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

Front Matter

Author(s):
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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© 2004 International Monetary Fund

Production: IMF Multimedia Services Division

Figures: Lai Oy Louie

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Evaluation of the IMF’s role in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility / [prepared by a team headed by David Goldsbrough] — [Washington, D.C.] : International Monetary Fund, Independent Evaluation Office, 2004.

  • p. cm. — (Evaluation report)

  • Includes bibliographical references.

  • ISBN 9781589063679

1. International Monetary Fund — Evaluation. 2. Developing countries — Economic policy. 3. Poverty. I. Goldsbrough, David John. II. Evaluation report (International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office).

HG3881. 5.I58E93 2004

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Contents

The following symbols have been used throughout this report:

– between years or months (e.g. 2003–04 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

/ between years (e.g. 2003/04) to indicate a fiscal (financial) year.

“Billion” means a thousand million.

Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

Some of the documents cited and referenced in this report were not available to the public at the time of publication of this report. 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.

Foreword

The role of the IMF in supporting economic reform in low-income member countries has been the subject of considerable scrutiny and criticism over the years. At the end of 1999, the IMF and World Bank adopted a new framework for their support to low-income countries. This framework comprised two key elements: first, country-authored Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), expected to draw on broad-based consultations with key stakeholder groups; and, second, a vehicle for the provision of IMF concessional lending, the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), which replaced the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF). Programs supported by the PRGF were to be derived from a country’s PRSP to ensure that reforms supported by the IMF were country owned and clearly oriented to achieving the joint objectives of poverty reduction and economic growth.

Although it is still too early to assess the success of the new framework in achieving these objectives, it is time to take stock of progress to date and identify shortcomings that may require course corrections in the design and implementation of the initiative. This is the purpose of this new IEO evaluation, which seeks to strike a balance between measuring progress against initial expectations and against final objectives. In this endeavor, we met two difficulties. First, it appeared that initial expectations about what could be delivered in the short term—by the IMF and by low-income countries alike—were extremely ambitious. Second, yardsticks and benchmarks to assess intermediate progress toward the final objectives appeared to be insufficient, especially with regard to what was expected in terms of country-specific changes in policy processes.

This evaluation adds to an already extensive body of reviews of the PRSP initiative undertaken internally by IMF and World Bank staff, as well as by donor agencies and nongovernmental organizations, by drawing on the comparative advantage of the IEO, which combines an independent perspective with full access to internal IMF documents, staff, and key decision makers. The evaluation, undertaken in parallel with a similar exercise by the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) of the World Bank (www.worldbank.org/oed/prsp) is based on extensive cross-section analysis of data for countries that had completed full PRSPs as of the end of 2002 and is further informed by a series of in-depth country case studies and surveys of stakeholders in low-income countries.

Following standard practice, this volume includes, alongside the evaluation report itself, the response of IMF management and staff to the evaluation, as well as the Summing Up of the Executive Board discussion of this report. Executive summaries of the case studies undertaken as background to this evaluation will be published in a separate volume and the full case study reports can be found on our website at www.imf.org/ieo.

David Goldsbrough

Acting Director

Independent Evaluation Office

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

This report was prepared by a team headed by David Goldsbrough and includes Jeffrey Allen Chelsky, Martin Kaufman, Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Alex Segura-Ubiergo, Daouda Sem-bene, and Tsidi Tsikata. Research assistance was provided by Patricia Yang-Yang Chen and Mowafa Taib, and administrative support by Annette Canizares, Arun Bhatnagar, and Maria S. Gutierrez. Important contributions were also received from Professor Arne Bigsten, Soren Jensen, David Peretz, and Kerfalla Yansane. The report was approved by Montek S. Ahluwalia, then Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). The evaluation team also benefited considerably from its collaboration with the World Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department team, led by William Battaile, which conducted a parallel evaluation of the World Bank’s role in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper process. Final judgments expressed in this report are the responsibility of the IEO alone.

The assistance of the Economic Commission for Africa in hosting a workshop for stakeholders in January 2004 in Addis Ababa to discuss the preliminary results emerging from the evaluation, and the financial support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, which allowed a number of the participants to attend that workshop, are gratefully acknowledged.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

AFR

African Department (IMF)

APR

Annual performance report

AsDB

Asian Development Bank

BWI

Bretton Woods institution

CAS

Country Assistance Strategy (World Bank)

CDF

Comprehensive Development Framework (World Bank)

CG

Consultative Group

CGE

Computable General Equilibrium

CPIA

Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (World Bank)

CSO

Civil society organization

DAC

Development Assistance Committee (OECD)

DFID

Department for International Development (U.K.)

EC

European Commission

ESAF

Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (IMF)

FAD

Fiscal Affairs Department (IMF)

FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization (UN)

GDP

Gross domestic product

HIPC

Heavily Indebted Poor Country

IDA

International Development Association

IEO

Independent Evaluation Office (IMF)

IFI

International financial institution

IMF

International Monetary Fund

IMG

Independent Monitoring Group

I-NGO

International nongovernmental organization

I-PRSP

Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

JPR

Joint Partner Review

JSA

Joint Staff Assessment

LIC

Low-income country

LOI

Letter of Intent (IMF)

MCD

Middle East and Central Asia Department (IMF)

MDGs

Millennium Development Goals

MEFP

Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policy (IMF)

MFD

Monetary and Financial Systems Department (IMF)

MONA

Monitoring of Arrangements (IMF)

MTEF

Medium-term expenditure framework

NEPAD

New Partnership for Africa’s Development

NGO

Nongovernmental organization

ODA

Official development assistance

OED

Operations Evaluation Department (World Bank)

PAF

Performance Assessment Framework

PDR

Policy Development and Review Department (IMF)

PEM

Public expenditure management

PER

Public Expenditure Review (World Bank)

PFP

Policy Framework Paper

PRE

Poverty-reducing expenditure

PRGF

Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (IMF)

PRS

Poverty Reduction Strategy

PRSC

Poverty Reduction Support Credit (IDA)

PRSP

Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

PRSP-PR

PRSP Progress Report

PSIA

Poverty and Social Impact Analysis

RES

Research Department (IMF)

ROSC

Report on Standards and Codes

SOE

State-owned enterprise

TA

Technical assistance

TOR

Terms of reference

UN

United Nations

UNDP

United Nations Development Program

VAT

Value-added tax

WEO

World Economic Outlook (IMF)

WHD

Western Hemisphere Department (IMF)

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