IFI governance


IMF Evaluation Office announces programme

17 January 2002

After putting its first proposed work programme to public consultation, the new IMF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has revealed the topics it will investigate in 2002. These include:

  • fiscal adjustment in IMF-supported programs in selected low- and middle-income countries;
  • the role of the IMF in three recent capital account crisis cases (Brazil, Indonesia and Korea); and
  • the IMF‘s role in countries which have been repeat users of Fund financial resources.

A short-list of twelve other issues, from which the following two years’ evaluations will be selected, has also been released for comments. The list will be reviewed annually. The IEO intends to consult with both internal and external stakeholders to derive the detailed terms of reference for each study. External stakeholders will also have opportunities to comment on completed reports.

While the consultation processes seems to offer opportunities for civil society engagement, some irregularities have already emerged. Whilst external stakeholders were being invited to comment on the draft work-programme, a document had already been circulated to the Board and Ministries with details of the finalised programme. This paper was not available to external stakeholders wishing to comment. A letter from several NGOs commented that, “It is unclear why the large menu of topics is the basis for public consultation when the IEO has already made firm decisions about 2002/2003 reviews. This sends a signal to outside parties that they are commenting on outdated information that is no longer the basis for discussion or decision-making.”

The letter also called for:

  • a right for outsiders to submit suggestions for evaluation topics to the office and to receive a written response;
  • clear guidelines as to when and how outside stakeholders will participate in the evaluations;
  • notice to all participants that reports are publicly available;
  • reviews not to be changed in the light of comments from IMF management. To help assess this, management’s comments on evaluation reports should be published alongside the evaluation report and both submitted to the Board.

Details of the work programme

The IEO invites anyone who has done substantive work on issues related to the IEO‘s work programme to send it to: ieo@imf.org

Letter to the Bretton Woods Update editor from the IMF IEO Director