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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

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

Abstract

7. The evaluation assesses the IMF’s performance during the period up to the crisis, focusing primarily on 2004 through 2007.5 It is centered around three pillars, each studying a different aspect of IMF surveillance: multilateral surveillance, bilateral surveillance in systemic financial centers seen as those where the crisis originated (e.g., the United States and United Kingdom), and bilateral surveillance in selected other advanced and emerging economies that were affected by the crisis (Annex 3 lists the countries covered). The report integrates the findings, lessons, and recommendations of case studies and background papers prepared on these pillars.6

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

11. During the period 2004 through the start of the crisis in mid-2007, the IMF did not warn the countries at the center of the crisis, nor the membership at large, of the vulnerabilities and risks that eventually brought about the crisis. For much of the period the IMF was drawing the membership’s attention to the risk that a disorderly unwinding of global imbalances could trigger a rapid and sharp depreciation of the dollar, and later on the risks of inflation from rising commodity prices. The IMF gave too little consideration to deteriorating financial sector balance sheets, financial regulatory issues, to the possible links between monetary policy and the global imbalances, and to the credit boom and emerging asset bubbles. It did not discuss macro-prudential approaches that might have helped address the evolving risks. Even as late as April 2007, the IMF’s banner message was one of continued optimism within a prevailing benign global environment. Staff reports and other IMF documents pointed to a positive near-term outlook and fundamentally sound financial market conditions. Only after the eruption of financial turbulence did the IMF take a more cautionary tone in the October 2007 WEO and GFSR.