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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.”

Mr. Andrea Gamba
Jordan’s initiatives to reduce its energy dependency could have substantial macroeconomic implications, but will crucially depend on the level of international oil prices in the next decade. Significant uncertainties remain regarding the feasibility of the initiatives and their potential fiscal costs, including from contingent liabilities, could be very large. Given the lead time required for such major investments, work should start now on: (i) conducting comprehensive cost-benefits analysis of these projects; (ii) addressing the challenges arising from the taxation of natural resources; and (iii) designing a fiscal framework to anchor fiscal policies if revenue from these energy projects materializes.
Shahid Yusuf
Since the onset of the Arab Spring, economic uncertainty in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen (Arab Countries in Transition, ACTs) has slowed already sluggish growth; worsened unemployment, particularly of youth; undermined business confidence, affected tourist arrivals, and depressed domestic and foreign direct investment. Furthermore, political and social tensions have constrained reform efforts. Assessing policy options as presented in the voluminous literature on the Arab Spring and based on cross-country experience, this paper concludes that sustainable and inclusive growth calls for a two pronged approach: short term measures that revive growth momentum and partially allay popular concerns; complemented with efforts to adjust the public’s expectations and prepare the ground for structural reforms that will deliver the desired longer tem performance.

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

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
The Selected Issues paper on Jordan analyzes the Jordanian dinar, which has historically operated within a fixed exchange rate regime. The deterioration in 2004 and 2005 reflected an exceptionally rapid increase in imports, as the saving-investment balance shifted. Following an improvement in 2006, the current account again deteriorated in 2007 from a negative impact of international food and fuel prices. Import developments have been the single most important determinant of swings in the current account, followed to a lesser extent by the impact of exports and grants.
Mr. Andreas Billmeier and Tommaso Nannicini
Studies of the impact of trade openness on growth are based either on cross-country analysis-which lacks transparency-or case studies-which lack statistical rigor. We apply transparent econometric methods drawn from the treatment evaluation literature to make the comparison between treated (i.e., open) and control (i.e., closed) countries explicit while remaining within a unified statistical framework. First, matching estimators highlight the rather far-fetched country comparisons underlying common cross-country results. When appropriately restricting the sample, we confirm a positive and significant effect of openness on growth. Second, we apply synthetic control methods-which account for endogeneity due to unobservable heterogeneity-to countries that liberalized their trade regime and we show that trade liberalization has often had a positive effect on growth.