International Monetary Fund (IMF)
IMF Support for Implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda
The IMF has launched several initiatives to support member countries as they pursue the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. Concrete steps to operationalize these initiatives are outlined in the background paper for the Joint IMF-World Bank Development Committee meeting on The Role of the IMF in Supporting the Implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda (click to open link) in October 2015 in Lima . The initiatives aim to boost economic resilience in member economies and policy coherence across the three pillars of sustainable development inter alia by:
- Increasing financial support for developing countries. The Fund has expanded access to its concessional resources for eligible developing countries, while maintaining the self-sustaining nature of the concessional lending facility. Decisions taken in July 2015 in connection with the Fund’s preparations for the Addis Ababa FFD conference include a 50 percent increase in access to all of the Fund’s concessional lending facilities for low-income countries and a zero interest rate on IMF lending to low-income countries under the Rapid Credit Facility. These reforms seek to build on other recent IMF efforts to provide financial support to its poorest and most vulnerable member countries—for example, the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief (CCR) Trust provides grants for debt relief for LICs that are hit by catastrophic natural disasters or public health disasters.
- Enhancing policy advice and capacity building in areas crucial to sustained development. The Fund will (i) scale up its support for national efforts to strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including in tackling issues relating to international taxation (in collaboration with the World Bank); (ii) bolster its support for fragile and conflict affected states; (iii) expand its macroeconomic policy advice and technical assistance to help countries tackle infrastructure gaps without endangering public debt sustainability; (iv) intensify efforts to bring analysis on equity, inclusion, gender, and environmental issues to operational work; and (v) strengthen statistical data dissemination for economic decision-making.
- In addition, the IMF is continuing to strengthen its statistical data dissemination for economic decision-making and remain engaged in the UN led establishment of monitoring mechanisms for financing for development commitments.
Examples of how the Fund's initiatives are being implemented:
- Pilot exercises on operationalizing innovative work on inequality and gender in Article IV consultations are now under way in 30 pilot countries, where these issues have been macro-relevant, with around three-quarters completed. Gender pilots have been focusing mostly on drivers of female labor force participation and supportive policies, providing a combination of analysis and policy recommendations. Inequality pilots have covered a broad range of topics including: comparative analysis of inequality and poverty outcomes, inclusiveness of growth, the composition of public expenditure,, tax progressivity, and financial inclusion, as well as potential tradeoffs between growth and inequality under alternative structural reforms.
- On Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCS), the Fund has sought to enhance the allocation of staff resources to work on FCS and enhance the implementation of its customized guidelines for such work. The Fund is also expanding the emphasis given in work on FCS to designing and, with development partners, implementing, medium-term strategies for building capacity in key national agencies. Pilots are being selected to implement this new approach.
- On Climate Change, Fund support draws on its core expertise in the areas of macroeconomic analysis and taxation, including support for mitigation efforts through carbon taxes or similar instruments. Fiscal instruments, such as carbon taxes, can be a key tool in meeting national mitigation commitments, while also providing a valuable source of fiscal revenues; close to forty national governments and over twenty sub-national governments already have in place some form of carbon taxation or trading systems. The Fund will continue analytical work to provide actionable policy guidance on carbon pricing design and broader energy price reform. Many countries have already benefitted from technical assistance on energy and carbon pricing, including Albania, China, Costa Rica, Jordan, Indonesia, Mali, Mauritius, and Yemen.
Work is also underway to better integrate recurring natural disasters and rising vulnerability to such shocks into baseline macroeconomic analysis for countries where such disasters have been, or are becoming, macro-critical.
On data/monitoring: Since 2015, the IMF has made its online economic data available to everyone free of charge. The IMF's online free data program seeks to expand usage and facilitate better policy choices. As part of its Data Standards Initiatives aimed at promoting data transparency globally, the IMF has also introduced an enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS). Further, the IMF is working jointly with six other sponsor organizations (BIS, ECB, Eurostat, OECD, UN Statistical Division and WBG) on the implementation of the Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange (SDMX), which aims to develop and use more efficient processes for exchange and sharing of statistical time series data and metadata among international organizations and their member countries. The Fund has been partnering with the AfDB in supporting African countries to create and use Open Data Platforms (ODP) for the dissemination of the relevant data; two countries--Botswana and Nigeria--have already implemented this initiative, with others in the offing. While at present the focus is mainly on macroeconomic and financial data, the coverage could at any time be expanded at each country's choosing to bring other data into the public domain, such as SDG indicators. The Fund’s Statistics Department has also been one of the main providers of capacity building technical assistance and training to developing countries, with plans for further enhancements.