Annex 6. Terms of Reference for the Independent Evaluation Office of the International Monetary Fund

Moisés Schwartz, and Ray C. Rist
Published Date:
January 2017
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Revised September 3, 2015


The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has been established to systematically conduct objective and independent evaluations on issues, and on the basis of criteria, of relevance to the mandate of the Fund. It is intended to serve as a means to enhance the learning culture within the Fund, strengthen the Fund’s external credibility, and support the Executive Board’s institutional governance and oversight responsibilities. IEO has been designed to complement the review and evaluation work within the Fund and should, therefore, improve the institution’s ability to draw lessons from its experience and more quickly integrate improvements into its future work.

Structure and accountabilities

IEO will be independent of Fund management and staff and will operate at arm’s-length from the Fund’s Executive Board. Its structure and modalities of operation must protect its operational independence—both actual and perceived.

The Director will be appointed by the Executive Board for a non-renewable term of six years. In exceptional circumstances, the term may be extended by the Executive Board by no more than one year. The Director will be an official of the Fund, but not a staff member. The Director’s appointment may be terminated at any time with the approval of the Executive Board. At the end of the term of service, the Director will not be eligible for appointment or reappointment to the regular staff of the Fund. The Director will be responsible for the selection of IEO personnel (including external consultants) on terms and conditions to be determined by the Board, with a view to ensuring that the office is staffed with independent and highly-qualified personnel. The majority of full-time IEO personnel will come from outside the Fund.


The Director of IEO will be responsible for the preparation of the Work Program. The content of the Work Program should focus on issues of importance to the Fund’s membership and of relevance to the mandate of the Fund. It should take into account current institutional priorities, and be prepared in light of consultations with Executive Directors and management, as well as with informed and interested parties outside the Fund. The Director will present IEO’s Work Program to the Executive Board for its review.

IEO, through its Director, will report regularly to the Executive Board, including through the preparation of an Annual Report. It is also expected that the IMFC will receive regular reports on the activities and findings of IEO.

With respect to individual evaluations, staff, management and—when appropriate—the relevant country authorities, will be given an opportunity to comment on the assessments being presented to the Executive Board.

The Director of IEO, in consultation with Executive Directors, will prepare a budget proposal for IEO for consideration and approval by the Executive Board. Its preparation will be independent of the budgetary process over which management and the Office of Budget and Planning have authority, but its implementation will be subject to the Fund’s budgeting and expenditure control procedures. IEO’s budget will be appended to that of the Executive Board within the Fund’s Administrative Budget.

If requested by the Executive Board, IEO will provide technical and administrative support for any external evaluations launched directly by the Executive Board.

Consultation, publication, and external relations

In carrying out its mandate, including in the preparation of its Work Program, IEO will be free to consult with whomever and whichever groups it deems necessary, both within and outside the Fund.

IEO will have sole responsibility for drafting IEO evaluations, Annual Reports, press releases and other IEO documents or public statements.

IEO’s Work Program will be made public and there will be a strong presumption that IEO reports will be published promptly (within the constraints imposed by the need to respect the confidentiality of information provided to the Fund by its members), unless, in exceptional circumstances, the Executive Board were to decide otherwise.

Publication of evaluations will be accompanied by comments from management, staff, and others, including relevant country authorities, where appropriate, along with the conclusions reached by the Board in considering the evaluation report.

Relations with Fund staff and management

In conducting its work, IEO should avoid interfering with operational activities, including current programs.

Review of experience with IEO

Within three years of the launch of IEO operations, the Executive Board should initiate an external evaluation of IEO to assess its effectiveness and to consider possible improvements to its structure, mandate, operational modalities, or Terms of Reference. Without prejudging how that review would be conducted, it should be understood that the review would include the solicitation of broad-based input from outside the official community.

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