During the Spring Meetings NGOs had a disappointing meeting with Joanne Salop, Vice President for Operations Policy and Strategy. She had been invited to discuss the conversion of the Operational Directive (OD) on Adjustment Lending into an Operational Policy (OP) and Bank Procedure (BP) (see Bretton Woods Update 22). The new documents will be shorter than the current OD and will focus on issues such as country selectivity, track record, share of adjustment lending in total Bank lending, collaboration with the IMF, disclosure and participation. The specific policy wording in the current OD is likely to be removed from the new documents, which will instead require adjustment lending to support “good policies”.
Despite receiving a detailed letter from NGOs identifying key questions on the conversion and consultation processes, Salop was unable to answer many of them. Salop confirmed that there would be a series of regional meetings based on an issues paper but the timetable is unclear and there are no plans to hold consultations on the draft OP and BP themselves.
NGOs were also concerned to know how disparate Bank work on the new Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC), impact assessments for adjustment programmes and Bank lending in middle-income countries would fit with the new OP. Salop confirmed that policy on impact assessments will be included in the Operational Policy.
A SAPs Retrospective study, prepared by the Bank staff to feed into the conversion process is expected to be published in June. The IMF‘s Board will discuss the staff’s issues paper in the summer. It is expected that the entire conversion process will take a year to complete.
For the NGO letter email Kathy Selvaggio