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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

1. The purpose of this evaluation is to examine technical assistance (TA) provided by the IMF to its member countries and to derive operational recommendations that can enhance the contribution of TA to the overall IMF mandate.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation examines the technical assistance (TA) provided by the IMF to its member countries. The evaluation is based on desk reviews of a broad sample of countries, analyses of cross-country data on TA, six in-depth country case studies, reviews of past evaluations, and interviews with IMF staff and other stakeholders. The objective of the IMF TA is to contribute to the development of the productive resources of member countries by enhancing the effectiveness of economic policy and financial management.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

15. In 1999, the IMF’s Office of Internal Audit and Inspection (OIA) carried out a comprehensive evaluation of IMF TA covering the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD), the Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department (MAE, now Monetary and Financial Systems Department (MFD)), and the Statistics Department (STA). Several issues raised in Chapter 1 were addressed by this evaluation.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

28. In this chapter, we analyze major trends and patterns in the allocation of TA resources as defined by different accounting systems and definitions within the institution. We look at the FY1998–2004 period, for which consistent and comparable data on TA inputs can be obtained. We examine first the evolution of aggregate TA resources, and then identify patterns according to functional departments, regional groupings, and policy initiatives (as defined by the IMF’s TA Policy Statement). We also explore the factors that determine the allocation of TA among and within countries.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

49. As noted, the stated objective of IMF TA is to (a) assist countries in the design of appropriate macroeconomic and structural reforms, and (b) to strengthen members’ capacity to formulate and implement growth-oriented and poverty reducing policies. These are broad objectives, which in turn have been used to define a wide set of TA activities, including fact finding and analytical work to enhance the IMF’s knowledge in its policy dialogue and program design. These activities may include short-term TA to advise on particular policy issues or crisis situations. At the other end of the spectrum—and depending on the degree of institutional development—they may comprise longer-term TA using resident experts to improve a country’s capacity to diagnose problems and design and implement policies.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

113. This chapter examines the process of TA delivery—ranging from the design of TOR, the formulation of recommendations, the selection of modalities for providing TA, to the articulation of a dissemination strategy. We also look at how IMF experts interact with local counterparts and authorities. The discussion is based on the field work of the six country studies. A summary of major findings by country may be found in Table 5.1.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

155. This chapter presents an assessment of the impact of the main TA interventions in the six country cases. This was not a simple task. Even in the best of circumstances, the way TA interacts with other types of assistance is complex, and its impact becomes evident only with long and unpredictable lags. For this reason, the effectiveness of TA is also linked to the effectiveness of other modes of engagement. Nevertheless, we attempted to come up with a view on the effectiveness of TA in the case studies, drawing upon a series of questions and indicators about different stages of the results chain. This exercise may also generate lessons that are useful for the IMF’s efforts to improve its own monitoring and assessment of TA.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office and International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Abstract

1. This evaluation by the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) assesses the IMF’s engagement with the euro area, focusing on its surveillance and crisis management in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. In April 2010, Greece became the first euro area country to request financial support from the IMF. The IMF joined the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB)—thus constituting what informally came to be known as the troika—in providing emergency financing, with the Fund’s contribution taking the form of a three-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) approved in May; this was replaced two years later by a four-year arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) (Table 1).2 By the middle of 2013, the IMF, as part of the troika, had programs in three more euro area countries—Ireland (three-year Extended Arrangement approved in December 2010), Portugal (three-year Extended Arrangement approved in May 2011), and Cyprus (three-year Extended Arrangement approved in May 2013). In addition, the IMF provided technical assistance to Spain in support of European financial assistance for the recapitalization of Spanish financial institutions. The IMF was also active in providing policy advice to European institutions and governments throughout much of the crisis period.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

1. This evaluation assesses the performance of IMF surveillance in the run-up to the global financial and economic crisis. It examines whether the IMF identified the mounting risks and vulnerabilities that led to the crisis and effectively warned the countries directly affected as well as the membership at large about possible spillovers and contagion. The evaluation analyzes the factors that might have hindered the IMF’s effectiveness, and offers recommendations on how to strengthen its ability to discern risks and vulnerabilities and to warn the membership in the future.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office and International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Abstract

13. The third and final stage of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) began on January 1, 1999 when a common currency, the euro, was adopted by 11 member states of the European Union (EU).11 On January 1, 2001, Greece joined the euro area as its twelfth member. The EMU architecture, as specified by the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, included (i) an independent central bank, the European Central Bank (ECB), focused on price stability and (ii) a set of rules (fiscal deficit and public debt ceilings of 3 percent and 60 percent of GDP, respectively) designed to promote fiscal discipline in individual member states. The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), adopted in 1997, introduced a “corrective arm” that specified the procedure to be followed by a country violating these limits (known as the Excessive Deficit Procedure, EDP) and a “preventive arm” requiring countries to maintain fiscal positions close to balance or in surplus over the medium term.12 Banking supervision and deposit insurance remained national competencies.