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Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the International Monetary Fund - Annual Report 2013
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This evaluation examines in what circumstances the Fund is viewed as a trusted advisor to its member countries. It uses evidence gathered since 2005, but emphasizes the period since the onset of the global crisis in 2007–08. Because the concept of trusted advisor is “in the eyes of the beholder,” the evaluation derives the main attributes from country authorities themselves.
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In 2009-10, IMF Management advanced the argument that excessive reserve accumulation was jeopardizing the stability of the international monetary system. This evaluation traces the evolution of this thinking, in particular how it relates to the Fund’s longerstanding concern about the risks from global imbalances, and discusses reasons for the shift towards stressing the risks posed by excessive reserve accumulation.
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While the research was appreciated by country authorities and the research community, its relevance was often hampered by lack of early consultation with country authorities on research themes and by lack of sufficient country and institutional context.
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It finds that the IMF provided few clear warnings about the risks and vulnerabilities associated with the impending crisis before its outbreak.
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The evaluation evidence shows that IMF interactions were least effective with advanced and large emerging economies and most effective with PRGF-eligible countries.
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The evaluation finds that the IMF’s role in trade policy has evolved in some desirable and some less desirable ways.
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The purpose of this evaluation is to examine technical assistance (TA) provided by the IMF to its member countries and to derive operational recommendations that can enhance the contribution of TA to the overall IMF mandate. The stated objectives of IMF TA were defined in the most recent policy statement on the subject. “In accord with the IMF's first Article of Agreement, the objective of the IMF's TA program is to contribute to the