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Evaluation Office, Country Evaluation: Bulgaria. Assessment of Development Results, Evaluation Office, Development Effectiveness Report Partnerships for Results , NY Weston, A. Blouin and L. World Trade Report Exploring the linkage between the domestic policy environment and international trade, Federation of Indian Export Organisations, see www. Menon B. Watson, K. Guidelines for Trade Related Assistance , May Government of India, Economic Survey, Business Guide to the World Trading System. Cocoa: A Guide to Trade Practices, Glossary of Packaging Terms for Developing Countries , International Marketing and the Trading System , ITC Annual Reports for to The report recommends strengthened, more candid surveillance of exchange rate regime choices.

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It argues that the Fund should avoid prolonged programme involvement if policies are not being undertaken to deal with fundamental problems. However, it finds that the Fund did not develop an exit strategy in case its assumptions proved wrong which they did ; failed to adequately assess exchange rate and debt sustainability; and was unwilling to discuss alternatives to their preferred strategy. Considerable weaknesses were revealed in the decision-making process at the Fund. The Board was often not provided with sufficient information to make an informed decision on which strategy to adopt.

The report recommends strengthening of the Board.

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These documents are published toge the r with the evaluation report and a summary of the Executive Board discussion. To promote this objective, various outreach events are organized to discuss each report after publication. To increase accessibility of the evaluation messages, a number of the country case studies have been translated into relevant local languages.

These are listed in Appendix 4.

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Staff inputs are sought on the descriptions of the follow-up, but the final judgment on the language used is that of the IEO. This has proven to be a useful mechanism to track the extent to which IEO evaluations have elicited a response from the IMF to change aspects of its policies and operations. That said, the matrices are essentially of a descriptive nature and are not intended to make judgments on the effectiveness of follow-up actions in achieving the ir intended objectives.

The IEO is a member of the Evaluation Cooperation Group, which comprises the evaluation of fices of multilateral development banks and the IMF and aims to streng the n the use of evaluation for greater effectiveness and accountability as well as to share lessons and harmonize approaches www. The IEO also participates in the activities of the Development Assistance Committee Working Party on Aid Evaluation , an international network for development evaluation experts and managers under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD , which seeks to improve evaluation practice by sharing methods and experience and by elaborating technical guidance.

The role of the IEO in following up on evaluation recommendations may be revisited following the evaluation of the IEO itself.

It also briefly updates the status of the Technical Assistance evaluation, which is expected to go to the Board at the beginning of It attributed this outcome, in part, to shortcomings in the design of the initiative that have reduced its effectiveness, including a lack of clarity about the role that the IMF should play. More specific findings are summarized below. Participation and ownership Participation in the formulation of PRSPs was found to be generally more broadly based than in previous approaches, although it was typically not designed to streng the n existing domestic institutional processes for policy formulation and accountability for example, through parliament.

In terms of the outputs from this participatory process in areas of direct relevance to the IMF , the re has been limited discussion of alternative policy options related to the macroeconomic framework and macro-relevant structural reforms. The report attributes this in part to the absence of mechanisms to ensure that key macroeconomic issues are aired. Results in terms of ownership have been mixed, with the least change in macroeconomic policy areas. In the se areas, the re has been relatively strong ownership in a narrow circle of of ficial stakeholders responsible for driving the process, but much less among o the r domestic stakeholders.

There continues to be a widespread perception that the PRS approach is overly influenced by the procedural requirements of the Bretton Woods institutions. A compendium volume providing summaries of all ten case studies is being published and the six full case studies in which IEO was directly involved are available in English and relevant o the r languages on the IEO website at www.

However, most PRSPs were found to fall short of providing a strategic road map for policymaking, especially in the area of macroeconomic and related structural policies. In a few countries where the process is beginning to be embedded in domestic institutions, the re are signs of feedback from initial implementation to policy design, but the se remain a minority. Capacity constraints have impeded implementation. For example, budgetary processes are weak, and the linkages between the PRSP, mediumterm expenditure frameworks, and budgets are generally poor. In particular, public expenditure management systems are generally too weak to allow the PRSP to play a central role in implementing expenditure priorities or modifying the m on the basis of feedback on actual costs and outcomes.

Their main contribution has been in giving feedback to country authorities on weaknesses in PRSPs, but the y are virtually unknown outside narrow of ficial circles and consequently have had no impact on broad policy debates in countries. They also do not incorporate systematic inputs from development partners and, in practice, have played a limited role in informing lending decisions, including those of the Bretton Woods institutions.

Factors limiting the usefulness of assessments include the lack of explicit benchmarks in most areas on which to base assessments and the fact that the y were constrained to reach a binary yes or no conclusion on whe the r the strategies presented in PRSPs constituted a sound basis for concessional lending by the two institutions. Its overall contribution has fallen well short of the very ambitious goals set in the original policy documents.

Part of the problem is that the PRS process itself does not yet generate sufficient signals— or accountability—on what the Bretton Woods institutions the mselves should be delivering in terms of capacity-streng the ning priorities. PRGF-supported programs Success in embedding the PRGF in the overall strategy for growth and poverty reduction has been limited in most cases, partly reflecting shortcomings in the strategies the mselves.

IEO Evaluation Report on the IMF's Approach to Capital Account Liberalization 2005

IMF structural conditionality has been streamlined, but the evaluation was not able to reach a definitive conclusion on what has happened to aggregate IMF —World Bank conditionality, which is not monitored systematically by the institutions. There were only minor improvements in various measures of program implementation under the PRGF. However, the se countries seem to have wea the red the worsening of the external environment in —02 better than o the r low-income countries.

The most notable improvements concern various input- and output-related measures for example, number of teachers, school enrollment, and vaccination rates , but outcomes such as maternal and infant mortality rates have generally not improved.

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Aligning incentives and objectives Recommendation 1. Introduce greater flexibility in the implementation of the PRS approach to fit better the needs of countries at different stages of the process and with different capacities and political and administrative systems. Shift the emphasis of the initiative from the production of documents to the development of sound domestic policy formulation and implementation processes. Implementation of this recommendation would involve the following elements: i As a way of building in a greater orientation toward results, countries should be encouraged to establish—with help from the IMF and the World Bank where needed—substantive criteria for judging progress toward key intermediate objectives.

Countries should present the ir intentions and objectives, along with the benchmarks selected to monitor progress, in a manner open to public scrutiny. IMF and World Bank staff would be responsible for providing clear and candid assessments of the progress made by each country in implementing the PRS approach, both in relation to the goals set by the country itself and against initiative-wide benchmarks.

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IMF and World Bank staff would help countries identify key constraints in making progress toward PRS objectives and support efforts to ameliorate the m. Donor decisions on the volume of resources provided should be linked to the progress countries are making under the approach. To facilitate this, IMF assessments in its area of expertise need to provide as clear and candid a signal as possible. Clarify the purpose of the JSAs and redefine the vehicle accordingly.

JSAs should also aim to provide a graduated assessment of the strength of the PRSP and related processes as well as of the quality of policies. With respect to PRGF-related activities, the rationale for IMF policy recommendations and program design should be subjected to broader scrutiny and debate.

There is a need to clarify the approach to be taken by the IMF in those cases where the PRS approach has added some value but has not yet produced an operational road map or the necessary institutional framework for implementation. Even in the se cases, the re may be significant scope for opening up the policy space and more systematically incorporating evidence on macro-micro linkages, including through poverty and social impact analysis. Recommendation 5. Streng the n prioritization and accountability on what the IMF itself is supposed to deliver within the broader partnership framework, built around the priorities emerging from the PRS process, and ensure resources match commitments.

The IMF should tailor its involvement more closely to country needs, taking into account contributions from o the r partners. This can be done by generating, as part of the PRS process, specific priority actions for the IMF to assist the country concerned to reach its national objectives. Recommendation 6. The IMF should encourage a streng the ning of the framework for establishing the external resource envelope as part of the PRS approach.

A country itself, not the IMF or the World Bank, should eventually play the central role in elaborating macro frameworks and catalyzing donor support. The IMF should provide increased analytical support for such approaches when requested, but the choice to prepare alternative projections should remain with the country and should not be a uniform requirement. While most Directors considered that the PRS approach has had a positive impact on economic policy design and implementation, the y stressed that substantial scope exists for better implementation of the current approach, based on the evolving experience and the directions of change identified in the IEO report.

At the same time, Directors cautioned against drawing premature conclusions about the ultimate success of the PRS approach based on only five years of experience with its implementation.

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They looked forward to the recommendations of the management-led committee on low-income country work to provide new impetus and focus to IMF work on low-income countries. Staff and management responses to the evaluation report are also available on the website. Greater flexibility in implementation of PRS approach Directors agreed that the PRS approach should be implemented pragmatically and flexibly, bearing in mind country-specific circumstances and capacity constraints.

They stressed the need to ensure that IMF -supported programs are designed to assure macroeconomic stability as well as to help members accelerate the pace of progress toward the Millennium Development Goals MDGs. Instead, IMF staff should focus on working with the countries to streng the n the macroeconomic frameworks in the ir PRSPs in order to move toward eventual alignment.

Shift emphasis to the development of sound domestic processes Directors agreed that the re should be less emphasis on document preparation, and more emphasis on improving the capability of countries to develop and implement policies supportive of growth and poverty reduction. Some Directors agreed with the recommendation that countries should set explicit criteria for judging progress toward key intermediate objectives and that IMF and World Bank staff should provide candid assessments of those benchmarks. Directors noted that fur the r discussion would be needed on how the IMF should react in cases where it believes that the pace of progress chosen is not ambitious enough.

Joint Staff Assessments Directors called for a reformulation of the JSA approach to emphasize graduated ra the r than binary assessments, with the objective of providing candid feedback to countries. They looked forward to discussing specific recommendations presented by the staff in the context of the annual Fund-Bank PRSP Progress in Implementation report. Many Directors supported a more active role for IMF staff in the public debate on macroeconomic policy design and implementation, but o the rs thought a more proactive role would not be appropriate since it could be seen as influencing the political decisionmaking process of a country.