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International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

The period from May 2013 through April 2014—the IMF’s financial year 20141—saw the world economy reach a critical juncture: emerging from the greatest financial crisis in almost a hundred years. Recovery was taking hold but was too slow and faced many obstacles along the road. In her Global Policy Agenda, the IMF’s Managing Director set out bold policy steps that could overcome these obstacles and take the global economy toward more rapid and sustainable growth. The top priority was to strengthen the coherence of the policies and cooperation among policymakers, both at home and across borders: national prosperity and global prosperity are linked and depend, more than ever before, on countries working together. The IMF is indispensable for this global cooperation.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

As FY2014 drew to an end, the world economy was gradually turning the corner of the Great Recession. The recovery was gaining momentum and global financial stability was improving. Yet growth remained too slow and too weak for comfort, and millions of people were still out of jobs. Rising geopolitical risks had injected new concerns.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

Twice a year, the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda pulls together the key findings and policy advice from multilateral reports and defines a future agenda for the Fund and its members. The Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda is discussed by the Executive Board before the Annual and Spring Meetings, prior to the agenda’s presentation to the International Monetary and Financial Committee.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

In the course of overseeing the international monetary system, underpinning programs in member countries, helping countries strengthen their institutions and capacities, and monitoring member countries’ economies, the IMF provides policy advice to member countries on a variety of issues pertaining to economic stability.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

The current income model for the IMF, endorsed by the Executive Board and approved by the Board of Governors in 2008, includes the establishment of an endowment in the IMF’s Investment Account funded from the profits of the sale of a limited portion of the institution’s gold holdings (see “Gold Sales” later in the chapter). The account’s objective is to invest these resources and generate returns to contribute support to the IMF’s budget while preserving the endowment’s long-term real value. A broadening of the IMF’s investment authority to enhance returns on investments is a key element of the model. In January 2013, the Executive Board adopted new rules and regulations for the Investment Account that provided the legal framework for implementation of the expanded investment authority, authorized under the Fifth Amendment to the Articles of Agreement, which became effective in February 2011.74

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses the IMF’s engagement with countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations (hereafter referred to as fragile states or FCS). The role of the IMF in fragile states has been the subject of considerable debate. It is generally recognized that, with its crisis response and prevention mandate, the IMF has a key role to play in international efforts to help these countries, but critics say that it does not sufficiently appreciate the deep-rooted nature of the difficulties such states face or provide financial and technical resources commensurate with their challenges. While many of the issues that demand attention in these countries are outside the IMF’s core competence, and the Fund often has to operate in an environment where key decisions including by the international community are made at the political level, there have been recurrent calls for the IMF to increase and enhance its engagement. The evaluation explores these and other relevant issues by reviewing the IMF’s overall approaches and how the institution has engaged with a sample of current and former fragile states.1

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

To assess the IMF’s work on FCS, the evaluation poses the following questions:

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The IMF maintains no formal list of fragile states, and it has relied broadly on the approach taken by the World Bank in identifying such countries for internal purposes. First, a low-income country, eligible for International Development Association (IDA) assistance,10 is considered fragile if the three-year moving average of its Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) scores, prepared by the World Bank, is 3.2 or lower.11 Second, and in addition, any country is considered fragile if there has been a United Nations or regional peace-keeping/building operation there during the previous three years or if the CPIA has not been computed because of conflict. The IMF’s definition differs from the World Bank’s in that it uses the three-year CPIA average rather than the annual score.12

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The IMF’s role in fragile states, compared to other member countries, has been particularly important in: (i) providing support in early stages of macroeconomic stabilization after a period of conflict or a natural disaster; (ii) providing a macroeconomic framework valuable for coordinating policies within a country as well as for facilitating engagement by international partners; and (iii) helping to build basic policymaking and institutional capacity in the core areas of IMF expertise. In the view of most stakeholders, the IMF has played its role quite effectively in these areas, though concerns remain that its impact may not have reached full potential.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The need for collaboration and coordination among development partners in FCS work is well recognized throughout the international donor community; it was highlighted by both the 2007 OECD Principles and the 2011 New Deal Principles. Given the limited capacity of many fragile states, all bilateral donors and multilateral agencies need to collaborate and coordinate, but the need is particularly relevant for the IMF, which is a relatively minor player both as a source of financing and as a provider of technical assistance. Moreover, cooperation to form a unified position can in some instances be the most effective way of engaging with FCS over the highly politically charged issues of corruption and governance-related institutional reform. Among the interviewees for this evaluation, virtually every mission chief or resident representative assigned to a fragile state was keenly aware of the need to collaborate with development partners in order to increase the effectiveness of IMF engagement.