IMF seeks to improve external relations
On March 5, the IMF’s Executive Board reviewed the organization’s external communications strategy and concluded that a better public understanding of the IMF’s work and enhanced credibility of its policies were key objectives—more so than increasing the IMF’s popularity. Directors observed that, while the IMF’s work is inherently controversial, efforts to improve understanding of, and support for, the IMF could succeed, even if modestly and incrementally.
Directors identified the following steps that would improve the IMF’s image and relations with member countries and, therefore, its effectiveness.
IMF material must be clear, coherent, and presented in plain English.
Outreach and dialogue must go beyond informing and persuading interlocutors to include listening to and learning from them.
The IMF’s image and accountability can benefit from its willingness to learn from its experience and openly acknowledge its mistakes. But the IMF should also respond promptly and vigorously to biased or inaccurate media reports on the IMF and its activities.
The reach of IMF communications can be broadened. The external website will continue to be developed, with a focus on the quality of information and the ease and speed of access.
Efforts should be made to distribute print publications more widely, especially in developing countries and in languages other than English, including local languages and the most widely used international languages.
For the text of PIN No. 03/33 and the full text of the review of the IMF’s communications strategy, see the IMF’s website.