Executive directors have agreed to set up an independent evaluation unit for the IMF. The details of how the unit will function have not been finalised and will be fleshed out over the coming months. A final decision will be made by the Annual Meetings in Prague in September.
It looks likely that the unit will be independent from the staff and management and report to the board, with a core staff and contracted experts for specific projects. Staff want the new unit to be limited to ex-post evaluations rather than carrying out on-going assessment of programmes. They argue that the Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department has too much influence in the Bank. Executive Directors have mixed opinions with some arguing that the Policy Development and Review Department already has a systematic evaluation function, although admitting that staff can be biased, whilst others want the unit to be able to carry out on-going evaluations. Thomas Bernes, Canadian ED who heads the Board’s Evaluation Committee said that “most of the Board appreciate the need for a broad mandate.”
NGOs are calling for the unit to be fully transparent and French NGOs, led by Agir Ici, are calling for an appeals mechanism to hear the complaints of people affected by IMF policies. It should enable people affected by adjustment programmes to file lawsuits against policies that violate their fundamental rights or when their environment is threatened, and subsequently to obtain reparations. To be effective such a mechanism should be supported by an independent evaluation unit and impact assessments carried out prior to implementation of adjustment programmes.
Views on the evaluation unit should be sent soon to Thomas Bernes email@example.com
Fax: +001 202 623 4712
For a briefing paper firstname.lastname@example.org
Review of experience with evaluation: www.imf.org/external/np/eval/2000/031400