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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

resources permit. Box 10. IEO Recommendations for Board Consideration Recommendation 1. Further enhance the strategic framework for IMF CD to provide clearer guidance for a more intentional and transparent approach to the prioritization and allocation of IMF CD. Recommendation 2. Further develop the Executive Board’s strategic and oversight role through increased engagement and provision of information. Recommendation 3. Reinforce measures to promote CD ownership, along with tighter integration with surveillance and lending, tailoring to country

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Capacity development (CD) is a key function of the IMF, aiming to assist its member countries develop their institutional and human capacity to design and implement sound macroeconomic and financial policies. CD has been provided to all IMF member countries at some point, although it is directed mainly toward low- and middle-income countries. CD represents about one-third of the IMF’s administrative budget, having expanded substantially in the past decade. This evaluation assesses how effective the IMF has been in meeting the CD needs and expectations of recipient countries, and the Fund’s institutional objectives for CD, during 2012-20. It also provides an initial review of how IMF CD adapted to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The evaluation finds that IMF CD was relevant, valued, and broadly effective. Recipients, donors, and the wider membership saw IMF CD as being of the highest technical quality in the Fund’s core areas of expertise and generally perceived that it had become better tailored to recipient needs and circumstances. Overall, Fund CD has supported member countries in building the institutional capacity, in a very wide range of country circumstances. The IMF has also put substantial effort into integrating CD with surveillance and programs, which has in general enhanced its overall engagement with member countries. While recognizing these achievements, the evaluation also identifies a number of important shortcomings and challenges. The evaluation includes recommendations to enhance the strategic framework for, and prioritization of, CD; information available to Executive Directors and opportunities to exercise their oversight role; the integration of CD with surveillance and programs, particularly in the context of programs; CD ownership and delivery; the monitoring and evaluation framework; the sustainability of the CD funding model; and HR policies and incentives to maintain and develop the expertise in the Fund’s core and newly emerging CD topics.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
The IEO evaluation contains a wealth of analysis and background material that will be invaluable as staff embarks on the preparation of the 2023 CD Strategy Review. The overall assessment is very positive, highlighting the achievements authorities have made with the help of Fund CD and the value they continue to place on this area of Fund work. The report also acknowledges the significant strides that have been made in improving governance and management of CD in recent years.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Russia’s war in Ukraine and the related fallout have created a challenging external environment for the post-pandemic recovery of low-income countries (LICs). Food and commodity prices linger at elevated level with worsening food security. Global financial conditions tighten as major economies are fighting against inflation. The delay in LICs’ income per capita convergence to that of advanced economies (AEs) is expected to last into the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

later on in light of lessons learned from the implementation of the guidance. We will continue to explore other means for enhancing information provision to the Board, including through funding vehicle approvals and standardized reporting formats. Recommendation 3. Reinforce measures to promote CD ownership, along with tighter integration with surveillance and lending, tailoring to country circumstances and promoting collaboration as key drivers of CD effectiveness . Possible specific short-term steps identified by IEO for future consideration at the MIP stage

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department

-front commitment to the reforms, without which even the best plans will achieve little. It is crucial to be transparent about timelines for fundamental debt management and market reforms, where the results are likely to show in years rather than months. Nevertheless, all the cases highlight the importance of the recommendations in the recent IEO’s report on the IMF and Capacity Development, which stress the need to reinforce measures to promote CD ownership, including with tighter integration with Fund surveillance and tailoring to country circumstances. 1 A. Somalia: Debt

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

undermine CD ownership and role of CD experts as trusted advisors. Guidance for staff contains little practical advice on how to navigate these issues. 2. Prioritization and Monitoring Prioritization The Fund strengthened its framework and processes for CD prioritization across multiple dimensions. The allocation of CD resources struck a good balance between country demands and IMF priorities, with the possible exception of FCS, where limited absorptive capacity made it challenging to achieve the intended increase in CD support. The new FCS initiative and

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

references, in line with other CD providers. This could help to enhance CD ownership on the part of recipients. Regarding technical quality, we identified some issues that need attention, such as quality assurance in new priority areas of CD, and ensuring that backstoppers, who fulfil an important quality control function, continue to be recognized and receive sufficient resources, while still striking the right balance between best practice and fit-for-purpose TA. CDDs commented that the choice of delivery modality for some CD areas—in particular LTX support, and whether