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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The IMF has three core functions: surveillance over the policies of its member countries, financing in support of IMF-backed adjustment programs, and technical assistance. Of these three core functions, surveillance is the most important and has the broadest implications. Given this importance, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the Executive Board, and the Managing Director have called surveillance a critical area in need of strengthening.1

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

We now turn to our evaluation of the content and quality of the IMF’s multilateral surveillance outputs. We begin by discussing the selection of issues analyzed as part of multilateral surveillance, showing how they reflect the IMF’s comparative advantage. We then consider the relevance and timeliness of the issues selected for analysis by using as a benchmark the importance attached by national policymakers in the G-7 and G-20 process. We likewise assess the relevance and timeliness of the risks identified in multilateral surveillance by comparing them to the risks identified by other international and national bodies. We look at the integration of multilateral and bilateral surveillance by analyzing the IMF’s policy advice and macroeconomic forecasts. And we assess the integration of macroeconomic and capital market analysis by identifying how multilateral surveillance combines these alternative approaches to analyze relevant issues.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

We now consider issues related to the use and delivery of the IMF’s multilateral surveillance products. We look first at how multilateral surveillance informs bilateral surveillance. We then discuss whether the multilateral surveillance message is reaching the intended external audience, including how well the delivery of the message is exploiting the potential for peer pressure. We consider whether the presentation of surveillance products is sufficiently focused on areas where the IMF can offer the greatest value added and is done in a way that maximizes its impact. We then offer a few observations on the ultimate impact of IMF multilateral surveillance on policies adopted in major countries.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) Annual Report 2012 presents an overview of overall developments in FY2012. In FY2012, the IEO expended approximately 97 percent of its total budgetary resources, including the approved budget amount and the resources carried forward from FY2011 as authorized. Vacancies amounted to about one and one-half staff years over the course of the financial year. This level of vacancies is within the range of what could be expected in a small organization with structural difficulties in recruitment and retention.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluation on International Reserves: IMF Concerns and Country Perspectives was discussed by the Board in December 2012. This evaluation examined the IMF’s analysis of the effect of reserves on the stability of the international monetary system and its advice on reserve adequacy assessments in the context of bilateral surveillance. In the multilateral context, the evaluation acknowledged the IMF’s broader work stream on the international monetary system but noted that this work had not sufficiently informed the analysis and recommendations regarding reserves. The IEO evaluation of The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor was discussed by the Board in February 2013. This evaluation found that perceptions of the IMF had improved, but that they varied markedly by region and country type. Recognizing that there will always be an inherent tension between the IMF’s roles as a global watchdog and as a trusted advisor to member country authorities, the evaluation report explored how the IMF could sustain the more positive image it had achieved in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. The evaluation found that among key challenges facing the IMF were improving the value added and relevance of IMF advice and overcoming the perception of a lack of even-handedness.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Drawing on evidence from a sample of emerging market economies over the period 1990-2004, this evaluation report reviews the IMF’s approach to capital account liberalization and related issues. The evaluation seeks to contribute to transparency by documenting what in practice has been the IMF's approach to these issues and to identify areas where the IMF’s instruments and operating methods might be improved, in order to deal with these issues more effectively.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Surveillance is a core function of the IMF, a critical element of its toolkit for promoting global financial stability. Multilateral surveillance brings into analysis economic linkages and policy spillovers between countries, as well as international economic and market developments. This evaluation report covers the IMF’s multilateral surveillance activities during 2000–05 and addresses a variety of questions: Do the issues analyzed under multilateral surveillance reflect the IMF’s comparative advantage? Are these issues relevant and timely? How well are macroeconomic and capital market surveillance combined in the analysis of relevant issues? How well are the messages of multilateral surveillance presented? And does multilateral surveillance have an impact on country policies? The evaluation concludes with recommendations for the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) is a joint IMF–World Bank initiative to provide countries with comprehensive evaluations of their financial systems.The IEO evaluation assessed the effectiveness of the FSAP from the perspective of the IMF. The main findings address the following areas: the nature of priority setting under the FSAP; the efficiency of FSAP processes and quality of the main diagnostic tools; the overall quality of FSAP content; how well the IMF has used FSAP results in its surveillance, technical assistance, and program activities; and evidence on the overall impact of the FSAP on the domestic policy dialogue, changes in policies and institutions, and market participants.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The IEO’s report provides timely input to the on-going reflection on strengthening a crucial aspect of Fund surveillance. As emphasized in my September 2005 statement on the Fund’s Medium-Term Strategy, multilateral surveillance is one of the Fund’s most critical responsibilities. Therefore, I am gratified and encouraged by the IEO’s generally positive assessment of the key outputs produced by the Fund in this area, and welcome the report’s focus on ways to increase the effectiveness of the Fund’s multilateral surveillance. The accompanying staff statement provides a more detailed response to the report’s findings and recommendations.