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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

Abstract

The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach has been broadly accepted as the operational framework for bringing together national policies and development assistance in support of low-income countries’ efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The IMF, the World Bank, and other multilateral and bilateral development agencies are now committed to using the PRSP operational framework to support low-income countries; and the IMF is aligning the content and process of its operations to reflect this commitment.

Thomas K. Morrison

Abstract

1.1 The importance of statistical information in the public arena is well established. Increasingly in the past decade, events and developments have propelled efforts to improve the quality of statistics. The financial crises of the 1990s increased attention to the timeliness and reliability of statistics. In addition, a heightened emphasis worldwide on good governance, transparency, and accountability underpinned the drive to improve data quality.

Abstract

The IMF’s involvement in social issues has to be seen in the context of its mandate. The mandate, as laid down in its Articles of Agreement, is clear: (1) to promote international monetary cooperation; (2) to facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to contribute thereby to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income; (3) to promote exchange stability and to maintain orderly exchange arrangements among members; (4) to assist in the establishment of a multilateral payments system; and (5) to give confidence to members by providing temporary financial resources to help them correct balance of payments disequilibria. Given this essentially macroeconomic mandate, the IMF’s contribution to social development is mainly indirect, and its role in social policy advice is necessarily limited. Nevertheless, the IMF’s involvement in social issues has evolved over time, drawing not only from its own experience but also from that of member countries and of other agencies.

Ronald Hicks and Odd Per Brekk

Abstract

This case study of Malawi illustrates a practical approach for assessing the impact of structural adjustment policies on poverty. Malawi initiated a structural adjustment program in 1987, which, since mid-1988, has been supported by the IMF through an arrangement under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF), the first such program with an IMF member country. The pervasive nature of poverty in Malawi was recognized in formulating the ESAF-supported program. Social and demographic indicators for Malawi are shown in Table 10.1. Five principal factors were viewed as obstacles to poverty abatement in Malawi: (1) limited employment opportunities; (2) low physical productivity of land and labor, leading to low agricultural output; (3) poor health and educational services, which undermined the development of efficient and productive human capital; (4) rapid population growth, which created severe pressure on land resources; and (5) minimal income transfers. The macroeconomic objectives of the ESAF-supported program—the resumption of high-quality sustainable economic growth, the maintenance of a viable external position, and price stability—were aimed at providing impetus to improved economic welfare, which would benefit all groups in the economy, including the poor. Similarly, the program’s structural policies—most notably import liberalization, tax reform, and reforms of the agricultural and financial sectors—were intended to improve efficiency and longer-term economic growth across a wide spectrum of the economy and provide a stimulus to employment, including jobs for the poor. At the same time, it was recognized that the process of economic adjustment and structural change could have short-run adverse effects across the economy, including ramifications for the poor and disadvantaged who were less able to cope. These concerns required giving consideration to modifying policy instruments, or perhaps taking specific remedial measures to ease the burden of adjustment for certain population groups.

Paulo S. Lopes and Emilio Sacerdoti

Abstract

By any income standard or measure of living conditions, Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite its rich natural resources, inadequate production planning and acute social conflicts that had come to the open in the mid-1970s led the country into an alarming situation where the survival of the majority of the population depended on foreign aid. Starting in 1987, economic reforms were launched that have contributed to arresting the contractionary trends that had hindered the economy since the early 1980s.

Gerd Schwartz

Abstract

Poland was one of the first economies to undertake the transition from plan to market. This chapter looks at the safety net that existed at the outset, describes how it was reformed during the transition, and analyzes how the poor and needy fared during this process.