Chapter

Chapter 1: Overview of Developments in FY2011

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
Published Date:
September 2011
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During the financial year 2011, the IMF Executive Board discussed the IEO evaluation of IMF Performance in the Run-Up to the Financial and Economic Crisis: IMF Surveillance in 2004–07. The IEO also produced an evaluation of IMF Research: Relevance and Utilization and provided it to IMF staff for a factual review, consistent with agreed practice. During FY2011, the Executive Board approved a Management Implementation Plan (MIP) for the IEO evaluation of IMF Interactions with Member Countries. Following consultations with the Executive Board and other stakeholders inside and outside the Fund on a work program going forward, the IEO initiated two new evaluations.

Recently completed evaluations are addressed in Chapter 2 and ongoing evaluations in Chapter 4.

Monitoring the Implementation of IEO Recommendations

As noted in past Annual Reports, follow-up on IEO recommendations endorsed by the IMF’s Executive Board is an essential element of establishing accountability and completing the cycle of learning to which independent evaluation contributes. The system for tracking IMF implementation of Board-endorsed IEO recommendations has been in place for four years. The Executive Board has agreed to five MIPs, consenting in December 2010 to the MIP on the IEO evaluation of IMF Interactions with Member Countries. The Board has agreed that Management will present a MIP for the evaluation of IMF Performance in the Run-Up to the Financial and Economic Crisis after the review of the Triennial Surveillance Review scheduled for September 2011; Management and staff will continue to work in several areas targeted by the evaluation. The Board has also concurred with the conclusions of three Periodic Monitoring Reports (PMRs) produced by IMF staff, most recently in February 2010. Chapter 3 elaborates on concerns about this framework for monitoring and reporting on implementation of IEO recommendations.

Budget and Staffing

In FY2011, the IEO expended approximately 94.5 percent of its budgetary resources (see Appendix 1).

The IEO ended FY2010 with a large number of vacancies. Over FY2011, following the appointment of a new director, the IEO gradually filled most of these vacancies. Nonetheless, over the course of the fiscal year some vacancies remained, representing the equivalent of more than two staff years, which resulted in underspending of about 5.5 percent of the budget.1 The savings from these vacancies were offset in part by higher spending on senior consultants (as contractual employees) to assist in the preparation of IEO evaluations.

On March 29, 2011, the IMF’s Executive Board approved the IEO budget for FY2012 of $5.5 million, consistent with zero real growth over FY2011. The IEO also presented indicative budgets for FY2013 and FY2014. The indicative budget for FY2013 and beyond included a proposal for an increase in real terms of 3 percent in structural resources in line with the increase in the Fund-wide budget already in place for FY2012.2 The proposed medium-term budget would enable the IEO to continue actively working on two evaluations per year, which leads to an average of less than two completed evaluations per year.

Outreach and Communication Activities

The IEO continues to follow through on the recommendations of the 2006 External Evaluation report to engage in outreach as a “necessary tool” to inform stakeholders about IEO analyses and findings in order to increase their impact. The IEO maintains a website with easy access to completed evaluations, issues papers for ongoing evaluations, the IEO work program, and other publications. The IEO also publishes a semiannual newsletter, available in English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

To publicize and encourage discussion of its work, the IEO organized or participated in a number of events in FY2011, listed in Appendix 2. Of note, IEO conducted a meeting in Paris in October 2010 with an Advisory Group composed of eminent former government officials to discuss the emerging findings of the IEO evaluation of IMF Performance in the Run-Up to the Financial and Economic Crisis: IMF Surveillance in 2004–07. A summary of the Advisory Group’s views is available on the IEO website.

On average in FY2011, IEO had vacancies of two B-level positions for a total of 9 months, a senior economist position for 6 months, and a research officer position for 10 months.

It is expected that, with a lag, increases in the IMF-wide budget will lead to additional costs and evaluation needs.

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