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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Since May 2016, the IEO has completed two evaluations—The IMF and the Crises in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal and The IMF and Social Protection—and one evaluation update—Multilateral Surveillance: Revisiting the 2006 IEO Evaluation. The IEO has also launched three new evaluations—which will analyze the Fund’s role on fragile states, its financial surveillance activities, and its advice on unconventional monetary policies—and two evaluation updates—which will look into the Fund’s exchange rate policy advice and structural conditionality. In addition, outside its regular work program, the IEO has published two books: The International Monetary Fund and the Learning Organization: The Role of Independent Evaluation (Schwartz and Rist, 2016) and Background Papers for the IMF and the Crises in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal (Schwartz and Takagi, 2017).

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Effective follow-up is critical to ensuring that the IMF gets the full benefits of IEO evaluations. The focus is placed on the implementation of evaluation recommendations approved by the Executive Board, as laid out in a Management Implementation Plan (MIP).

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This report sets out the main findings and recommendations of an independent evaluation of the IMF’s role and performance in the determination of the external resource envelope in low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The evaluation concentrated on aid—the principal source of external financing for most such countries—and in particular on how the IMF has interfaced with country recipients and donors in shaping the provision and use of aid in the pursuit of poverty reduction and other development goals. It focused on programs supported by the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)—the IMF’s primary instrument for operational work in SSA.

Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky

Abstract

The IMF and the World Bank introduced the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach in 1999 to strengthen their approach to providing assistance to low-income countries, including both new financial assistance and debt relief under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative. The new approach was accompanied by the transformation of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF)—the IMF’s concessional lending window—into the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), with a view to giving a more central role to pro-poor growth considerations in the design of IMF-supported programs in low-income countries.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This chapter reports on the evaluation’s findings about aid-related issues in the design of PRGF-supported programs. It covers (1) the links between aid and current account and fiscal adjustment in PRGFs; (2) PRGFs’ analysis of aid; and (3) the PRGF’s pro-poor and pro-growth agenda.1 The chapter’s focus is on program design—both for the initial PRGF program period and for subsequent program periods following reviews—as it is at the design stage that Fund staff’s inputs and contributions are most clearly seen.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This chapter sets out relevant findings about Fund relationships with the authorities, donors, multi-lateral partners, and local civil society groups. It draws on face-to-face interviews and the evaluation survey.1 A key contextual issue is the changing operating environment for aid to SSA, with donors increasingly decentralizing resources and decision making to country offices with implications for how the IMF is perceived, given its more limited field presence (see Box 3.1). The evidence presented in the chapter suggests major differences of views between how IMF staff see themselves and how partners and stakeholders see them, especially in the aid arena. It thus raises questions about how the IMF acquires and processes feedback about its own performance—in view of the intrinsic value of such feedback for self-assessment, learning, and accountability and the information that such feedback may carry about changing conditions on the ground, as an input into strategy formulation and action planning.2

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This chapter looks at the institutional drivers of the trends discussed above. It focuses on Board-approved policies, management communications and guidance, and the implications for priorities for action by operational staff.