In July, the Bretton Woods Project launched a new online tool, the Article IV Scanner, designed to enable civil society, researchers and officials to more easily search for keywords and phrases in all IMF country-level surveillance reports published since 2000. The tool was developed to make IMF surveillance, one of its three main activities, more transparent, accessible and open to critical perspectives (see Inside the Institutions, IMF Surveillance).
The Scanner was launched ahead of the IMF opening its Comprehensive Surveillance Review for consultation with civil society, expected to take place in Autumn. The Review is a 5-yearly exercise aimed at enhancing the Fund’s efforts to detect financial and economic risks and spillovers, and to improve the IMF’s analysis at country-level. The 2019 Review is expected to build on the findings of the 2018 Interim Surveillance Review and is considered to be a key indicator in measuring the degree to which the Fund’s more recent work on gender and economic inequality, social spending and climate change will be integrated into country-level policy advice.
The tool is kindly hosted on the website IMF Monitor, which also houses the first freely available, comprehensive and transparent database of IMF conditionality (see Observer Winter 2017-2018).