trade policy cooperation; further attention to translating multilateral surveillance into bilateral policy advice; consolidating relations with partner institutions; and increased attention to rapidly developing trade policy issues. Across all these dimensions, care will be needed to ensure appropriate evenhandedness in trade policy surveillance across countries. A holistic review of the IMF’s “trade strategy” would help to guide trade policy work and the allocation of scarce resources among competing priorities.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This report seeks to help the IMF enhance its effectiveness by identifying major recurring issues from the IEO’s first 20 evaluations and assessing where they stand. The IMF’s core areas of responsibility are surveillance, lending, and capacity development. The aim of this report is to strengthen the follow-up process by focusing on key issues that recurred in IEO evaluations, rather than on specific recommendations on their implementation. The IEO believes that a framework of reviewing and monitoring recurring issues would be useful in establishing incentives for progress, strengthening the Board’s oversight, and providing learning opportunities for the IMF.

Abstract

This volume examines how independent evaluation contributes to the legitimacy and effectiveness of the IMF. It describes the evolution and impact of the Independent Evaluation Office ten years after its creation as well as the challenges it has faced. It also incorporates feedback from a wide range of internal and external actors and offers useful insights for international organizations, academics, and other global stakeholders.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office’s (IEO) Annual Report 2010 highlights that in FY2010, the IEO expended approximately 95 percent of its budgetary resources. The corresponding underspending (about 5 percent of the budget) resulted from several vacancies for significant periods throughout the year. Staffing developments over the course of FY2010 highlighted the costs of high staff turnover for the IEO’s work. In July 2009, the IEO undertook an assessment of recent staffing experience, the main challenges encountered in recruiting and retaining employees, and the aspects of the IEO’s employment policies that contribute to these difficulties.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Trade policy occupies an unusual and at times problematic place in the work of the IMF. Though trade policies of IMF members have strong influences on macroeconomic stability, they are often seen as peripheral to the IMF’s core competency. This evaluation, which examines the IMF’s involvement in trade policy issues during 1996–2007, addresses five questions. What is the nature of the IMF’s mandate to cover trade policy? Did the IMF work effectively with other international organizations on trade policy issues? Did the Executive Board provide clear guidance to staff on the IMF’s role and approach to trade policy? How well did the IMF address trade policy issues through lending arrangements and surveillance? Was IMF advice effective? The evaluation finds that the IMF’s role in trade policy has evolved in some desirable and some less desirable ways and recommends how to use the limited resources the IMF can devote to trade policy to fill these gaps.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This sixth Annual Report describes the activities of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) during the year to April 30, 2009. The report summarized the findings of IEO's most recent evaluations, lists cross-cutting lessons highlighted in previous years' reports, and discusses ongoing evaluation projects. The report also describes the new framework for monitoring and following up on the implementation of IEO recommendations approved by the IMF Executive Board.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This fifth Annual Report describes the activities of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) during the year to April 30, 2008. This period saw the completion of two evaluations, "Structural Conditionality in IMF-Supported Programs" smf "Governance of the IMF".

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) completed an evaluation of IMF Involvement in International Trade Policy Issues in 2009. The evaluation was published at a time when global trade was experiencing a historically unprecedented decline in the wake of the global financial crisis (GFC). This report updates the IEO’s 2009 study, covering the period from January 2010 to August 2019, examining the Fund’s reaction to the myriad developments that have reshaped the global trade system (GTS) over the last decade.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The 2009 evaluation found that, starting in the early 2000s, the Fund had scaled back its involvement in trade policy issues for several reasons. Externally, these included a long period of growth in global trade and trade liberalization that had reduced interest in IMF advice and conditionality and the growing role of the WTO following its establishment in 1995. Internally, financial sector issues were demanding increasing attention at the Fund, the overall downsizing of the IMF had tightened the availability of resources, and the Executive Board (the Board) approved steps to streamline trade policy surveillance. In this context, the 2009 evaluation focused on five areas: (i) the IMF’s mandate and involvement on trade policy issues; (ii) the cooperation of the IMF with other international organizations; (iii) the guidance provided by the Board to staff; (iv) the adequacy of the IMF’s work on trade policies in both program and surveillance contexts; and (v) the effectiveness of IMF advice.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The 2009 evaluation was published in the midst of the global financial crisis (GFC), and an associated sudden, severe, and synchronized collapse in international trade. After decades of strong growth in global trade, global trade volumes contracted by 12 percent in 2009, the largest such decline since World War II (WTO, 2010), notwithstanding commitments by G20 leaders to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or trade (Figure 1). Since then, as the global economy has regained its footing, trade has gradually recovered but overall has expanded much less rapidly than before the GFC, even after accounting for slower output growth. There has also been a striking shift in the country composition of trade, with rising importance of emerging market economies, particularly China.