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Louellen Stedman, Mr. John Hicklin, and Roxana Pedraglio

Abstract

This report is the seventh in a series of evaluation updates by the Independent Evaluation Office of the IMF (IEO) that return to past IEO evaluations and assess the continuing relevance of their main conclusions. The report revisits the 2007 evaluation of IMF Exchange Rate Policy Advice, which found that the IMF was “not as effective as it needed to be” in fulfilling its responsibilities for exchange rate surveillance in the period 1999–2005. While acknowledging the inherent complexity of providing exchange rate policy advice, including the lack of professional consensus on many of the key issues, the evaluation observed serious weaknesses in the IMF’s work on key analytical issues and in its engagement with members. The update finds that the IMF has substantially overhauled its approach to exchange rate policy advice since 2007. Key steps taken include: adoption of a more comprehensive approach to exchange rate surveillance under the 2012 Integrated Surveillance Decision; development of enhanced analytical tools; a new institutional view on capital flows; and introduction of the annual External Sector Report that provides an integrated picture of the external balances of major economies. The IMF continues to work on further enhancements of its approach. Nonetheless, the update concludes that challenges remain that impact the effectiveness of the IMF’s work in an area central to its mandate. The approach for assessing external balances and exchange rates continues to be contentious, in part reflecting differing views across the membership about the process of external adjustment. There are also ongoing questions in other areas, including considerations for exchange rate regime choice, attention to policy spillovers, the institutional view on capital flows, and data availability. The update suggests that the persistence of key issues identified in 2007 merits a full evaluation by the IEO.

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.

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

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 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 IEO’s latest Annual Report covers its activities during the financial year ended April 2007. It summarizes the most recent IEO evaluations of The IMF and Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa and IMF Exchange Rate Policy Advice. The report also presents messages that are common to many IEO evaluations and are particularly noteworthy as the IMF proceeds with the implementation of its Medium-Term Strategy. Other topics discussed include implementation of recommendations made in 2006 by the External Evaluation Panel of the IEO, ongoing projects, the identification of future evaluations, and summaries of follow-ups of past evaluations.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The IMF is charged by its Articles of Agreement and a 1977 Executive Board Decision to exercise surveillance over the international monetary system and members’ exchange rate policies. The overriding question addressed by this evaluation is whether, over the 1999–2005 period, the IMF fulfilled this core responsibility. The main finding is that the IMF was simply not as effective as it needs to be in both its analysis and advice and in its dialogue with member countries. The evidence supporting this conclusion, along with other key findings, is set out in this report. The report also presents a detailed set of recommendations that could go a long way in improving the quality and effectiveness of IMF surveillance.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Surveillance is a core function of the IMF, a critical element of its toolkit for promoting global financial stability. Multilateral surveillance brings into analysis economic linkages and policy spillovers between countries, as well as international economic and market developments. This evaluation report covers the IMF’s multilateral surveillance activities during 2000–05 and addresses a variety of questions: Do the issues analyzed under multilateral surveillance reflect the IMF’s comparative advantage? Are these issues relevant and timely? How well are macroeconomic and capital market surveillance combined in the analysis of relevant issues? How well are the messages of multilateral surveillance presented? And does multilateral surveillance have an impact on country policies? The evaluation concludes with recommendations for the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This report evaluates the role of the IMF in supporting economic reform in Jordan during 1989–2004. The evaluation provides an opportunity to assess typical features of relations between the IMF and its borrowing members, and to put into a specific country context IEO’s earlier findings on program design and the links between programs, surveillance, and technical assistance. The report highlights a number of broad lessons suggested by the IMF’s experience in Jordan, as well as other lessons focusing on the IMF’s future role in Jordan.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper presents Selected Decisions and Selected Documents’ Supplement to Tenth issue of the IMF. This Supplement to the Tenth Issue of Selected Decisions of the IMF and Selected Documents contains decisions of a general nature adopted by the IMF since April 30, 1983, the date of publication of the Tenth Issue. Decisions of the IMF that are incorporated in the Rules and Regulations are not reproduced in this volume. The Executive Board approves the proposed method of applying the three-month rule for implementing the procedures for surveillance, set forth in EBD/83/161. The Executive Board has reviewed the document ‘Surveillance over Exchange Rate Policies’ as provided in paragraph 2 of the Executive Board Decision No. 5392-(77/63), adopted April 29, 1977, and will review it again at an appropriate time not later than April 1, 1986.