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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses how well IMF-supported programs helped to sustain economic growth while delivering adjustment needed for external viability over the period 2008–19. The evaluation finds that the Fund’s increasing attention to growth in the programs has delivered some positive results. Specifically, it does not find evidence of a consistent bias towards excessive austerity in IMF-supported programs. Indeed, programs have yielded growth benefits relative to a counterfactual of no Fund engagement and boosted post-program growth performance. Notwithstanding these positive findings, program growth outcomes consistently fell short of program projections. Such shortfalls imply less protection of incomes than intended, fuel adjustment fatigue and public opposition to reforms, and jeopardize progress towards external viability. The evaluation examines how different policy instruments were applied to support better growth outcomes while achieving needed adjustment. Fiscal policies typically incorporated growth-friendly measures but with mixed success. Despite some success in promoting reforms and growth, structural conditionalities were of relatively low depth and their potential growth benefits were not fully realized. Use of the exchange rate as a policy tool to support growth and external adjustment during programs was quite limited. Lastly, market debt operations were useful in some cases to restore debt sustainability and renew market access, yet sometimes were too little and too late to deliver the intended benefits. The evaluation concludes that the IMF should seek to further enhance program countries’ capacity to sustain activity while undertaking needed adjustment during the program and to enhance growth prospects beyond the program. Following this conclusion, the report sets out three recommendations aimed at strengthening attention to growth implications of IMF-supported programs, including the social and distributional consequences.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses the IMF’s work on countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS), addressing both (i) its engagement through surveillance, lending, and capacity development and (ii) the frameworks and procedures for its engagement. It finds that the IMF has provided unique and essential services to FCS to restore macroeconomic stability and rebuild core macroeconomic institutions as prerequisites for state building, playing a role in which no other institution can take its place. In this critical role, it is broadly acknowledged to have had a high impact. While the IMF has provided relatively little direct financing, it has catalyzed donor support through its assessment of a country’s economic policies and prospects. Notwithstanding this positive assessment, the IMF’s overall approach to its FCS work seems to have been conflicted. Not only has it failed consistently to make hard choices necessary to achieve full impact from its engagement in countries where success requires patient and dedicated attention over the long haul, but past efforts have not been sufficiently bold or adequately sustained, and the staff has tended to revert to treating fragile states using IMF-wide norms, rather than as countries needing special attention. The report proposes six recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the IMF’s FCS work: (i) to issue a statement of high-level commitment to FCS work for IMFC endorsement; (ii) to create an effective institutional mechanism with the mandate and authority to coordinate and champion such work; (iii) to develop comprehensive strategies for individual FCS; (iv) to adapt its lending toolkit to deliver more sustained financial support to FCS; (v) to take practical steps to increase the impact of its capacity development support to FCS; and (vi) to take steps to incentivize high-quality and experienced staff to work on individual FCS and find pragmatic ways of increasing field presence in high risk locations.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This paper analyzes that the IMF has moved beyond its traditional fiscal-centric approach to recognize that social protection can also be macro-critical for broader reasons including social and political stability concerns. Evaluating the IMF’s involvement in social protection is complicated by the fact that there is no standard definition of social protection or of broader/overlapping terms such as social spending and social safeguards in (or outside) the IMF. In this evaluation, social protection is understood to include policies that provide benefits to vulnerable individuals or households. This evaluation found widespread IMF involvement in social protection across countries although the extent of engagement varied. In some cases, engagement was relatively deep, spanning different activities (bilateral surveillance, technical assistance, and/or programs) and involving detailed analysis of distributional impacts, discussion of policy options, active advocacy of social protection, and integration of social protection measures in program design and/or conditionality. This cross-country variation to some degree reflected an appropriate response to country-specific factors, in particular an assessment of whether social protection policy was macrocritical, and the availability of expertise from development partners or in the country itself.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Annual Report 2008 to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF's activities and policies during the financial year (May 1, 2007, through April 30, 2008). There are five chapters: (1) Overview: Refocusing the IMF; (2) Developments in the Global Economy and Financial Markets; (3) Fostering Macroeconomic and Financial Stability and Growth Through Surveillance; (4) Program Support and Capacity Building; and (5) Governance, Organization, and Finances. The full financial statements for the year, other appendixes, and materials supplementing the text are provided on a CD-ROM.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Annual Report 2008 to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF's activities and policies during the financial year (May 1, 2007, through April 30, 2008). There are five chapters: (1) Overview: Refocusing the IMF; (2) Developments in the Global Economy and Financial Markets; (3) Fostering Macroeconomic and Financial Stability and Growth Through Surveillance; (4) Program Support and Capacity Building; and (5) Governance, Organization, and Finances. The full financial statements for the year, other appendixes, and materials supplementing the text are provided on a CD-ROM.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Annual Report 2008 to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF's activities and policies during the financial year (May 1, 2007, through April 30, 2008). There are five chapters: (1) Overview: Refocusing the IMF; (2) Developments in the Global Economy and Financial Markets; (3) Fostering Macroeconomic and Financial Stability and Growth Through Surveillance; (4) Program Support and Capacity Building; and (5) Governance, Organization, and Finances. The full financial statements for the year, other appendixes, and materials supplementing the text are provided on a CD-ROM.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Annual Report 2008 to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF's activities and policies during the financial year (May 1, 2007, through April 30, 2008). There are five chapters: (1) Overview: Refocusing the IMF; (2) Developments in the Global Economy and Financial Markets; (3) Fostering Macroeconomic and Financial Stability and Growth Through Surveillance; (4) Program Support and Capacity Building; and (5) Governance, Organization, and Finances. The full financial statements for the year, other appendixes, and materials supplementing the text are provided on a CD-ROM.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Annual Report 2008 to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF's activities and policies during the financial year (May 1, 2007, through April 30, 2008). There are five chapters: (1) Overview: Refocusing the IMF; (2) Developments in the Global Economy and Financial Markets; (3) Fostering Macroeconomic and Financial Stability and Growth Through Surveillance; (4) Program Support and Capacity Building; and (5) Governance, Organization, and Finances. The full financial statements for the year, other appendixes, and materials supplementing the text are provided on a CD-ROM.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Annual Report 2008 to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF’s activities and policies during the financial year (May 1, 2007, through April 30, 2008). There are five chapters: (1) Overview: Refocusing the IMF; (2) Developments in the Global Economy and Financial Markets; (3) Fostering Macroeconomic and Financial Stability and Growth Through Surveillance; (4) Program Support and Capacity Building; and (5) Governance, Organization, and Finances. The full financial statements for the year, other appendixes, and materials supplementing the text are provided on a CD-ROM.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

El Informe Anual 2008 a la Junta de Gobernadores pasa revista a las actividades y políticas del FMI durante el ejercicio (1 de mayo de 2007 al 30 de abril de 2008). Consta de cinco capítulos: 1) Panorama general: El FMI replantea su misión; 2) La situación de la economía mundial y de los mercados financieros; 3) La supervisión como medio para fomentar la estabilidad y el crecimiento macroeconómico y financiero; 4) Respaldo a los programas y fortalecimiento de las capacidades, y 5) Organización, estructura de gobierno y finanzas del FMI. Los estados financieros completos correspondientes al ejercicio, así como otros apéndices y material complementario se publican en CD-ROM.