The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
IMF lending is conditional on a country's commitment to carry out an agreed program of economic policies. Unless that commitment is genuine and broadly held, the likelihood of implementation will be poor. Is there a conflict between national commitment and conditional finance? Are national authorities or other agents in the country less likely to "own" a reform program simply because it is conditionally financed? This paper argues that potential conflicts are reduced when program design takes the country's interests and circumstances into account and when conditionality results from a genuine process of interaction between the IMF and the borrower.