Abstract

In reviewing the implementation of the key features, the analysis focuses on the extent to which program design in PRGF-supported programs has been consistent with these goals. Because of the early stage of the transformation from the ESAF, it is not yet possible to consider questions about how the PRGF has affected poverty and growth. The process of transformation from the ESAF to the PRGF is ongoing, and in many respects it is still at an early stage—a large majority of PRGF-supported programs in place are either new PRGF-supported arrangements that have not yet reached their first review or ESAF-supported arrangements that have been transformed into PRGF-supported arrangements in midstream.1 Nevertheless, an attempt has been made to evaluate outcomes in relation to objectives wherever data were available (mostly in the fiscal area).

In reviewing the implementation of the key features, the analysis focuses on the extent to which program design in PRGF-supported programs has been consistent with these goals. Because of the early stage of the transformation from the ESAF, it is not yet possible to consider questions about how the PRGF has affected poverty and growth. The process of transformation from the ESAF to the PRGF is ongoing, and in many respects it is still at an early stage—a large majority of PRGF-supported programs in place are either new PRGF-supported arrangements that have not yet reached their first review or ESAF-supported arrangements that have been transformed into PRGF-supported arrangements in midstream.1 Nevertheless, an attempt has been made to evaluate outcomes in relation to objectives wherever data were available (mostly in the fiscal area).

There are some differences in specific approach across the seven key features in light of data availability and other concerns. The assessment of whether the key elements of the program are derived from the I-PRSPs/PRSPs, and whether the PRGF conditionality and projections are embedded in the growth and poverty reduction strategy of the authorities (Section III), is based on a comparison of letters of intent and/or memoranda of economic and financial policies (LOIs/MEFPs) and the associated I-PRSPs/PRSPs. The assessments of pro-poor and pro-growth budgeting, fiscal flexibility, selectivity of structural conditionality, improved public resource management and accountability, and poverty and social impact analysis (Sections IV-VIII) are based in large measure on comparison of targets for the PRGF-supported programs with the corresponding outturn in the year preceding the PRGF-supported programs in the same countries. A comparison is also made in these sectors with program design under the preceding IMF-supported program.

To focus on programs that had adequate opportunity to reflect the new features expected under the PRGF, this analysis is based on programs approved or reviewed by the Executive Board between July 1, 2000, and September 30, 2001.2 The sample includes PRGF-supported arrangements and PRSP processes at a variety of stages.3 Nineteen countries in the sample had new, three-year PRGF-supported arrangements approved, and an additional 16 countries had transformed PRGF-supported arrangements through conclusion of two or more reviews during this 15-month period or a review supported by a full PRSP (Table 1). Similarly, the stages of the PRSP process vary across countries and reviews; most requests and reviews have come to the Board either with the I-PRSP or between the I-PRSP and the PRSP. A few preceded the I-PRSP, came to the Board with the full PRSP, or were concluded after Board consideration of a full PRSP. Further complicating the assessment, the stage of the PRGF-supported arrangement and the PRSP process are generally out of synchronization. In contrast to the steady state envisaged in Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility—Operational Issues in which new PRSPs would be accompanied by new PRGF-supported programs, none of the six countries with full PRSPs covered in this sample is associated with a new PRGF-supported arrangement, because they already had such an arrangement in place at the time. The distribution of arrangement requests and reviews across PRGF and PRSP stages is summarized in Table 1. The countries included and the reviews and requests are listed in Appendix IV.

Table 1.

Stages of PRGF-Supported Arrangements and Stages of PRSPs

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Sources: IMF country documents: national authorities, country policy intentions documents.