- David Goldsbrough, Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Martin Kaufman, Daouda Sembene, Tsidi Tsikata, Steve Mugerwa, Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Jeff Chelsky
- Published Date:
- September 2004
© 2004 International Monetary Fund
Production: IMF Multimedia Services Division
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Evaluation of the IMF’s role in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility / [prepared by a team headed by David Goldsbrough] — [Washington, D.C.] : International Monetary Fund, Independent Evaluation Office, 2004.
p. cm. — (Evaluation report)
Includes bibliographical references.
1. International Monetary Fund — Evaluation. 2. Developing countries — Economic policy. 3. Poverty. I. Goldsbrough, David John. II. Evaluation report (International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office).
HG3881. 5.I58E93 2004
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The following symbols have been used throughout this report:
– between years or months (e.g. 2003–04 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;
/ between years (e.g. 2003/04) to indicate a fiscal (financial) year.
“Billion” means a thousand million.
Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.
Some of the documents cited and referenced in this report were not available to the public at the time of publication of this report. Under the current policy on public access to the IMF’s archives, some of these documents will become available five years after their issuance. They may be referenced as EBS/YY/NN and SM/YY/NN, where EBS and SM indicate the series and YY indicates the year of issue. Certain other documents are to become available ten or twenty years after their issuance depending on the series.
The role of the IMF in supporting economic reform in low-income member countries has been the subject of considerable scrutiny and criticism over the years. At the end of 1999, the IMF and World Bank adopted a new framework for their support to low-income countries. This framework comprised two key elements: first, country-authored Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), expected to draw on broad-based consultations with key stakeholder groups; and, second, a vehicle for the provision of IMF concessional lending, the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), which replaced the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF). Programs supported by the PRGF were to be derived from a country’s PRSP to ensure that reforms supported by the IMF were country owned and clearly oriented to achieving the joint objectives of poverty reduction and economic growth.
Although it is still too early to assess the success of the new framework in achieving these objectives, it is time to take stock of progress to date and identify shortcomings that may require course corrections in the design and implementation of the initiative. This is the purpose of this new IEO evaluation, which seeks to strike a balance between measuring progress against initial expectations and against final objectives. In this endeavor, we met two difficulties. First, it appeared that initial expectations about what could be delivered in the short term—by the IMF and by low-income countries alike—were extremely ambitious. Second, yardsticks and benchmarks to assess intermediate progress toward the final objectives appeared to be insufficient, especially with regard to what was expected in terms of country-specific changes in policy processes.
This evaluation adds to an already extensive body of reviews of the PRSP initiative undertaken internally by IMF and World Bank staff, as well as by donor agencies and nongovernmental organizations, by drawing on the comparative advantage of the IEO, which combines an independent perspective with full access to internal IMF documents, staff, and key decision makers. The evaluation, undertaken in parallel with a similar exercise by the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) of the World Bank (www.worldbank.org/oed/prsp) is based on extensive cross-section analysis of data for countries that had completed full PRSPs as of the end of 2002 and is further informed by a series of in-depth country case studies and surveys of stakeholders in low-income countries.
Following standard practice, this volume includes, alongside the evaluation report itself, the response of IMF management and staff to the evaluation, as well as the Summing Up of the Executive Board discussion of this report. Executive summaries of the case studies undertaken as background to this evaluation will be published in a separate volume and the full case study reports can be found on our website at www.imf.org/ieo.
Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation of the IMF’s Role in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility
This report was prepared by a team headed by David Goldsbrough and includes Jeffrey Allen Chelsky, Martin Kaufman, Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Alex Segura-Ubiergo, Daouda Sem-bene, and Tsidi Tsikata. Research assistance was provided by Patricia Yang-Yang Chen and Mowafa Taib, and administrative support by Annette Canizares, Arun Bhatnagar, and Maria S. Gutierrez. Important contributions were also received from Professor Arne Bigsten, Soren Jensen, David Peretz, and Kerfalla Yansane. The report was approved by Montek S. Ahluwalia, then Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). The evaluation team also benefited considerably from its collaboration with the World Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department team, led by William Battaile, which conducted a parallel evaluation of the World Bank’s role in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper process. Final judgments expressed in this report are the responsibility of the IEO alone.
The assistance of the Economic Commission for Africa in hosting a workshop for stakeholders in January 2004 in Addis Ababa to discuss the preliminary results emerging from the evaluation, and the financial support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, which allowed a number of the participants to attend that workshop, are gratefully acknowledged.
Abbreviations and Acronyms
African Department (IMF)
Annual performance report
Asian Development Bank
Bretton Woods institution
Country Assistance Strategy (World Bank)
Comprehensive Development Framework (World Bank)
Computable General Equilibrium
Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (World Bank)
Civil society organization
Development Assistance Committee (OECD)
Department for International Development (U.K.)
Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (IMF)
Fiscal Affairs Department (IMF)
Food and Agriculture Organization (UN)
Gross domestic product
Heavily Indebted Poor Country
International Development Association
Independent Evaluation Office (IMF)
International financial institution
International Monetary Fund
Independent Monitoring Group
International nongovernmental organization
Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
Joint Partner Review
Joint Staff Assessment
Letter of Intent (IMF)
Middle East and Central Asia Department (IMF)
Millennium Development Goals
Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policy (IMF)
Monetary and Financial Systems Department (IMF)
Monitoring of Arrangements (IMF)
Medium-term expenditure framework
New Partnership for Africa’s Development
Official development assistance
Operations Evaluation Department (World Bank)
Performance Assessment Framework
Policy Development and Review Department (IMF)
Public expenditure management
Public Expenditure Review (World Bank)
Policy Framework Paper
Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (IMF)
Poverty Reduction Strategy
Poverty Reduction Support Credit (IDA)
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
PRSP Progress Report
Poverty and Social Impact Analysis
Research Department (IMF)
Report on Standards and Codes
Terms of reference
United Nations Development Program
World Economic Outlook (IMF)
Western Hemisphere Department (IMF)