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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The IEO completed an evaluation of the governance of the IMF in 2008 when the stability of the international monetary system was under threat and the relevance and legitimacy of the IMF was in question. The 2008 evaluation assessed the extent to which IMF governance was effective and efficient, and whether it provided sufficient accountability and channels for stakeholder voices to be heard. It concluded that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of the Fund’s governance while accountability and voice had been the weakest, with the potential to undermine legitimacy and effectiveness if not addressed.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The 2008 evaluation assessed the degree to which Fund governance was effective and efficient, and whether it provided sufficient accountability and channels for stakeholders to have their views heard. It focused on institutional structures as well as on the formal and informal relationships among the Fund’s main governance bodies: the Executive Board (“Board”), Management (the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Directors), and the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). Overall, it found that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of Fund governance, which allowed for quick and consistent action particularly in times of systemic crisis. On the other hand, accountability and voice had been the weakest aspects, which the evaluation considered would likely undermine legitimacy and effectiveness over the medium term if left unaddressed.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Significant progress has been made over the past decade towards reforming IMF governance, notably towards realigning quota and voice with member country positions in the global economy. There have also been numerous developments relative to the Board, Management, and the IMFC since the IEO evaluation. This chapter summarizes these developments as well as highlights areas where there has not been much change since 2008.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

As laid out in Chapter 3, Fund governance has evolved since the 2008 evaluation, aided by various reform initiatives. This chapter analyzes the current state of Fund governance, considering each of the Fund’s main governance bodies—the Board, Management, and the IMFC—in turn. The assessment in this chapter is informed by a desk review of internal documents; data analysis; the views of EDs, country authorities, Management, and senior Fund staff obtained through interviews; and discussions with external experts. Survey responses are presented as supplementary information but are not used as the primary source for findings given low response rates.24

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Since 2008, a series of reforms have strengthened IMF governance in a number of ways. The 2008 and 2010 quota and voice reforms achieved a sizable reduction in misalignments of member country voting power with the evolving global economy while protecting representation of low-income members. Other reforms, mainly in the area of Board practices and procedures, have improved efficiency and raised the Board’s capacity to deliver on its executive, strategic, and oversight roles. The recent introduction of Board self-evaluation, a more open archives policy, modifications to the MD’s accountability framework, and the establishment of the Office of Risk Management are steps toward greater accountability and learning. These changes as well as the underlying efforts by IMF governance bodies to make them happen deserve full recognition.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

El autor -quien ocupó un alto cargo en el FMI durante dos décadas- en primer lugar centra la atención en el sistema de cuotas y la distribución del poder de voto en el FMI y concluye que se requieren reformas para lograr una mayor equidad entre los países miembros. Seguidamente examina cómo se toman las decisiones en el Directorio Ejecutivo, con énfasis en la formación de consenso en una institución basada en la cooperación, y el historial de supervisión política del sistema monetario internacional a través del Comité Provisional y su sucesor, el Comité Monetario y Financiero Internacional. En ese contexto, el autor también aborda el impacto que tienen en las decisiones que toma el FMI las actividades de los grupos de países miembros, así como los intereses divergentes de los principales accionistas. Posteriormente señala las características distintivas de las crisis financieras de la década de 1990 y examina cómo repercuten en la estructura de gobierno del FMI. El ensayo concluye con una evaluación de la estructura de gobierno del FMI.

Marwan Muasher

Two years ago, citizens in the Arab world—fired by their ideals and visions of a better life—ignited a social movement that inspired people around the globe. In Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen—the so-called Arab countries in transition—people embraced change, ushering in a new era. This issue of F&D looks at the difficulties of this transition, focusing on long-standing forces that shape the region’s economy and offering options for moving ahead to achieve strong, inclusive growth. • Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, maps out an agenda for modernizing and diversifying the region’s economies in “Toward Prosperity for All.” • In “Freedom and Bread Go Together,” Marwan Muasher addresses the intersection of economic progress and political change. • Vali Nasr, in a Point of View column, underscores the vital role small and medium-sized enterprises play in a successful democratic transition. Elsewhere in this issue, we look at how surging oil and gas production in the United States could shake up global energy markets; the effect of uncertainty on economic growth; and Mexico’s competitiveness rebound. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Christina Romer, former chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers and an architect of the U.S. stimulus package; and the latest installment in our Back to Basics series explains how structural policies help to both stabilize and strengthen economies.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

In 2008, the IEO undertook an evaluation on the IMF governance and concluded that effectiveness had been the strongest aspect of IMF governance, while accountability and voice had been the weakest. Since then, IMF governance has been strengthened aided by quota and voice reforms to address misalignments in shares and chairs as well as numerous improvements in governance procedures and practices. The update finds that IMF governance has proven its effectiveness in supporting the Fund to fulfill its mandates, but concerns remain on voice and accountability. Challenges remain related to representation and voice, interaction between governance bodies, the selection process for management, and the role of the G20 in IMF governance. Addressing these challenges will take time and may be subject to difficult tradeoffs between governance objectives such as preserving effectiveness while ensuring appropriate representation.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The author-a top decision maker at the IMF for two decades-first focuses on the system of quotas and voting power in the IMF and concludes that it calls for reforms to enhance equity among the membership. He then examines decision making in the Executive Board, with an emphasis on consensus building in a cooperative institution, and the record of political oversight of the international monetary system through the Interim Committee and its successor, the International Monetary and Financial Committee. In that context, the author also comments on the impact on IMF decision making of the activities of groups of members, and of the differing interests of major shareholders. Thereafter, he recalls the distinctive features of the financial crises of the 1990s and examines their evolving implications for IMF governance. The essay concludes with an appraisal of IMF governance.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Remarkable efforts were made at international institution building toward the end of World War II. In addition to the establishment of the United Nations, the global political organization, they involved the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the forerunner of the World Trade Organization (WTO). They became the key institutions in the financial, developmental, and trade fields. Today, nearly six decades later, the world’s trade and financial systems have been fundamentally transformed with the pervasive postwar controls abandoned in favor of a system closer to one of globalized free markets. At the same time, the community of nations has become vastly more diversified. The number of independent countries has tripled or quadrupled and these countries demonstrate remarkably different cultural identities, levels of development and welfare, and experience with self-determination.