Statement by Thomas Bernes, Chairman of the Evaluation Group of Executive Directors, on the External Evaluation of the IMF’s Economic Research Activities, September 7, 1999

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
April 2000
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On behalf of the External Evaluation Committee I would like to thank Professors Mishkin, Giavazzi, and Srinivasan for their excellent and provocative report. As I mentioned in my earlier statement on the external evaluation of Fund surveillance, the mark of a good report can be measured in the extent to which it challenges the existing modus operandi and points us in new directions. I think it is important to stress that the purpose of this kind of exercise is not merely to pat ourselves on the back, although this may be appropriate at times, but to highlight areas for improvement or new territory to be explored. In this context, I find the work of this evaluation group to be exemplary.

I am impressed by the scope and number of recommendations made in the report that indicate soundly that there is substantial room for enhancing the Fund’s research activities. Given the compelling and balanced manner in which the evaluators presented their views, I find it very difficult to argue against improving accountability, quality, leadership, and performance evaluation of research staff.

Finally, I wish to reiterate the points made in my statement on the external evaluation of surveillance regarding publication, next steps (an action plan for consideration by Directors after the Annual Meetings), and stock taking (i.e., review progress after 12 months). The same principles articulated there should apply here.

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