Information about Western Hemisphere Hemisferio Occidental
Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
Published Date:
March 2005
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Information about Western Hemisphere Hemisferio Occidental
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Top: IEO speakers at a seminar in Tokyo.

Photo courtesy of Institute for International Monetary Affairs

Center: IEO Acting Director and staff at a meeting in Washington.

©IMF photo

Bottom: Participants at an IEO workshop in Berlin.

Photo courtesy of InWEnt

Established by the IMF’s Executive Board in July 2001, the Independent Evaluation Office provides objective and independent evaluation on issues related to the IMF. The office operates independently of IMF management and at arm’s length from the IMF’s Executive Board. It enhances the learning culture of the IMF, promotes understanding of the IMF’s work, and supports the IMF’s Executive Board in its governance and oversight. Further information on the office and its work program can be found on its website (

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The following symbols have been used in this report:

–between years or months (e.g. 2002–03 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

FY to indicate a fiscal (financial) year. FY2003 is May 2002 to April 2003 and FY2004 is May 2003 to April 2004.

“Billion” means a thousand million.

Message from the Acting Director

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) was established by the IMF Executive Board in 2001 with a view to increasing transparency and accountability and strengthening the learning culture in the International Monetary Fund. This second Annual Report describes the activities of the IEO during its second full year of operation.

The report summarizes the findings and recommendations of two additional completed evaluation projects: on the IMF’s experience with Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility; and the role of the IMF in Argentina, 1991-2001. A third project, Assessing IMF Technical Assistance, will be submitted to the Executive Board in early 2005. This Annual Report also discusses the status of ongoing evaluations: the IMF’s Approach to Capital Account Liberalization; the Financial Sector Assessment Program; and IMF Assistance to Jordan. Two additional projects are already on our agenda—evaluations of IMF Multilateral Surveillance and of IMF Structural Conditionality—and draft issues papers will be posted on the IEO website for public comments in early 2005.

We are now beginning the process of identifying potential candidates for the menu from which future IEO work programs will be chosen. A preliminary list of possible topics is described in this Annual Report, and we invite comments on these and other potential topics.

The IEO’s terms of reference give an exceptional degree of independence, and we have developed procedures, described in this Annual Report, to promote high standards of transparency. Conducting effective evaluations would not be possible without the active cooperation of the institution being evaluated, and we would like to record our appreciation for the excellent collaboration we have received from the Executive Board, IMF management, and the staff.

Our experience in the first two full years of operation underscores the vital importance of giving interested external stakeholders an opportunity to interact with the IEO at various stages, including in defining the work program and determining the detailed terms of reference of individual studies. An increasing number of commentators are also taking advantage of the opportunities we provide to submit substantive inputs on items included in the terms of reference of each study. We welcome feedback on both our ongoing work and our future work program, which can be provided through the IEO website (

Finally, I and the rest of the IEO staff would like to express our deepest gratitude to Montek Ahluwalia, the first Director of the IEO. Montek resigned at the end of June 2004 in order to take up a cabinet-level position in the Indian government. His contribution as a leader, the combination of intellectual insights and practical experience with policymaking that he brought to the complex task of evaluating the activities of the IMF, as well as his warmth as a friend and colleague are missed by all of us.

The IMF’s Executive Board has begun the search for a new Director, with the goal that the person appointed will take up the position as early as possible in 2005.

David Goldsbrough

Abbreviations and Acronyms


Financial Sector Assessment Program


Financial Sector Stability Assessment


Global Financial Stability Report


Independent Evaluation Office (IMF)


International financial institution


International Monetary and Financial Committee


Joint Staff Assessment


Joint Staff Advisory Note


Millennium Development Goals


Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development


Operations Evaluation Department (World Bank)


Public expenditure management


Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility


Poverty Reduction Strategy


Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper


Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes


Stand-By Arrangement


Technical assistance


United Nations


World Economic Outlook

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