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Forum for the Future of Aid

Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

The Forum on the Future of Aid is an online community dedicated to research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and where it should go next

organised by ODI

Critical Conditions

By Nuria Molina and Javier Pereira

[ExecutiveSummary]: Faced with strong criticism for its expansive and erroneous use of conditionality, and in the wake of a financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved in 2002 a set of guidelines to inform its use of structural conditionality. The Conditionality Guidelines committed the Fund to reduce the overall number of conditions attached to Fund lending and ensure that those attached respected and were drawn from nationally developed poverty plans in recognitions that developing country ownership is instrumental for successful development.
This report looks at the effectiveness of the Conditionality Guidelines in reforming IMF conditionality during the five years since the Guidelines were approved. Based on IMF figures, Eurodad examines the share of Fund structural conditions which prescribe highly sensitive and intrusive policy reforms.
This report analyses the IMF’s own figures to demonstrate that no further progress has been made since 2004, and casts serious doubts about the genuine commitment of the institution to streamlining its structural conditionality and speed up the application of their own conditionality policy. Faced with in-depth structural reforms of its own, the Fund should take this opportunity to speed up implementation of their Conditionality Guidelines and take further steps in the streamlining initiative.

To read the full report, click here

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