Chapter 1. Overview
- International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
- Published Date:
- August 2014
During FY2014, the IEO produced two evaluations: IMF Forecasts: Process, Quality, and Country Perspectives, which was discussed by the Executive Board in February, and Recurring Issues from a Decade of Evaluation: Lessons for the IMF, which is scheduled for discussion early in FY2015. The IEO also issued an update of the 2005 evaluation of IMF technical assistance, and published the two updates on prolonged use of IMF resources and fiscal adjustment in IMF-supported programs issued in last year’s Annual Report.
The Executive Board agreed to the Management Implementation Plan (MIP) for the evaluation of The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor, which was discussed by the Board in February 2013. The Board also approved staff proposals to implement recommendations made by the second external evaluation of the IEO to enhance the effectiveness of the IEO, particularly related to the follow-up process.
The IEO has three ongoing evaluations: on self-assessment in the IMF, the IMF’s response to the global financial crisis, and IMF statistics; and in FY2015 it will launch an evaluation on the IMF and the euro area crisis. The IEO also began preparing two evaluation updates this year which will be completed in early FY2015: a joint revisit of the 2004 evaluation of the IMF’s role in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and the 2007 evaluation of the IMF and aid to Sub-Saharan Africa, and a revisit of the 2005 evaluation of the IMF’s approach to capital account liberalization.
The remainder of this chapter reports on the IEO budget and outreach efforts in the financial year. Chapter 2 summarizes the IMF Forecasts and Recurring Issues evaluations and the IMF Technical Assistance update. Chapter 3 discusses follow-up on IEO evaluations, including staff proposals to implement recommendations made by the second external evaluation of the IEO. Chapter 4 addresses ongoing evaluations and the IEO work program looking forward.
Budget and Staffing
The IEO ended FY2014 with total spending of about 5 percent above its approved budget. This expenditure was fully financed with a carry-over from the FY2013 budget.1 The increase in spending was largely attributable to a higher use of consultants to meet the demands of FY2014, which included work on five evaluations and two evaluation updates.
Due to the unpredictability of staff recruitment and tenure, the IEO recruited an Assistant Director and an Advisor at the end of FY2013 ahead of the departures of the prior incumbents, with overlaps that continued into FY2014. As a result, for a first time in many years the office had a full complement of staff. Spending on discretionary items, including travel and seminars was as projected. Appendix 1 details the IEO budget and expenditures.
On April 4, 2014, the Executive Board approved the IEO FY2015 budget proposal of $5.7 million, consistent with zero real growth over FY2014. This budget, along with a carryover of unspent funds from FY2014 of up to 5 percent of the authorized FY2014 budget, will allow the IEO to meet the demands of its FY2015 program. The FY2015 work program includes work on four evaluations and two evaluation updates, as detailed in Chapter 4. The IEO also presented indicative budgets for FY2016 and FY2017, based on zero real growth.2
Outreach and Communication Activities
Outreach is critical to achieving the IEO’s objectives. It is also an important tool for informing stakeholders about IEO evaluations and thereby increasing their impact. To publicize and encourage discussion of its work, the IEO organized or participated in a number of public events in FY2014. These are listed in Appendix 2.
The IEO actively uses its website, along with email communication with subscribers, to publicize its work and to solicit public comments on ongoing initiatives. The website (www.ieo-imf.org) serves as a repository of all IEO work and was recently updated to include a dedicated page on the new series of evaluation updates.
On a one-time, exceptional basis, the IEO was authorized to carry forward up to 10 percent of its FY2013 budget into FY2014, an amount higher than the 5 percent carry forward in previous years. Taking into account the carryover from FY2013, the IEO ended FY2014 with about 5 percent of its total FY2014 resources remaining.
However, under current trends, the zero real growth assumption may not be tenable for FY2016 and beyond. The IEO already projects that it will use carry-over funds to finance permanent expenditures in the proposed FY2015 budget.