This report presents the results of the mid-term evaluation of the Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) financed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) covering the period April 1, 2010 to September 30, 2012. The evaluation was conducted internally by the IMF in consultation with DFID. EDDI is a five-year project (April 2010–March 2015) implemented by the IMF to improve macroeconomic statistics in 25 African countries. The project includes modules for sub-groups of countries covering national accounts, monetary statistics, government finance statistics (GFS), balance of payments statistics (BOP), and harmonization of statistics in several regional organizations.
The mid-point of a five-year project is an appropriate time for all stakeholders of the project to step back and take stock of what has been accomplished in the first half of the project, what has gone well, what aspects have been disappointing, and what might be adjusted or changed to make the remainder of the project more effective in achieving its objectives.
To facilitate this process, questionnaires were developed to obtain feedback from three groups: counterparts in participating countries, IMF module managers and experts, and DFID country and regional advisors. Recommendations made by the stakeholders that will be followed up in the second half of the project are listed as bullets in italics below.
This guide gives a framework that covers the resource-specific issues to be considered in a fiscal transparency assessment, for example as part of a fiscal Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs). Equally importantly, it provides a summary overview of generally recognized good or best practices for transparency of resource revenue management that can be used by countries themselves, as well as by the IMF, the World Bank, and others providing technical support.
This paper provides background to the Board paper on Macro Policy Lessons for a Sound Design of Fiscal Decentralization. It summarizes the findings and recommendations of the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) for ten countries to which it provided advice on fiscal decentralization. The selected countries (Bolivia, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kosovo, Liberia, FYR Macedonia, Mexico, and Nigeria) represent different regions, varying institutional arrangements, and diverse stages of the decentralization process.
While the impact of the global crisis has been severe, real per capita GDP growth stayed positive in two-thirds of low-income countries (LICs), unlike in previous global downturns, and in contrast to richer countries. The crisis affected LICs not so much through the terms of trade or global interest rates, but rather through a sharp contraction in export demand, foreign direct investment, and remittances (oil exporters also suffered from a sharp fall in oil prices). LICs saw the sharpest decline in their economic growth rate over the last four decades. However, this slowdown followed a period of strong expansion, and real per capita GDP growth has generally held up in LICs, remaining well above growth in richer countries.
The review of PRGT eligibility continues to be guided by the principles of maintaining a transparent, rules-based, and parsimonious framework—ensuring uniformity of treatment across members in similar situations while taking appropriate account of country-specific circumstances. The graduation policy seeks to maintain broad alignment with the World Bank’s IDA graduation practices, while also remaining consistent with the principle of ensuring the self-sustainability of the PRGT’s lending capacity over time.
The paper concludes that the existing framework remains broadly appropriate, but could be enhanced in a few areas, including: Making use of additional data sources, namely the IMF BEL database, in assessing that a country has durable and substantial market access, supplementing the current reliance on the World Bank’s IDS database that is produced with a significant lag; Sharpening the specification of circumstances under which the presence of serious short-term vulnerabilities would justify non-graduation of a country that meets the income graduation criterion. This would entail limiting the application of the serious short-term vulnerabilities criterion for countries that exceed the applicable income graduation threshold by 50 percent or more.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The Methodology review identified three broad areas for improving the EBA-Lite methodology: (1) expanding the fundamentals and policy determinants in the CA and REER regressions to better capture the external balance of EBA-Lite countries; (2) identifying alternatives to regression models for external assessments of large exporters of exhaustible commodities; and (3) a revised approach for the assessment of external sustainability in highly indebted economies. Accordingly, the revised methodology consists of three modules:
1) Regression Module
2) Module for External Assessments of Exporters of Exhaustible Commodities
3) Module for the Assessment of External Sustainability
There has been a rapid expansion of pan-African banks (PABs) in recent years, with seven major PABs having a presence in at least ten African countries: three of these are headquartered in Morocco, two in Togo, and one each in Nigeria and South Africa. Additional banks, primarily from Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, have a regional presence with operations in at least five countries. PABs have a systemic presence in around 36 countries. Overall, the PABs are now much more important in Africa than the long-established European and American banks.
This supplement presents the analytical frameworks underlying the IMF’s staff’s enhanced policy analysis and advice to resource-rich developing countries (RRDCs). The proposed macro-fiscal models, which are applied to selected country or regional cases, are aimed at addressing questions regarding how to deal with resource revenue uncertainty and how to scale up spending within relevant frameworks that ensure fiscal and external sustainability while addressing absorptive capacity constraints. The country applications confirm the importance attached by both IMF staff and country authorities of using the appropriate macro-fiscal frameworks to address the specific challenges faced by RRDCs.
Fiscal decentralization has been, and remains high on the policy agenda of many countries. It is mainly driven by political pressures, which tend to be especially evident in countries with multiple ethnicities, and/or wide regional disparities in incomes or resource endowments. More generally, decentralization pressures frequently reflect a desire for more participatory government and greater voice of local constituents in the allocation of budgetary resources. Regardless of its motivation, fiscal decentralization can have important macroeconomic implications. Therefore, Fund advice to member countries (whether in the context of surveillance, program design, or technical assistance) has often focused on the design and implementation of intergovernmental fiscal arrangements. This paper distills the main lessons from the Fund’s engagement with member countries in this area, drawing in particular, (but not exclusively) on technical assistance (TA) provided by the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) to ten countries which are broadly representative of the range of members that have requested assistance in this area.