A team of UK-based academics launched a new website in September, compiling the first freely available, comprehensive and transparent database of IMF conditionality, or mandated policy reforms. The database systematises the 58,406 conditions applicable to IMF programmes between 1980 and 2014. The data were extracted from countries’ loan agreements with the IMF and enable nuanced examinations of the economic, social and political determinants and implications of IMF conditionality.
The team plans to continue working to expand the database and make it more accessible over the next few years. Thomas Stubbs of Royal Holloway, University of London, one of the researchers behind the database, explained, “We sought to lower the informational barrier for civil society, policymakers and the public vis-à-vis the outputs of the IMF. Information about the content of conditionality had been largely inaccessible, impeding attempts to hold this controversial organisation to account.”