Evaluation of the IMF's Role in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility

Annex 2 Results from Survey of IMF Staff1

David Goldsbrough, Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Martin Kaufman, Daouda Sembene, Tsidi Tsikata, Steve Mugerwa, Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Jeff Chelsky
Published Date:
September 2004
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The survey was undertaken during December 2003 and January 2004. It targeted mission chiefs and resi-dent representatives for PRGF-eligible countries. A total of 75 IMF staff responded, about 40 percent of the targeted universe. The questions focused on the formulation of the PRGF-supported program, the role of the Fund in the implementation of the PRSP/PRGF initiatives, JSAs and Bank-Fund collaboration, and internal IMF procedures and incentives.

Main messages

  • While there was broad consensus among staff on the impact of the PRSP/PRGF initiatives on the Fund’s way of doing business, that is, that it meant a better orientation toward poverty reduction (Figure A2.1), positions were generally more divergent with regard to issues of attribu-tion—notably the causes of the policy gaps and slow implementation of the various facets of the new approach.
  • The staff’s overall assessment of the various aspects of the PRSP/PRGF process is positive. However, on a number of issues considered integral to the process, such as a participatory approach or PSIA, IMF staff indicated a lack of clarity as to the level and extent of IMF involvement.
  • Staff perceived that the PRSP/PRGF process had, as a whole, improved the manner in which they conduct Fund business, both within the IMF itself—poverty issues are now highlighted to a greater degree in the process of program de-sign—and in their collaboration with the World Bank and interaction with the broader donor community during program implementation. Notably, the factors driving these processes were seen by staff to be broader than the mere streamlining of conditionality.
  • Respondents indicated that further progress is impeded by the slow change in IMF institutional culture. Missions are still constrained in terms of size and time, and the new approach has not led to more policy space for country-driven op-tions. Generally, respondents did not support the view that the PRSP/PRGF process had led to a significant change in the way initial policy posi-tions are discussed and established within the IMF.
  • JSAs were found by IMF staff to be useful in providing feedback to the authorities and as an independent expert assessment of the PRSP to third parties, notably civil society and donors. Moreover, the majority of staff considered them to be candid.

Figure A2.1.IMF Staff Responses on the Impact of the Key Features of PRGF-Supported Programs on Their Conduct of Fund Business1

(1=No impact; 5=Highly significant impact)

Source: IMF staff survey database for this evaluation.

1 Y-axis represents number of responses.


Most questions featured a five-point scale, where 1 was the lowest degree and 5 the highest. A “Don’t Know/Not Applicable” cate-gory was also available for cases where the respondent’s own expe-rience did not allow for a response. This annex summarizes the results. A more detailed presentation will be put on the IEO website as a background document when the main report is published.

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