Training as Part of Capacity Building - Report on IMF Training During 2007

This Report provides statistical detail on IMF training for member country officials during calendar year 2007. Section I describes the distribution of training by provider, venue, and region. Section II presents information on the courses delivered through the INS program and the distribution of that training by curriculum area. Drawing on the recently integrated database on IMF training (Box 1), it also lists the courses that IMF departments and the regional technical assistance centers delivered outside the INS program.

Abstract

This Report provides statistical detail on IMF training for member country officials during calendar year 2007. Section I describes the distribution of training by provider, venue, and region. Section II presents information on the courses delivered through the INS program and the distribution of that training by curriculum area. Drawing on the recently integrated database on IMF training (Box 1), it also lists the courses that IMF departments and the regional technical assistance centers delivered outside the INS program.

The IMF provides training for member country officials in a multiplicity of ways: at Headquarters (HQ), through a global network of seven regional training centers (RTCs), through the regional technical assistance centers (RTACs), in collaboration with other regional training institutions and national governments, and through a distance learning program. The IMF Institute (INS) training program, which consists of the training that is either delivered by or coordinated by INS, includes all training that the IMF provides at the seven RTCs and almost all training at HQ, as well as the training that INS delivers at other venues and through distance learning.

This Report provides statistical detail on IMF training for member country officials during calendar year 2007. Section I describes the distribution of training by provider, venue, and region. Section II presents information on the courses delivered through the INS program and the distribution of that training by curriculum area. Drawing on the recently integrated database on IMF training (Box 1), it also lists the courses that IMF departments and the RTACs delivered outside the INS program.

Development of an Integrated Database on IMF Training

Although comprehensive data on the INS training program have been maintained for many years,1 until recently the Fund did not have an integrated database covering all of the training it provides. The most notable deficiency was that information on participants in courses outside the INS umbrella either were not maintained or were not readily accessible. This added imprecision to assessments of the regional distribution of training, which had to be based on rough estimates for training outside the INS program. It also meant that course participants were selected without complete information on the IMF courses that candidates had previously attended. Furthermore, Fund staff wishing to have lists of Fund-trained officials for the countries on which they were working had been limited to participants in INS-organized courses.2

The information gaps were less pronounced with respect to the number of training activities outside the INS program, as INS has for some time collected limited information of this nature. However, there was no systematic approach to data collection, limited information was assembled on the content, length, and target audiences of these courses,3 and there were no clear guidelines on how training and TA should be distinguished.4

In a series of meetings during 2006, the Subcommittee on Training agreed that the best remedy was to extend the usage of the INS Participant and Applicant Tracking System (PATS), a database that was specifically designed for storing and analyzing information on training activities and course participants. This required INS and TGS to design a set of standardized user-friendly spread sheets and online submission forms from which data could be readily uploaded into PATS, with IMF training departments and RTACs assuming the responsibility for submitting data to INS on a timely basis. System maintenance and management is the responsibility of INS and TGS.

For the RTACs and training departments other than INS, the resource costs of this initiative mainly reflect the time required to submit information on individual course participants. To the extent that course administrators already record information on participants, these costs can be substantially reduced by initially recording the information on the forms that INS has now provided—i.e., on forms that can subsequently be uploaded into PATS. For INS, it is estimated that more than half-a-person year of time was required during 2007 to handle the additional work associated with maintaining the expanded PATS database, instructing and supporting other departments in their use of forms, monitoring the quality of data entry, communicating with other departments and RTACs to try to obtain complete reporting, and responding to additional demands for information associated with the expanded database.

1 The database on the INS training program includes information on courses back to 1965 and participants back to 1981.2 Extensive information on INS program courses and participants—e.g., course dates, delivering departments, names of participants—can now be accessed through the Technical Assistance Information Management System (TAIMS) using a range of preprogrammed queries. This information is updated daily.3 INS started collecting information on the length and target audiences of these courses for the 2004-05 Report on Training.4 The Task Force on Performance Indicators has issued guidelines for distinguishing between training and technical assistance (TA). Training includes (a) all events within the INS program, (b) all single-country events outside the INS program that are similar in content to activities that TA departments deliver within the INS program, and (c) all training events outside the INS program with multi-country participation unless they are delivered as part of a TA engagement and differ in content from the training delivered as part of the INS program. Training does not include (d) single-country events that are delivered as part of a TA engagement and not similar in content to the activities that TA departments deliver under the INS program.

I. The Distribution of IMF Training by Provider, Venue, and Region

Table 1 summarizes the distribution of IMF training by provider during calendar year 2007. More than 7,500 member country officials received IMF training, which in volume terms exceeded 12,500 participant weeks. Three-quarters of the training was delivered through the INS program, and about half by INS itself (Figure 1). Other IMF departments delivered or helped organize 45 percent of total IMF training, of which 26 percentage points was within the INS program, while the RTACs independently organized 6 percent. Among IMF departments other than INS, Statistics (STA) provided roughly half of the participant weeks of training (Figure 2 and Appendix Table A1).

Table 1.

IMF Training During 2007: Summary Measures

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Sources: PATS System, IMF Institute (Within INS Program); as reported by Departments and Regional Technical Assistance Centers (Outside INS Program).

Includes 54.3 participant weeks of training received by 88 member country officials through the INS Internal Economics Training program.

To avoid double counting, any course involving both an IMF department and an RTAC is classified under the IMF department.

Includes both training independently organized by an RTAC and training in which an IMF department collaborated with an RTAC.

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

IMF Training During 2007

(based on participant weeks)

Citation: Policy Papers 2008, 026; 10.5089/9781498334556.007.A001

1/ Training involving both an IMF department and an RTAC is classified under the IMF department.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Distribution of Training Among IMF Departments Other than the Institute, 2007

(based on participant weeks)

Citation: Policy Papers 2008, 026; 10.5089/9781498334556.007.A001

Table A1.

IMF Training During 2007: Distribution by Training Provider

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Sources: PATS System, IMF Institute (Within INS Program); as reported by Departments and Regional Technical Assistance Centers (Outside INS Program).

High-level seminars are classified with the delivering department.

To avoid double counting, any course involving both an IMF department and an RTAC is classified under the IMF department.

Includes 54.3 participant weeks of training received by 88 member country officials through the Internal Economics Training program.

Figure 3 summarizes the distribution of IMF training by venue (see also Appendix Table A2). The figure underscores the importance of the network of RTCs. Expansion of this network over the past decade, in collaboration with a number of member countries and donors (Box 2), not only has provided co-financing and additional facilities for increasing training volume, but also has allowed the INS program to be differentiated by region and thereby tailored more closely to the training needs of each region. Training at the seven RTCs accounted for 40 percent of participant weeks during 2007, nearly double the volume at HQ, while the INS distance learning program provided 5 percent of total IMF training.

Figure 3.
Figure 3.

Distribution of Total IMF Training Among Training Venues, 2007

(based on participant weeks)

Citation: Policy Papers 2008, 026; 10.5089/9781498334556.007.A001

1/ Includes all training delivered by, or in collaboration with, RTACs.
Table A2.

IMF Training During 2007: Distribution by Training Venue

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Sources: PATS System, IMF Institute (Within INS Program); as reported by Departments and Regional Technical Assistance Centers (Outside INS Program)

Includes training received by member country officials through the Internal Economics Training program.

IMF Institute Regional Training Centers

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The IMF receives substantial financial contributions from Australia and Japan that help defray the IMF share of costs at some of these programs.

Austria and the IMF are the principal members. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, and World Trade Organization are “contributing members,” making financial contributions that help defray the cost of their own courses. A few European countries which are not members of the JVI provide additional financial support.

Training at overseas venues other than the RTCs and RTACs accounted for 20 percent of total participant weeks.1 Activities associated with the RTACs—inclusive of courses that departments delivered or helped organize—represented 13 percent of total IMF training. One-third of the latter was targeted at the Caribbean countries, most of which do not receive training at any of the RTCs (Figure 4).2

Figure 4.
Figure 4.

Distribution of Training Among RTAC Venues, 2007

(based on participant weeks)

Citation: Policy Papers 2008, 026; 10.5089/9781498334556.007.A001

Figures 5 and 6 provide perspectives on the distribution of IMF training to officials from different regions during 2007 (see also Appendix Table A3). The regions correspond to the country coverage of the IMF’s area departments. Officials from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region received the largest shares of IMF training in absolute terms, although the Asia- Pacific region received the lowest volume of training relative to population size. Officials from Africa and the Middle East and Central Asia received the most training per capita, while European officials received the smallest share of IMF training and substantially less, relative to population size, than all other regions except Asia. Officials from Africa and the Western Hemisphere countries received relatively large proportions of their training outside the INS program, partly in association with the AFRITACs and CARTAC (recall Figure 4).

Figure 5.
Figure 5.

Distribution of Total IMF Training Among Regions, 2007

(based on participant weeks)

Citation: Policy Papers 2008, 026; 10.5089/9781498334556.007.A001

Figure 6.
Figure 6.

Total Participant Weeks of IMF Training per Million Population, 2007

Citation: Policy Papers 2008, 026; 10.5089/9781498334556.007.A001

Table A3.

IMF Training by Region During 2007 1/

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Sources: PATS System, IMF Institute (Training); EDSS (Population).

Includes training received by member country officials through the INS Internal Economics Training program.

Based on population data for 2004.

II. The Curriculum of the INS Training Program

The curriculum of the INS program is continually strengthened to stay attuned to the changing training needs of member country officials, to take account of new developments in macroeconomic and financial analysis, and to support the evolving mission of the IMF. INS training is deliberately differentiated from the types of economics courses that universities offer. In particular, the focus of INS courses is on practical applications of theory to policy analysis. Lectures are supplemented with workshop exercises using real-world case studies, which greatly increases the retention rate of the material taught.

The INS program continued to give heavy emphasis to courses on Financial Programming and Policies (FPP) during 2007 (Figure 7 and Appendix Table A4). These accounted for 34 percent of the participant weeks of training and included seventeen two-week offerings outside of Washington, five deliveries of the flagship seven-week course at HQ, the initial delivery of a new five-week FPP with inflation targeting, four offerings of the distance learning course,3 and two one-week workshops.4 FPP courses are designed for mid-level officials who provide advice on macroeconomic and financial policies or are involved in implementing policy. The lectures and workshops cover the analysis of the macroeconomic accounts and issues arising in the key macroeconomic sectors; the interrelations between the sectors; forecasting techniques; the main policies affecting economic performance and how these policies can be adjusted to foster growth and macroeconomic adjustment; and the preparation of an adjustment program for a case study country.

Figure 7.
Figure 7.

Distribution of INS Program Training by Topic Area, 2007

(based on participant weeks)

Citation: Policy Papers 2008, 026; 10.5089/9781498334556.007.A001

Table A4.

Courses Offered Under the INS Training Program, 2007

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Source: PATS System, IMF Institute

Although the broad topics covered by long-standing FPP courses remain stable, the contents have been continuously updated over time. A major upgrading came to fruition during 2007. As a result, the flagship HQ FPP courses currently give much greater emphasis to international capital flows, balance sheet effects, and banking systems, focusing in some cases on designing a program for a country that experienced a capital account crisis.5

To complement the emphasis that the curriculum has traditionally placed on the formulation and implementation of adjustment programs (i.e., FPP courses), the INS curriculum now includes a course on Macroeconomic Diagnostics (MDS), which deals with surveillance. Policymakers in many member countries have access to a wealth of macroeconomic and financial data and face the challenge of putting these data through intellectual filters to get a sensible economic diagnosis. This is clearly an area in which the Fund has expertise to share. Although the MDS is still a small part of the INS training program (the first offering was presented as a four-week HQ course in 2005), a compressed two-week course for overseas delivery was offered twice during 2007, with plans to make MDS courses a larger part of the curriculum in the future.

The INS program also provides various types of statistics courses for compilers of official macroeconomic data (23 percent of participant weeks during 2007), as well as a range of courses attuned to analysis and policy design in areas in which IMF economists have strong expertise. Courses on monetary and financial sector issues—by MCM, INS, and FIN—represented 16 percent of the INS training program during 2007 (in terms of participant weeks); courses on fiscal issues—by FAD and INS—represented 14 percent; and courses on legal aspects of the financial system and AMF/CFT by LEG accounted for 5 percent.

While most INS courses are aimed at mid- to senior-level officials, the training program also includes a number of seminars targeted at high-level country officials—mainly Ministers, Central Bank Governors, and their Deputies. These seminars, which typically allow for intensive interaction over one or two days, are an effective vehicle for exposing senior policymakers to the views of relevant experts on cutting-edge issues, and for giving officials the opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other.6 Topics addressed during 2007 included Structured Financial Products and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Latin American Countries.

Compared with the training curriculum at the beginning of the decade, the INS program for 2007 placed less emphasis (in relative terms) on financial programming, new emphasis (albeit small) on macroeconomic diagnostics, and roughly the same emphasis on macroeconomic statistics (Appendix Table A5). The proportion of the curriculum devoted to monetary and financial sector issues has declined somewhat, although INS has expanded its own offerings of courses on the analysis of financial markets and instruments and strengthened its courses on monetary policy and exchange rate issues.7 The share of training on fiscal issues has almost doubled, despite a reduction in the volume delivered by FAD, as INS has greatly increased its emphasis in this area in response to member country demands.

Table A5.

INS Training Program by Curriculum Category: 2001-07 1/

(shares of total participant weeks)

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Source: PATS System, IMF Institute

Excludes participation by member country officials in the INS Internal Economics Training Program.

Includes Applied Economic Policy: Macroeconomic Management Issues and Macroeconomic Management for Senior Officials.

Appendix Table A6 lists the courses delivered outside the INS program during 2007, as reported to INS by other training departments and the RTACs.

Table A6.

Courses Offered Outside the INS Training Program, 2007 1/

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Source: PATS System, IMF Institute

As reported to INS by IMF departments and RTACs with reference to the guidelines for distinguishing between or training and TA (see Box 1, note 4). Training events with fewer than 10 participants are not included in the statistics or course lists compiled for this Report.

1

INS provided about one-third of the training at these venues, arranged primarily in collaboration with other regional training providers, such as the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the South East Asian Central Bankers Research and Training Center (SEACEN), and the Center for Excellence in Finance (CEF) in Slovenia.

2

English is the principal language of most Caribbean countries, and the only RTCs that deliver training in English are in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

3

The distance learning FPP consists of a ten-week distance segment (approximately ten hours of training per week) followed by an intensive two-week residential segment.

4

This excludes the FPP workshops that INS offers to IMF staff.

5

Ongoing curriculum development has led to the incorporation, in most current FPP courses (and many other INS courses), of lectures and workshops on the analysis of fiscal and external debt sustainability based on the framework developed and now routinely applied at the IMF. Emphasis has also been placed on strengthening the coverage of basic quantitative methods and introducing more up-to-date frameworks for addressing fiscal, monetary, and structural policy issues.

6

The number of high-level seminars, which absorb substantial amounts of both senior staff time and financial resources, has been cut back sharply in recent years in response to budget pressures.

7

The separate one-week INS courses on Inflation Targeting and Issues in Exchange Rate Policy were combined and extensively revamped during 2007 into a new two-week course on Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy.

Training as Part of Capacity Building - Report on IMF Training During 2007
Author: International Monetary Fund
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    IMF Training During 2007

    (based on participant weeks)

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    Distribution of Training Among IMF Departments Other than the Institute, 2007

    (based on participant weeks)

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    Distribution of Total IMF Training Among Training Venues, 2007

    (based on participant weeks)

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    Distribution of Training Among RTAC Venues, 2007

    (based on participant weeks)

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    Distribution of Total IMF Training Among Regions, 2007

    (based on participant weeks)

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    Total Participant Weeks of IMF Training per Million Population, 2007

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    Distribution of INS Program Training by Topic Area, 2007

    (based on participant weeks)