The UK Department for International Development is funding 2 social advisors to join the IMF‘s Africa department to advise on the social implications of the IMF‘s ESAF programmes. Caroline Robb, who has been working with the World Bank on the social crisis in East Asia, and Alison Scott will join the Fund in July. The IMF intends to become more involved in social issues and hopes that all departments will eventually develop the capacity to conduct social analysis.
Meanwhile, the WB and IMF are collaborating on projects to test whether the Bank can work with the IMF to minimise social impacts. These pilot studies, which arose from last year’s external review of the Fund’s Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility, are taking place in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Tajikistan and Vietnam. From these pilots the Bank and Fund will establish a formal process for consultation on social issues.