International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
January 1990
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

Technical Assistance and Training, Relations with International Organizations, and External Relations

Technical assistance and training are extended by the Fund to members in a wide range of economic and financial areas, either at Fund headquarters or through staff missions to a member country. Staff from almost every department and bureau of the Fund may be provided in response to members’ requests. Assistance may relate to a whole range of subjects, including economic policy, balance of payments adjustment programs, legal matters, debt management, exchange and trade issues, financial sector topics, and accounting, statistics, and data processing.

The IMF Institute trains officials of member countries, both at headquarters and overseas, through courses and seminars held in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. It also organizes briefings for visiting officials and assists training programs of member countries and other international organizations by providing lecturers in the Fund’s fields of expertise.

During 1989/90, training at headquarters consisted of 14 courses and 3 seminars for senior officials, attended by 511 participants. This program included, for the first time, two 10-week courses on techniques of financial analysis and programming, and two 8-week courses on programming and policies for medium-term adjustment. The former course extended the previous 8-week course on techniques of economic analysis to allow coverage of some basic financial programming techniques and related policy issues. The course on programming and policies for medium-term adjustment reviewed techniques and policy issues in the formulation and implementation of programs. In addition, there were presentations of three 16-week courses on financial analysis and policy; with the development of the course on techniques of financial analysis and programming, the longer financial analysis and policy course is being phased out of the program. There were also presentations of three 10-week courses on public finance, two 8-week courses on balance of payments methodology, and two 8-week courses on government finance statistics. Courses on public finance were conducted in collaboration with the Fiscal Affairs Department, and those on balance of payments methodology and government finance statistics with the Bureau of Statistics. High-level seminars on budgeting and expenditure control and on current legal issues affecting central banks were conducted in collaboration with the Fiscal Affairs and Legal Departments, respectively. A seminar on the design of Fund-supported adjustment programs was conducted by the IMF Institute. The Institute also organized 25 briefings at headquarters, for a total of 245 visiting officials.

The Institute conducted 15 overseas seminars and workshops and provided assistance through lectures to four training organizations. This represented a significant expansion of the Institute’s external training program, which was facilitated by the availability of financing from the UN Development Program (UNDP).

The provision of technical assistance to Fund member countries continued to represent a major part of the Fiscal Affairs Departments activities. As in previous years, technical assistance in the fiscal field covered a wide range of issues, including tax policy and administration; budget presentation, preparation, and control; government accounting; fiscal reporting; and public enterprise finances. While the bulk of this assistance was given to developing countries, the department also provided technical advice to an increasing number of industrial countries, as well as to the Eastern European countries.

Moreover, with the rapid expansion of SAF and ESAF activities, fiscal technical assistance played a key role in the design of Fund-supported structural adjustment programs. Following detailed technical analysis by the Fiscal Affairs Department, recommendations were made to increase government revenue, mainly through a broadening of the tax base; to rationalize expenditure policy; to improve fiscal reporting; and to strengthen control procedures.

With the continued increase in the number of Fund-supported structural adjustment programs, and the important changes taking place in Eastern Europe, the department’s technical assistance activity expanded rapidly in 1989/90, mainly through short-term staff or panel missions. Assistance was provided to 76 countries (up from 57 in 1988/89); this included 29 long-term panel and 92 short-term, staff/panel assignments in the field (compared with 24 and 69, respectively), involving 85 panel members and 45 staff members (compared with 61 and 34, respectively). Departmental staff at headquarters continued to provide support guidance to experts in the field. Following the signing, in July 1989, of an agreement between the UNDP and the Fund, enabling the latter to act as an executing agency for technical assistance, the Fiscal Affairs Department undertook two UNDP-financed consultancy assignments in 1989/90.

The Central Banking Department provides technical assistance on central banking and financial sector issues through the assignment of outside experts and through staff advisory missions. The objective is to strengthen monetary policy management and the regulation and development of the financial system, often as part of the framework for Fund-supported adjustment programs.

In 1989/90, 164 experts and consultants were assigned by the department to executive and advisory positions with the monetary authorities of 73 member countries and four regional organizations, for a total of 75 man-years of assistance. Ninety percent of this assistance was in the broad areas of research and policy, bank regulation and supervision, and banking operations in general. The specialized fields of accounting, organization and methods, and external debt made up the remaining 10 percent. A number of projects with the Fund serving as executing agency for the UNDP were being planned. The first such project document, for assistance to a member in the field of bank supervision, was signed in April 1990.

Departmental staff carried out 34 advisory missions during 1989/ 90, giving advice on a wide range of policy issues, including design of monetary instruments, development of securities markets, bank regulation and supervision, the structure of the financial system, and (in cooperation with the Legal Department) banking legislation. In addition, departmental staff participated in two joint Bank-Fund advisory missions.

Policy-oriented research by the department included completion of a series of studies on the causes and impact of financial crises; papers on central bank independence and functions; and financial sector reform in Eastern Europe. The department’s computerized data base on banking legislation was continuously updated during the year. It now contains laws from 138 countries, mostly central and general banking laws. This data base is an important source of information for member countries and other departments of the Fund.

In 1989/90, the Bureau of Statistics continued its program of technical assistance in statistics. Particular attention was devoted to assisting members that were actual or prospective users of Fund resources or whose statistical base was at an early stage of development Technical assistance was primarily provided through staff missions to address problems in specific areas. However, several multi-topic missions responded to situations where member countries were encountering statistical problems in a number of areas simultaneously. The principal areas of statistics covered were money and banking, government finance, balance of payments, and the general economy. Training activities at headquarters consisted of familiarizing national statisticians with current statistical methodologies as well as their application to individual cases.

A total of 36 technical assistance missions to 31 countries was mounted and training was provided at headquarters to officials from 11 member countries. A seminar in money and banking statistics was held in Dakar. Bureau staff lectured at seminars organized by the Arab Monetary Fund in public finance and money and banking statistics. Similar assistance was also provided for seminars on balance of payments statistics organized by the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA).

In 1989/90, the Bureau of Statistics initiated an expanded program of technical assistance, implementing projects that generally require the services of a resident statistical adviser. This development, which resulted from the signature of an Executive Agency Agreement with the UNDP and the availability of resources from an Administered Account for Japan, will make it possible to provide a much broader range of technical assistance in statistics and enable the Bureau to tackle statistical problems in a more comprehensive manner than before.

The Bureau of Computing Services provides technical assistance in electronic data processing to member countries. This assistance is narrowly defined in that it must be in direct support of Fund operational programs, be deemed necessary to facilitate the work of economic missions of the Fund, and be concerned only with the Fund’s areas of expertise. During 1989/90, the Bureau conducted one mission to Myanmar to provide guidance on computer issues relating to tax administration, customs, and budgeting. Looking ahead to the next several years, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in the number of requests for short-term electronic data processing technical assistance. With many member countries now developing computer systems to process, analyze, and manage economic information, and with the continuing explosion of desktop microcomputers and associated application software, member countries may look toward the Fund for overall guidance on the development of capabilities to collect, store, process, and exchange economic and financial data with the Fund. Such guidance is likely to include advice in data organization and management, statistical processing, and estimation and modeling.

In 1989/90, the Bureau continued to receive a large number of delegations and visitors from member countries for training in analytical software. Also, there were numerous short technology training sessions that focused on the various Fund computer applications. Formal training and presentations were given to visitors from Bhutan, Canada, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Honduras, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Venezuela, and three regional institutions. To date, ten member countries have purchased and are now using the analytical software under the IMF site license agreement. In addition, some 45 demonstration copies of this software have been distributed to member countries and to regional and international institutions for evaluation and testing.

Relations with Other International Organizations

Cooperation with other international and regional organizations having related responsibilities or sharing common interests is important in enabling the Fund to fulfill its responsibilities. Close ties are maintained with, among others, the United Nations, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Commission of the European Communities (CEC), and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

An important responsibility for liaison with these organizations rests with three offices located away from Fund headquarters. The Director of the Fund Office in the United Nations and Special Representative to the United Nations is responsible for relations with the UN and its subsidiary bodies. The Office in Europe, in Paris, deals in particular with the BIS, CEC, and OECD. The Geneva Office maintains close relations with the GATT, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, and other UN organizations located in Geneva, such as the Economic Commission for Europe and the International Labor Office. Liaison includes attendance at meetings, participation in seminars and expert groups, and exchange of information and pertinent documents. The work of these offices is supplemented, as necessary, by assignment of staff and technical experts from headquarters. In addition, staff members participate in meetings and seminars, such as those of the regional economic and financial organizations in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East, including the regional development banks.

The Fund has a unique relationship with the World Bank, and collaboration between the two institutions takes a variety of forms, including joint participation in missions, attendance at each other’s Executive Board meetings, regular exchange of documents and information, and attendance at and participation in conferences and seminars. Fund staff attend a number of aid coordination meetings held under World Bank auspices, including Aid Groups, Consultative Groups, and Donors Conferences.

Long-standing cooperative arrangements with the GATT regarding consultations with common member countries on trade restrictions imposed for balance of payments purposes continue to involve staff participation and provision of pertinent documents. In addition, Fund staff attend meetings of the GATT Council of Representatives, as well as the annual sessions of the Contracting Parties to the GATT. Progress within the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations continues to be closely monitored by the Geneva Office and through staff attendance at meetings of many of the trade negotiating groups.

During the year under review, the Fund intensified its contacts with a number of international organizations that are currently engaged in, or actively considering, support for the reform efforts currently under way in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Staff members have been involved in a number of meetings aimed at coordinating assistance to these countries, including the meetings of the Group of Twenty-Four countries engaged in coordinated assistance to Hungary and Poland, under the auspices of the Commission of the EC. The Managing Director participated in one such meeting on December 13, 1989.

The Managing Director participated in other meetings convened under the auspices of various international and regional organizations, most notably the United Nations, where he attended regular meetings of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). On July 13, 1989, the Managing Director addressed the second regular session of ECOSOC in Geneva. The Managing Director also addressed the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on April 28, 1990.

External Relations

During 1989/90, the Fund continued to explain its role and policies to a wider audience. Priority was given to continuing to reverse the negative perceptions held in a number of countries. In recognition of the increasing interest being shown in the Fund by nongovernmental organizations, the academic community, and the general public, a new Public Affairs Division was formed within the External Relations Department to direct this aspect of the Fund’s information work.

The high level of interest in the activities of the Fund, both from the general public and the news media, was stimulated by the evolving events in Eastern Europe, the continuing discussions on the Ninth General Review of Quotas, and the Fund’s role in the strengthened debt strategy. To meet this expanding interest, the Managing Director and senior staff delivered speeches on a range of economic issues at both international and national forums. Staff members also delivered papers and participated in conferences, seminars, and symposiums. The seminar program for nonofficials continued to be an important aspect of the Fund’s external relations efforts. Three seminars were held in Mexico City in May 1989, in Kuala Lumpur in late June 1989, and in Brussels in October 1989.

During the financial year, the Fund intensified its contacts with the news media in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America as part of its ongoing effort to improve public understanding of the institution and its role in the international monetary system. Presentations on the role and the work of the Fund were given to representatives of academic, business, financial, labor, and political groups in member countries and at Fund headquarters. The IMF Visitors’ Center maintained an active calendar of seminars on a variety of international economic issues, as well as presenting art exhibitions (in conjunction with embassies of member countries) and other cultural events, such as film screenings and concerts.

The Fund’s publications are important in disseminating information on its work. It has a vigorous publications program and both the number of titles and the variety of subject matter have continued to expand. In order to determine better the audience for the Fund’s statistical publications and the potential demand for receiving some of these publications in electronic format, a survey was conducted by a consultant firm; as a result a number of modifications are being made in these publications. The World Economic Outlook and other publications in the series of World Economic and Financial Surveys, as well as those published in the Occasional Papers series, continue to attract considerable public attention. Effective with the May 1990 edition, the World Economic Outlook is being published in French and Spanish, as well as in English. A complete list of publications issued during the financial year appears in Table III.1.

Table III.1Publications Issued, Financial Year Ended April 30,1990
Reports and Other Documents
Annual Report of the Executive Board for the Financial Year Ended

April 30, 1989

(English, French, German, and Spanish). Free.
No. 66. The European Monetary System in the Context of the

Integration of European Financial Markets

By David Folkerts-Landau and Donald J. Mathieson.
Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, Annual Report


No. 67. The Role of National Saving in the World Economy: Recent

Trends and Prospects

By Bijan B. Aghevli, James M. Boughton, Peter J. Montiel, Delano

Villanueva, and Geoffrey Woglom.
Selected Decisions of the International Monetary Fund and Selected

Documents, Supplement to the Thirteenth Issue

(French and Spanish). Free.
No. 68. Debt Reduction and Economic Activity

By Michael P. Dooley, David Folkerts-Landau, Richard D. Haas,

Steven A. Symansky, and Ralph W. Tryon.
Selected Decisions of the International Monetary Fund and Selected

Documents, Fourteenth Issue

(English). Free.
No. 69. International Comparisons of Government Expenditure Revisited:

The Developing Countries, 1975-86

By Peter S. Heller and Jack Diamond.
Selected Decisions of the International Monetary Fund and Selected

Documents, Annex to the Fourteenth Issue

(English). Free.
Occasional Papers are available for $10.00 each, with a special

price of $7.50 each to university faculty members and students.
Summary Proceedings of the Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the

Board of Governors.

World Economic and Financial Surveys

Primary Commodities: Market Developments and Outlook

(July 1989) By the Commodities Division of the Research Department

$15.00 ($10.00 to university faculty members and students).
Periodic Publications

Balance of Payments Statistics

Vol. 40. A two-part yearbook and 12 monthly booklets. $54.00 a year.

$27.00 to university faculty members and students. $25.00 for year

book only.
Staff Studies for the World Economic Outlook (August 1989)

By the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund

$20.00 ($12.00 to university faculty members and students).
Direction of Trade Statistics

Monthly, with yearbook. $52.00 a year. $26.00 to university faculty

members and students. $18.00 for year book only.
Developments in International Exchange and Trade Systems

(September 1989)

By a staff team from the Exchange and Trade Relations Department.

$25.00 ($15.00 to university faculty members and students).
Government Finance Statistics Yearbook

Vol. 13, 1989. (Introduction and titles of lines in English, French, and

Spanish) $32.00. $16.00 to university faculty members and students.
World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International

Monetary Fund

(October 1989)

$20.00 ($12.00 to university faculty members and students).
International Financial Statistics

Monthly, with yearbook (English, French, and Spanish) and two

supplements (English). $148.00 a year. $74.00 to university faculty

members and students. $30.00 for yearbook only.
International Capital Markets: Developments and Prospects

(April 1990) By a Staff Team from the Exchange and Trade Relations and Research

Departments. $20.00 ($12.00 to university faculty members and

Staff Papers

Four times a year. $24.00 a year. $12.00 to university faculty members

and students.
Officially Supported Export Credits: Development and Prospects

(May 1990).

$15.00 ($10.00 to university faculty members and students).
The five publications listed above may be obtained at a special

rate of $230.00 ($115.00 to university faculty members and students).

Magnetic tape subscriptions to Balance of Payments Statistics,

Direction of Trade Statistics, Government Finance Statistics Yearbook,

and International Financial Statistics are also available. Price information

is available on request.
World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International

Monetary Fund

(May 1990) (English, French, and Spanish).

$30.00 ($20.00 to university faculty members and students).
Finance and Development

Issued jointly with the World Bank; quarterly (English, Arabic, Chinese,

French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish). Free.

Analytical Issues in Debt

Edited by Jacob A. Frenkel, Michael P. Dooley, and Peter Wickham.

IMF Survey

Twice monthly, but only once in December (English, French, and

Spanish). Private firms and individuals are charged at an annual rate

of $45.00.
Fiscal Policy, Economic Adjustment, and Financial Markets

Edited by Mario Monti.

Occasional Papers

No. 65. Managing Financial Risks in Indebted Developing Countries

By Donald J. Mathieson, David Folkerts-Landau, Timothy Lane, and

Iqbal Zaidi.
Fiscal Policy, Stabilization, and Growth in Developing Countries

Edited by Mario I. Blejer and Ke-Young Chu.

The Fund Agreement in the Courts, Volume IVBooklets
By Joseph GoldPromoting Economic Stability: The IMF’s Compensatory and
$45.00Contingency Financing Facility
By David M. Cheney (French and Spanish). Free.
Macroeconomic Policies in an interdependent World
Edited by Ralph C. Bryant, David A. Currie, Jacob A. Frenkel, PaulThe Fund’s International Banking Statistics
R. Masson, and Richard Portes.By Joslin LandeJI-Mills (French and Spanish).
Privatization and Structural Adjustment in the Arab CountriesPublications Catalog, 1989-90. Free.
Edited by Said El-Naggar (English and Arabic).
Pamphlet Series
No. 44. SDRs, Currencies, and Gold: Seventh Survey of New LegalCopies of the Fund’s publications may be obtained from Publication
DevelopmentsServices, International Monetary Fund. 700 19th Street, N.W., Washington,
By Joseph Gold (French and Spanish). Free.D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

Executive Directors and Staff

A list of Executive Directors and their voting power on April 30, 1990 is given in Appendix VI. The changes in membership of the Executive Board during 1989/90 are shown in Appendix VII.

In the financial year ended April 30, 1990, there were 128 appointments to the Fund’s regular staff and 88 separations. At the end of the financial year, the staff numbered 1,731 and was drawn from 104 countries.

    Other Resources Citing This Publication