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Moisés J. Schwartz and Ray C. Rist

Abstract

The benefits of independent evaluation in international financial institutions have long been recognized. However, independent evaluation in these organizations is of increased relevance during uncertain times that call for more credible and legitimate institutions. While evaluation has long played a function in the IMF, and its role has expanded substantially with the creation of the IEO, independent evaluation has yet to take on a role within the IMF that fully reflects its potential contribution. A strong global economy requires a strong IMF, and a strong IMF requires a strong independent evaluation culture and practice. The establishment of the IEO was only the start of a process that still needs to be fostered and cultivated. Successful independent evaluation is important for the IMF to be perceived as legitimate and credible—and to achieve it, the independent evaluation function needs to be further integrated in the learning process and culture of the Fund. Independent evaluation has played a significant role in contributing to the improvement of the IMF, but the pending challenge is for the IMF and the IEO to create a shared culture that fully embraces the purpose and mission of the IEO, and the learning opportunities offered by independent evaluation. The IMF’s organizational culture has a profound role to play in prompting actions to make learning from independent evaluation a more vibrant element of the Fund’s activities. This book calls on IMF management to take a more active role in instilling the positive value of independent evaluation across the organization and thus enabling independent evaluation to bring the IMF closer to what the literature defines as the ideal of a “learning organization.”

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The twelfth Annual Report of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) describes activities during financial year 2015 (May 1, 2014–April 30, 2015). During the financial year, the IEO completed an evaluation of the IMF response to the global financial and economic crisis. It also issued two reports updating three past evaluations: The IMF’s Approach to Capital Account Liberalization: Revisiting the 2005 IEO Evaluation; and Revisiting the IEO Evaluations of the IMF’s Role in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) (2004) and the IEO Evaluation of IMF and Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa (2007). In addition, the Executive Board discussed the IEO evaluation of Recurring Issues from a Decade of Evaluation: Lessons for the IMF, which was issued to the Board in FY2014. The paper reports on the IEO budget and outreach efforts in the financial year. This paper also summarizes the evaluations on Recurring Issues and the IMF Response to the Financial and Economic Crisis, the Board discussions of these evaluations, and the two updates of past evaluations. It also discusses follow-up on IEO evaluations and addresses ongoing evaluations and the IEO work program going forward. A table lists the IEO evaluations and evaluation updates completed or in progress.

International Monetary Fund
In discussing the June 2014 paper, Executive Directors broadly supported staff’s proposal to introduce more flexibility into the Fund’s exceptional access framework to reduce unnecessary costs for the member, its creditors, and the overall system. Directors’ views varied on staff’s proposal to eliminate the systemic exemption introduced in 2010. Many Directors favored removing the exemption but some others preferred to retain it and requested staff to consult further with relevant stakeholders on possible approaches to managing contagion. This paper offers specific proposals on how the Fund’s policy framework could be changed, presents staff’s analysis on the specific issue of managing contagion, and addresses some implementation issues. No Board decision is proposed at this stage. The paper is consistent with the Executive Board’s May 2013 endorsement of a work program focused on strengthening market-based approaches to resolving sovereign debt crises.