Chapter

APPENDIX III: Technical Assistance and Training, Relations with International Organizations, and External Relations

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
January 1991
Share
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

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 a member’s request 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 provides lecturing assistance to training programs of member countries and other international organizations in areas of Fund expertise.

During 1990/91, training at headquarters consisted of 13 courses and three seminars for senior officials, attended by 498 participants. The program included two 12-week courses on financial programming and policy, four 10-week courses on techniques of financial analysis and programming, two 8-week courses on programming and policies for medium-term adjustment, and a 16-week course on financial analysis and policy. The financial programming and policy course covered financial programming and adjustment issues for officials with substantial macroeconomic training and practical experience; the course on techniques of financial analysis and programming provided a more elementary review of similar issues; technical and policy aspects of medium-term adjustment programs were emphasized in the course on programming and policies for medium-term adjustment; the long course on financial analysis and policy will not be presented in future years. Eight-week courses were presented on balance of payments methodology, money and banking statistics, and government finance statistics (in collaboration with the Statistics Department) and a 10-week course on public finance (in collaboration with the Fiscal Affairs Department). Seminars for senior officials were held on centrally planned economies in transition, on central banking (in collaboration with the Central Banking Department), and on social aspects of adjustment (in collaboration with the External Relations Department). The latter seminar was attended by officials of UN specialized agencies and regional offices.

The Institute conducted 18 overseas seminars and provided lecturing assistance to six training organizations in 1990/91. Five of these seminars were held in eastern European countries undergoing a transition from planned to market-oriented economies. The Institute also organized 20 briefings at headquarters for a total of 224 visiting officials.

The provision of technical assistance, for long an important part for the Fiscal Affairs Department’s activities, has increased appreciably in recent years. In 1990/91, assistance was provided to 67 countries. There were 111 missions and other short-term assignments by staff, consultants based at headquarters, and panel experts, and 36 long-term assignments by panel experts. Most of these indicators for 1990/91 point to an approximate doubling in technical assistance activity compared with three years earlier. Externally financed assignments, notably by the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Japan Administered Account, have grown in importance. In 1990/91, they accounted for about 20 percent of the total use of panel experts on short-and long-term assignments.

The department’s technical assistance has continued to be concentrated in the areas of tax policy and administration, including customs, budget preparation and control, and government accounting and treasury management. In all these areas, the design of computerized systems has assumed increasing importance in recent years. Requests for technical assistance have also been diversifying into new areas, including the design of social benefits and social security systems, partly in order to cushion the impact of price reform and other adjustment measures on living standards.

As in previous years, most of the departments technical assistance was provided to support, whether directly or indirectly, countries’ efforts in connection with Fund-supported adjustment programs. The main change in the geographical distribution of the technical assistance in 1990/91 was the strongly increased level of activity in eastern Europe: missions, generally at least two, took place to all Fund member countries in the region. Countries in other parts of the world engaged in similar reorientations of their economic structures have also absorbed considerable assistance. At the same time, the provision of technical assistance to Africa, particularly to recently independent countries, has continued to expand in absolute terms as it has to Latin America. During the year, technical assistance, whether in the form of short-term missions or long-term expert assignments, was provided to all but a handful of the countries of Central and South America.

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

In 1990/91, 194 experts and consultants were assigned to executive and advisory positions with central banks and monetary authorities of 65 member countries and four regional organizations, representing 268 assignments and totaling 81 man-years of assistance. Most of this assistance (85 percent) was in the broad areas of research and policy, bank regulation and supervision, and central banking operations. Assistance in central bank accounting, organization and methods, and external debt made up the remaining 15 percent. The first project document for UNDP-supported technical assistance to a member country was signed in April 1990. During the year, a total of 8 UNDP-supported assignments were initiated, equivalent to about 3 man-years. The Government of Japan, through the Japan Administered Account, provided grant funds, which enabled the Central Banking Department to undertake 6 assignments, equivalent to about 2 man-years.

During 1990, the Central Banking Department, in cooperation with the IMF Institute, conducted another Central Banking Seminar in the series of such seminars, with the participation of 30 senior officials from central banks and regional monetary institutions. The main theme was the role and functions of a central bank in a market-based economy. Guest speakers included governors and deputy governors from the central banks of several member countries and several other senior officials of international distinction.

Departmental staff carried out 45 advisory missions in 1990/91, giving advice on a wide range of policy issues including design of monetary instruments, development of money markets, bank regulation and supervision, recapitalization of central banks, the structure of the financial system, and (in cooperation with the Legal Department) banking legislation. In addition, departmental staff participated in one joint Bank-Fund advisory mission. The department became extensively involved in providing assistance to countries in eastern Europe. Policy-oriented research by the department in 1990/91 included completion of papers on issues in developing market-based methods of monetary control; sequencing of financial sector reforms; 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 and is an important source of information for member countries and other departments of the Fund. It now contains the laws of the central banks or monetary authorities of 142 countries, and also the general banking laws of most of them.

The Statistics Department (known as the Bureau of Statistics prior to May 1, 1991) provides technical assistance aimed at improving the basis for macroeconomic analysis and the monitoring of economic developments. The principal areas of statistics covered are balance of payments, government finance, money and banking, and real sector data. In 1990/91, the program of technical assistance continued to focus attention on countries that were actual or prospective users of Fund resources or whose statistical infrastructure was at an early stage of development. Prominent among these were the eastern European countries that were undergoing major economic restructuring.

Technical assistance is primarily provided through staff visits to address methodological and technical issues in specific areas, and increasingly through multi-topic missions that respond to the need to address multiple problems within a consistent macroeconomic framework. From its beginnings in 1989/90, the program of medium-term and long-term technical assistance activities under the Executing Agency Agreement with the UNDP and resources provided from the Japan Administered Account also continued to expand. Specialized training to familiarize national statisticians with statistical methodologies and with their application was provided at headquarters and, in collaboration with the IMF Institute, courses were offered in money and banking, government finance, and balance of payments statistics.

A total of 37 technical assistance missions to 33 countries were undertaken. Of these, 8 were multi-topic missions. Training was provided at headquarters for 10 officials from 4 member countries. A seminar in government finance statistics was held in Australia for participants from the Asian-Pacific region and Statistics Department staff lectured at a seminar on financial statistics that was sponsored by the UNDP in Geneva. Statistics Department staff also lectured on balance of payments statistics at seminars organized by the Arab Monetary Fund and by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

In 1990/91, the services of 4 resident advisors were provided to 3 countries under the Executing Agency Agreement with the UNDP or with financing from the Japan Administered Account. Medium-term and long-term technical assistance projects in 4 additional countries advanced to the implementation stage. The continued development of the program of longer-term technical assistance has made it possible for the Statistics Department to provide a much broader range of technical assistance in statistics and to address problems of institution building and the development of statistical infrastructure in a far more comprehensive manner than previously.

As in the past few years, technical assistance in the area of electronic data processing was restricted by tight budgetary policy, strict interpretation of the electronic data processing mission guidelines, and limited staff resources. The Fund’s management did, however, authorize the Bureau of Computing Services to undertake a few short-term missions to member countries (Jordan, Barbados) in direct support of the economic and financial work of the Fund. These missions provided narrowly focused advice on planning and developing systems for the automation of external debt data, implementation of time-series data bases, and guidance in the computerization of fiscal and administrative policy. Also, recently, in conjunction with Fund mission activities associated with UNDP-funded technical assistance projects for Angola, Myanmar, Namibia, and Viet Nam, the Bureau of Computing Services has been asked to actively assist the functional and area departments in structuring and monitoring the design and implementation of computing systems and automation training programs. The computing efforts will support the Fund technical assistance work program in the areas of central banking operation, tax administration, budget and treasury operations, and policy and planning.

With regard to computer training at headquarters during 1990/91, the Bureau continued to receive a large number of official visitors from 12 member countries and 5 international and regional organizations. Due to the expanding role of technology and the proliferation of microcomputers within member countries, there was particular interest in discussing and learning about the Fund’s experiences in developing and operating economic and financial data systems including data management software, and in electronic data and document access and exchange between member countries and the Fund. Technology training sessions typically consisted of 3-10 days of lectures, briefings, and demonstrations on strategic planning, management of large-scale data bases, statistical analysis and modeling, financial processing and reporting, office automation, and the use of microcomputers for desktop computing. Many country delegations were specifically interested in the hands-on, economist work station/Aremos one-week training session, which focused on data-base management, time-series programming facilities, estimation and modeling, graphics production, and report generation. During the past year, the Fund made available demonstration copies of the Aremos analytical software to ten member countries. Five countries have purchased the software and are now using it under the IMF site license agreement. Visiting officials were also interested in learning about the Fund’s application systems, training curriculum, and support provided for end-users.

Relations with Other International Organizations

Cooperation and maintenance of close relations with other international and regional organizations having related responsibilities or sharing common interests play an important role in enabling the Fund to fulfill its responsibilities with respect to international monetary and financial matters. Close ties are maintained with several organizations, including the United Nations, the Contracting Parties, to 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).

Liaison with these organizations is the special responsibility of the three offices of the Fund located away from headquarters. The Director of the Fund Office in the United Nations and the Special Representative to the United Nations is responsible for relations with the UN and its subsidiary bodies. The Office in Europe, in Paris, is particularly responsible for the Fund’s relations with the BIS, CEC, and OECD, while the Geneva Office maintains close relations with the GATT, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, and other UN organizations located in Geneva. Liaison activity 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, and by staff participation 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 and the World Bank enjoy a unique relationship, and collaboration between the two institutions has assumed a variety of forms, such as joint participation in missions, periodic 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 the auspices of the World Bank, including Aid Groups, Consultative Groups, and Donors Conferences.

As part of the long-standing cooperative arrangements with the GATT, the Fund provides pertinent documents and participates in meetings held by the GATT for consultations with common member countries on trade restrictions imposed for balance of payments purposes. In addition, meetings of the GATT Council of Representatives, as well as the annual session of the Contracting Parties to the GATT, are attended by Fund staff. 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. Reflecting the importance to the Fund of the GATT’s work in this area, the Managing Director addressed the Ministerial Level Meeting of the Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations Committee in Brussels on December 4, 1990.

The past year has witnessed a dramatic change in the orientation of the economies of central and eastern Europe, and the Fund has deepened its involvement with a number of international organizations that are currently engaged in, or actively considering, support for the reform efforts under way in the region. Staff members were involved in the preparation of a detailed study of the economy of the U.S.S.R., which was issued in December 1990. The study was prepared jointly by Fund staff and the staffs of the World Bank and OECD, and by consultants to the designated President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The Managing Director participated in a number of meetings sponsored by 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 11, 1990, he addressed the second regular session of ECOSOC in Geneva. The Managing Director also addressed the UN Conference on Least Developed Countries in Paris, on September 11, 1990, and the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in New York, on October 22, 1990. On April 18, 1991, he attended the inaugural ceremonies of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London.

External Relations

Public interest in the work of the Fund continued to grow during 1990/91, and the Fund further broadened its efforts to explain its work and policies to a wider audience.

The increased level of attention given to the Fund, both by the media and the general public, was stimulated by events in the Middle East, and the Fund’s response; the evolving reform process in eastern Europe; the IMF-convened study on the economy of the Soviet Union; the completion of work on the Ninth General Review of Quotas and the move toward adoption of the Third Amendment to the Articles of Agreement; the Fund’s continuing role in the debt strategy; and the addition of new members. To help satisfy this expanding interest, the Managing Director and senior staff delivered speeches on a broad range of economic issues at both international and national forums. Staff members also delivered papers and participated in a wide variety of conferences, seminars, and symposiums. The seminar program for nonofficials continued to play an important part in the Fund’s external relations efforts. Two seminars were held: one in San Jose, Costa Rica, in November 1990, and one in Baden, Austria, in April 1991. Also, a high-level symposium for African central bank governors, academics, and others took place in Gaborone, Botswana, in February 1991.

The Fund developed its contacts with the international news media during the financial year. Management and senior staff played an active role in expanding these contacts through interviews, press conferences, and briefings for the press to explain major issues and developments, and by participating in seminars for the media designed to broaden knowledge about the institution and its functions. At headquarters and during information missions, the external relations staff gave presentations on the role and work of the Fund to representatives of the press and to academic, business, financial, labor, and political groups from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America.

In the audio-visual field, work was completed during the financial year on a film series entitled “One World—One Economy.” This series consists of four separate films. An introductory film examines the myths and realities surrounding the Fund and clarifies its role as consultant, advisor, monitor, and lender to its member countries. The other three are country studies on Poland, Ghana, and Mexico. The series is available in a number of languages and broadcast standards and, together with an instructor’s guide, is being distributed worldwide to television stations, schools, and universities, as well as to the general public.

The IMF Visitors’ Center continued to be active in the organization of events for the local community and international visitors, with an increase in the number of seminars on international economic issues held within the Economic Forum and the International Seminar series. The Center hosted cultural events, such as art exhibitions, film screenings, and concerts, with an increase in the participation of embassies and Washington-based international organizations.

The active publications program of the Fund is a significant means of disseminating information about its work and about those international monetary and financial topics that relate to the Fund’s concerns. As has been the pattern of recent years, during 1990/91 the number of titles and the range of subject matter continued to expand. A number of publication series were redesigned during the year to enhance their appeal to the public. Following a survey of the audience for statistical publications, changes have been made in the frequency and content of some of these publications. In addition, plans were made to market International Financial Statistics data in CD-ROM form; the first test marketing was made in June 1991. Effective with the May 1990 issue, the biannual World Economic Outlook was published in French and Spanish, as well as in English. Both it, and the other publications in the World Economic and Financial Surveys and Occasional Papers series, attracted wide attention. A complete list of publications issued during the financial year appears in Table III.1

Table III.1Publications Issued, Financial Year April 30, 1991
Reports and Other Documents

Annual Report of the Executive Board for the Financial Year Ended April 30, 1990 (English, French, German, and Spanish). Free.
Finance and Development Issued jointly with the World Bank; quarterly (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish). Free.
By-Laws, Rules and Regulations Forty-Sixth Issue (English, French, and Spanish). Free.IMF Survey Twice monthly, but only once in December (English, French, and Spanish). Private firms and individuals are charged at an annual rate of $60.00.
Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, Annual Report 1990.Occasional Papers
$39.50 ($20.00 to full-time university faculty members and students).No. 70. The Conduct of Monetary Policy in the Major Industrial Countries: Instruments and Operating Procedures By Dallas S. Batten, Michael P. Blackwell, In-Su Kim, Simon E. Nocera, and Yuzuru Ozeki.
Proposed Third Amendment of the Articles of Agreement Free.
Selected Decisions of the International Monetary Fund and Selected Documents, Fifteenth Issue (English). Free.No. 71. MULTIMOD Mark II: A Revised and Extended Model By Paul Masson, Steven Symansky, and Guy Meredith.
Summary Proceedings of the Forty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors. Free.No. 72. The Czech and Slovak Federal Republic: An Economy in Transition By Jim Prust and an IMF Staff Team.
No. 73. The European Monetary System: Developments and Perspectives

By Horst lingerer, Jouko J. Hauvonen, Augusto Lopez-Claros, and Thomas Mayer.
Periodic Publications

Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook
Vol. 41. A two-part yearbook. $45.00 a year. $27.00 to full-time university faculty members and students.No. 74. The Impact of the European Community’s Internal Marketon the EFTA
By Richard Abrams, Peter K. Cornelius, Per L. Hedfors, and GunnarTersman.
Direction of Trade Statistics
Quarterly, with yearbook. $86.00 a year. $43.00 to full-time university faculty members and students. $25.00 for yearbook only.No. 75. German Unification: Economic Issues Edited by Leslie Lioschitz and Donoah McDonald.
Government Finance Statistics Yearbook

Vol. 14, 1990. (Introduction and titles of lines in English, French, and Spanish) $48.00. $24.00 to full-time university faculty members and students.
No. 76. China: Economic Reform and Macroeconomic Management By Mario Blejer, David Burton, Steven Dunaway, and Gyorgy Szapary.
International Financial Statistics Monthly, with yearbook (English, French, and Spanish). $188.00 ayear. $94.00 to full-time university faculty members and students.1$50.00 for yearbook only.No. 77. Determinants and Systemic Consequences of International Capital Flows

By Morris Goldstein, Donald J. Mathieson, David Folkerts-Landau, Timothy Lane, J. Saul Lizondo, and Liliana Rojas-Suarez.
Staff Papers

Four times a year. $35.00 a year. $17.50 to full-time university faculty members and students.
No. 78. Exchange Rate Policy in Developing Countries: Some Analytical Issues

By Bijan B. Aghevli, Mohsin S. Khan, and Peter J. Montiel.
The five publications listed above may be obtained at a specialrate of $290.00 ($145.00 to full-time university faculty members and students).No. 79. The Mongolian People’s Republic: Toward a Market Economy

By Elizabeth Milne, John Leimone, Franek Rozwadowski, and Padej Sukarh Avin
Magnetic tape subscriptions to Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook, Direction of Trade Statistics, Government Finance Statistics Yearbook, and International Financial Statistics are also available. Price information is available on request.Occasional Papers are available for $10.00 each, with a special price of $7.50 each to full-time university faculty members and students.
World Economic and Financial Surveys

Primary Commodities: Market Developments and Outlook (July 1990)

By the Commodities Division of the Research Department. $15.00 ($10.00 to full-time university faculty members and students).
A Study of the Soviet Economy By the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. $100.00
Staff Studies for the World Economic Outlook

(September 1990)

By the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. $20.00 ($12.00 to full-time university faculty members and students).
Fiscal Policy in Opening Developing Economies

Edited by Vito Tanzi.

$15.00
World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund (October 1990)

$30.00 ($20.00 to full-time university faculty members and students).
Government Financial Management: Issues and Country Studies

Edited by A. Premchand.

$21.50
Investment Policies in the Arab Countries
Multilateral Official Debt Rescheduling: Recent Experience (November 1990)

By Michael G. Kuhn with Jorge P. Guzman.

$15.00 ($10.00 to full-time university faculty members and students).
Edited by Said El-Naggar. $18.50
Legal Effects of Fluctuating Exchange Rates

By Sir Joseph Gold.

$37.50
International Capital Markets: Developments and Prospects (May 1991)

By a Staff Team from the Exchange and Trade Relations and Research Departments.

$20.00 ($12.00 to full-time university faculty members and students).
Perspectives on the Role of a Central Bank

By Paul A. Volcker, Miguel Mancera, Jean Godeaux.

$12.50
World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund

(May 1991) (English, French, and Spanish).

$30.00 ($20.00 to full-time university faculty members and students).
Strategies for Structural Adjustment: The Experience of Southeast Asia

Moderator, Ungku A. Aziz. $16.50
Books

Analytical and Policy Aspects of Financial Programming: The Case of Egypt

By Taher Dajani, Samir El-Khouri, Mohamed Hosny, and Mounir

Rached. (Arabic only).

$12.50
Pamphlet Series

No. 45. Financial Organization and Operations of the IMF By the Treasurer’s Department. Free.
Booklets

Funding the IMF: Why an Increase in Quotas? By Esha Ray (English, French, and Spanish). Free.
Choosing an Exchange Rate Regime: The Challenge for Smaller Countries

Edited by Victor Argy and Paul De Grauwe. $19.50
Promoting Development: The IMF’s Contribution By Bahram Nowzad (English, French, and Spanish). Free.
One World—One Economy, instructor’s guide to the four-part IMF film series of the same name. $12.50
The Economy of the U.S.S.R.: Summary and Recommendations By the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. $15.95Copies of the Fund’s publications may be obtained from Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

Executive Directors and Staff

A list of Executive Directors and their voting power on April 30, 1991, is given in Appendix VI. The changes in membership of the Executive Board during 1990/91 are shown in Appendix VII.

In the financial year ended April 30, 1991, there were 138 appointments to the Fund’s regular staff and 106 separations. At the end of the financial year, the staff numbered 1,763 and was drawn from 104 countries.

    Other Resources Citing This Publication