Front Matter

Front Matter

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
Published Date:
October 2005
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IMF technical assistance: evaluation report/[prepared by a team lead by Marcelo Selowsky]—[Washington, D.C.]: International Monetary Fund, Independent Evaluation Office, 2005.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 9781451964646

1. International Monetary Fund—Evaluation. 2. Technical assistance—Evaluation. I. Selowsky, Marcelo. II. International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office.

HG3881.5.I58I43 2005

Price: US$25.00

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Contents

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.

Some of the documents cited and referenced in this report were not available to the public at the time of publication of this report. However, under the current policy on public access to the IMF’s archives, some of these documents will become available five years after their issuance. They may be referenced as EBS/YY/NN and SM/YY/NN, where EBS and SM indicate the series and YY indicates the year of issue. Certain other documents are to become available ten or twenty years after their issuance, depending on the series. Technical assistance reports referred to in this evaluation report are generally not released to the public.

Foreword

Technical assistance (TA) is one of the key services provided by the IMF to member countries—particularly lower-income countries. It covers a wide set of activities, ranging from TA to support IMF policy advice to longer-term TA assisting countries’ institutional development.

Over the years many questions have been raised regarding the relevance and effectiveness of TA and how to enhance ownership of its recommendations by the authorities. This evaluation examines these issues and derives recommendations for both management and the Executive Board. It unbundles the TA process into three stages—prioritization, delivery, and monitoring progress and evaluating impact. The methodology involves the use of statistical analysis of a large number of countries as well as in-depth case studies with field work to explore more qualitative issues.

In trying to assess the effectiveness of technical assistance, the study distinguishes between the impact at different stages of the results chain—the immediate improvements in the technical capabilities of agencies receiving TA, the ability of agencies to then apply and enforce that know-how, and, whenever possible, ultimate outcomes on the ground. Attribution of results to TA becomes more difficult the further out the results chain we go. While such assessments inevitably rely heavily upon qualitative judgments, the report draws upon various performance indicators and benchmarks wherever possible.

The report recommends making priority setting of TA more strategic and with heavier involvement of the authorities; stronger participation of the authorities in the design and follow-up of TA to signal and enhance country ownership; deeper efforts to identify and discuss options prior to drafting TA recommendations; and more systematic and rigorous practices to track progress on major TA activities to better identify reasons for shortfalls. Because IMF resources devoted to TA are small relative to global efforts and because of the wide variety of country circumstances in the membership, there are important trade-offs between serving the wide membership and developing a deeper core of expertise within the institution. The evaluation recommends that management and the Executive Board of the IMF examine such trade-offs.

David Goldsbrough

Acting Director

Independent

Evaluation Office

IMF Technical Assistance

This evaluation report was prepared by a team headed by Marcelo Selowsky and including Jeffrey Allen Chelsky, Mariano Cortés, and Emilio Pineda, and was approved by David Goldsbrough, Acting Director of the Independent Evaluation Office. Chapters of the report benefited from inputs from Isabelle Mateos y Lago and Daouda Sembene. Research assistance from Patricia Yang-Yang Chen, administrative support by Arun Bhatnagar, Annette Canizares, and Maria S. Gutierrez, and editorial assistance from Esha Ray are gratefully acknowledged.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

AFR

African Department (IMF)

AFRISTAT

Economic and Statistical Observatory for Sub-Saharan Africa

AFRITAC

Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center

AML/CFT

Anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism

APD

Asia and Pacific Department (IMF)

APR

Annual progress report

BRS

Budget Reporting System

CARTAC

Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre

D+A

Direct plus allocated cost

DQAF

Data Quality Assessment Framework

EFF

Extended Fund Facility (IMF)

EU1

European I Department (IMF)

EU2

European II Department (IMF)

EUR

European Department (IMF)

FAD

Fiscal Affairs Department (IMF)

FSAP

Financial Sector Assessment Program

GDDS

General Data Dissemination Standard

GDP

Gross domestic product

GNI

Gross national income

GST

General sales tax

HIPC

Heavily Indebted Poor Country

IEO

Independent Evaluation Office

IMF

International Monetary Fund

INS

IMF Institute

I-PRSP

Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

LEG

Legal Department (IMF)

LTE

Long-term resident expert

MAE

Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department (IMF)

MATTS

MAE/MFD Technical Assistance Tracking System

MED

Middle East and Central Asia Department (IMF)

MEF

Ministry of Economy and Finance of Cambodia

MFD

Monetary and Financial Systems Department (IMF)

NBC

National Bank of Cambodia

NIS

National Institute of Statistics of Cambodia

OED

Operations Evaluation Department (World Bank)

OFC

Offshore financial center

OIA

Office of Internal Audit and Inspection (IMF)

OTM

Office of Technical Assistance Management (IMF)

PEM

Public expenditure management

PFTAC

Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre

PMS

Project Monitoring System

PRGF

Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility

PRS

Poverty Reduction Strategy

PRSP

Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

RAP

Resource Allocation Plan

ROSC

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes

RTAC

Regional technical assistance center

SBA

Stand-By Arrangement

STA

Statistics Department (IMF)

TA

Technical assistance

TAIMS

Technical Assistance Information and Management System

TC

Technical assistance consultation

TCAP

Technical Cooperation Action Plan

TIMS

Travel Information Management System

TOR

Terms of reference

TSA

Treasury Single Account

UFR

Use of Fund resources

UNDP

United Nations Development Program

VAT

Value-added tax

WHD

Western Hemisphere Department (IMF)

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