Abstract

5. This evaluation focuses on the broad spectrum of data activities associated with the IMF’s core strategic operations—surveillance and lending2—and also on the role of the IMF as a key provider of a public good, namely economic and financial statistics for the use of the international community.3 It emphasizes data practices and developments during the past five years and addresses the following questions:

5. This evaluation focuses on the broad spectrum of data activities associated with the IMF’s core strategic operations—surveillance and lending2—and also on the role of the IMF as a key provider of a public good, namely economic and financial statistics for the use of the international community.3 It emphasizes data practices and developments during the past five years and addresses the following questions:

  • (a) Do the IMF’s practices/policies with respect to data and statistics provide effective support for the conduct of Fund operations? Is the present set of mandates/policies/practices sufficient to meet the Fund’s evolving needs?

  • (b) Are data and statistics managed efficiently within the Fund?

  • (c) Are the Fund’s relationships with its members and other stakeholders conducive to effectively meeting the IMF’s needs on data and statistics? Are the IMF’s statistical activities oriented appropriately to meet the needs of the international community?

6. To answer the above, the evaluation team gathered evidence from interviews of IMF staff and Management, Board members, country authorities, academics, think tanks, and staff from organizations in the Inter-Agency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics (IAG);4 surveys of IMF staff, country authorities, and external users of economic statistics;5 review of IMF documents, including the many Board papers issued during the past several decades on IMF data provision and management; reviews of the recent academic literature on data issues; and findings from past IEO evaluations and reports prepared by external consultants.6

7. The rest of the report is organized as follows: Chapter 3 provides a brief review of the evolution of the Fund’s statistical architecture and data activities, much of it in reaction to crises. Chapter 4 describes the current state of play, while Chapter 5 summarizes the evaluation’s main findings. The concluding chapter provides recommendations and suggestions.

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