Statement by the Managing Director on the External Evaluation of the Independent Evaluation Office Executive Board Meeting March 21, 2013

External Evaluation of the Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

External Evaluation of the Independent Evaluation Office

I would like to thank the external evaluation panel for this report and acknowledge the extensive consultations, interviews, and other interactions with different stakeholders that are the foundation for the panel’s recommendations. As recognized by the panel, the IEO has increased the integrity and quality of Fund work, and it continues to be regarded as fully independent by all stakeholders. I also take comfort from the report’s recognition that the IEO has enhanced the Fund’s learning culture. Tensions between the Fund staff and the IEO are to some extent inevitable, and disagreements often constructive. At the same time, the panel is right that the relationship needs to improve, and that the IEO will become even more effective with greater engagement with and from the Fund.

The two principal mandates of the IEO are to enhance the learning culture of the Fund and support institutional governance and oversight. I believe that there are three key challenges to uphold and further promote these mandates.

  • First, we need to encourage more interaction between Fund staff and the IEO. In addition to more “in-reach” activities, I plan to invite externally-recruited IEO staff to visit departments as observers, as several Executive Directors have done recently. I have also asked staff to consider additional measures to facilitate mobility of “high performing” IMF staff to and from the IEO.

  • Second, I support the importance of keeping IEO reports focused on long-term cross-cutting issues. In particular, it would be important that the choice of topics does not interfere with the Fund’s operational activities.

  • Third, we need to refocus the follow-up process to Board-endorsed IEO recommendations on the broader policy objectives. I would note that the summing up process reflects well-established practice, and I endorse the staff proposal on this issue. I have asked the staff for concrete measures to strengthen other areas of the follow-up process.

In summary, I find myself in agreement with the panel’s broad conclusions, and I will strive to improve further the effectiveness of the IEO by making the best use of its recommendations.

I look forward to the Board discussion.