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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

, promised at the G-8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005, can help countries meet the poverty-fighting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The project was conceived in September 2007, when the United Nations established an MDG Africa Steering Group, which brings together the leaders of multilateral institutions—including the IMF—to identify practical steps needed for Africa to achieve the MDGs. A working group is looking at issues such as education, agriculture, health, trade, statistics, aid predictability, and how development partners can work more effectively on the ground to

Mr. Jan Walliser and Oya Celasun

A frequently voiced concern of countries that receive development aid is that assistance flows are not predictable. In most years, the amount of aid disbursed differs widely from the amounts expected, and because most aid recipients lack access to international capital markets, they cannot borrow externally when expected aid fails to arrive. As a result, recipient governments are forced to adjust spending plans at short notice when promised aid is not provided or when additional aid is disbursed unexpectedly. Enhancing aid predictability has therefore been a

Eckhard Deutscher and Sara Fyson

bilateral donor agencies, 242 multilateral programs, 24 development banks, and about 40 United Nations agencies are working in the development business. The increasing number of private foundations and the existence of so many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) add to the complexity. The proliferation of donor activities—including an estimated 340,000 development projects around the world—leads us to question current ways of managing the aid business. Indeed, a slew of factors combine to make aid effectiveness less than optimal. They include lack of aid predictability

International Monetary Fund
In September 2007, the UN Secretary General launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Africa Steering and Working Groups. The Steering Group brings together the leaders of multilateral institutions to identify practical steps needed for Africa to achieve the MDGs. The Managing Director of the IMF is a member of the Steering Group. The Working Group supports the Steering Group and is comprised of thematic groups in education, agriculture, health, infrastructure and trade facilitation, statistics, aid predictability, and MDG operationalization at the country level. The following three notes assess the macroeconomic implications of the spending of scaled-up aid to Benin, Niger, and Togo in line with that promised by the G-8 at Gleneagles, Scotland in 2005.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The September 2008 issue examines key issues facing low-income countries, including how they should respond to high oil and food prices. Some African economies are now successfully attracting international investors and are seen as a new tier of "frontier" emerging markets. Separate articles look at problems of aid effectiveness, aid predictability, and aid fragmentation. Other articles include an account by Eswar S. Prasad and Raghuram G. Rajan of their new report on financial sector reforms in India; Martin Ravallion and Dominique van de Walle draw lessons on reducing poverty from Vietnam's agrarian reforms; Sanjeev Gupta and Shamsuddin Tareq make a strong case for sub-Saharan countries to mobilize their domestic revenue bases. In addition, Simon Willson profiles Beatrice Weder di Mauro, the first woman on Germany's Council of Economic Experts; and the outgoing IMF Chief Economic Simon Johnson talks about the new drivers of global growth-emerging markets.