A Spotlight on the IMF’s Technical Assistance

2017-04-15T14:17:01-04:00October 13, 2011|

Of the three main pillars of the IMF’s work, technical assistance has been a sort of middle child; it doesn’t get the attention of the oldest and youngest children, yet in many ways is the glue that holds the family together. The other two pillars are well known: we lend money to countries in times of need and crisis, and conduct annual check-ups of their economies and financial systems, known as surveillance. As countries around the world cope with the global economic crisis, the IMF’s technical assistance is a vital part of the work that we do to help countries prevent, prepare for and resolve crises. A new strategy for technical assistance is under discussion at the IMF and there are five key areas we need to focus on: adapting to countries’ evolving needs, more cooperation with donors, new ways to deliver technical assistance, the importance of training, and a focus on results.

Resolve and Determination—How We Get Out of This Together

2017-04-15T14:18:39-04:00September 27, 2011|

Coming in to the 2011 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank this past weekend, I had warned of the dangerous new phase for the global economy and had called for bold and collective action. Coming out of the Meetings, I feel strongly that the global community is beginning to respond. Why? Three reasons: a shared sense of urgency, a shared diagnosis of the problems, and a shared sense that the steps needed in the period ahead are now coming into focus. So, looking ahead, follow through—by all concerned—is now even more important. That means taking action not in the years ahead, but in the weeks ahead. And, in that, we are all in this together and we can only get out of it together.

Heartbreak and Hardship—Finding a Way Out for Fragile States

2017-04-15T14:19:19-04:00September 7, 2011|

War-torn Iraq, quake-ravaged Haiti, conflict-devastated Sierra Leone. So many countries around the world face the legacy of terrible hardships that have left them scarred and fragile. Some have questioned whether the IMF has a meaningful role to play in these countries, but they couldn’t be more wrong. A recent review found that the IMF has played an important positive role in fragile states. This doesn’t mean we always got it right. We can do better. There is plenty of scope to adapt how we engage in these countries; to be more flexible and deepen cooperation with other development partners. In this post, Dominique Desruelle discusses a few ideas that we’ll be exploring—and discussing with stakeholders—in the months ahead, including at a high-level public seminar in Washington later this month.

Raising Government Revenue in Africa: A Road out of Poverty

2017-04-15T14:27:47-04:00March 21, 2011|

Governments in Africa have a prime objective—to reduce poverty. To improve living standards and create jobs, they need to provide their citizens with better health care, better education, more infrastructure. They need to build hospitals, schools, and to pay doctors, nurses, teachers. All this costs money, and how to pay for this—in a way that is both fair and efficient—is a major challenge. With limits to how much a government can receive as grants or borrow, raising tax revenues will be a crucial element for governments to deliver more of these essential services and, in turn, reduce poverty. Policymakers will have an opportunity to exchange views on the challenges of Revenue Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa at a conference in Nairobi this week. To help frame that conversation, here are some ideas about priority areas for action.

Today’s Bounty, Tomorrow’s Promise: Better Policies to Manage Natural Resources

2017-04-15T14:30:38-04:00December 15, 2010|

By Leslie Lipschitz

(Version in Español | Français | عربي )

Countries rich in natural resources are often looked at with envy: they face few financial constraints and that should speed their development path. But the reality is less rosy.
Countries with an abundance of natural resources—typically oil, gas or minerals—have, on average, performed less well than comparable non-resource rich countries.

That raises one of the perennial questions in economic policymaking. How to manage the economic and social challenges that stem from resource wealth? Or, to borrow the words of Professor Thorvaldur Gylfason (University of Iceland), how to prevent “nature’s bounty” from “becoming the curse of the common people”? […]

Topical Trust Funds—The New Assistance Vanguard

2017-04-15T14:39:37-04:00March 29, 2010|

The IMF has begun implementing a new approach to financing its technical assistance by creating a series of topical trust funds that bring together interested donors. The idea behind the new topical trust funds is to support broader initiatives on policy topics and engage donors on a broader, longer-term, and more strategic basis.

Help in the Neighborhood: ‘Just a Phone Call Away’

2017-04-15T14:39:46-04:00March 25, 2010|

Regional technical assistance centers have gradually evolved to play a major role in IMF technical assistance. These centers, which are largely donor financed, have become important vehicles for helping countries carry out economic reforms. Their objective is to assist countries in designing and implementing their poverty reduction and broader developmental strategies and help countries integrate into the world economy.

IMF Opens Up: Partnerships with Donors a Win-Win

2017-04-15T14:39:50-04:00March 18, 2010|

Technical assistance in the IMF’s areas of core expertise is not only an important complement to the IMF’s policy advice in many countries but also helps them pursue their broader developmental and poverty reduction strategies by strengthening their capacity in macroeconomic management.

IMF Helping Africa Through the Crisis

2017-04-15T14:53:22-04:00September 10, 2009|

By Antoinette Sayeh

I believe that Africa’s needs must be fully reflected in any global response to this unprecedented recession. With similar intentions, leading policymakers and stakeholders in Africa gathered in Tanzania last March to discuss how to work with the IMF on this. Under the leadership of President Kikwete and IMF Managing Director Strauss-Kahn, the participants agreed to build a new, stronger partnership.

More than just rhetoric, these common goals included the IMF seeking more resources for Africa and reacting more rapidly, responsively, and flexibly. While much remains to be done, I think it is a fair to say that we have achieved a remarkable amount on both fronts—more in fact than I could have imagined when I started in my job just a little over a year ago.

My colleague, Hugh Bredenkamp has done a fine job detailing the IMF’s response to the needs of low-income countries. In  this post, I would like to talk a little about what it all means for Africa.

Sorting cashew nuts in Tanzania Sorting cashew nuts in Tanzania

As a reminder, the IMF agreed to mobilize $17 billion through 2014 for lending to low income […]

Go to Top