CSOs and IMF join hands to share experiences on revenue mobilization, corruption and inequality

CSOs and IMF join hands

On April 3, 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) organized a workshop in Accra, Ghana for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Africa. Topics discussed included revenue mobilization, corruption and inequality. The workshop was held prior to the regional conference ‘Moving Beyond Aid: Revenue Mobilization’ organized by the Government of Ghana, the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), and the IMF.

The workshop was attended by 15 Civil Society Representatives from Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Gambia and Nigeria. It focused on strengthening CSOs understanding of IMF work on governance, inequality, revenue mobilization, debt, social protection and anti-corruption and hearing their views and recommendations for the IMF on these important issues.

CSOs recognized the Fund’s continued work on these topics but also requested more regular in country/regional updates on these issues. They also called upon the IMF to be more proactive with countries on corruption, rising debt and even day-to-day implementation of IMF programs in countries.

Past Feature Stories

Feature stories of interest to civil society organizations, parliamentarians, think-tanks and youth leaders.

Opportunity for All

Opportunity for All: Promoting Growth, Jobs, and Inclusiveness in the Arab World

On the sidelines of the regional conference “Opportunity for All: Promoting Growth, Jobs, and Inclusiveness in the Arab World”, the IMF held a CSO workshop which included about 30 civil society organizations from the region in Marrakech, Morocco on January 28-29, 2018.
Read more

The workshop focused on topics related to fiscal policy which included energy subsidies and social safety nets, fair taxation and public wage bill management in the Middle East and North Africa region. CSOs expressed their perspectives on the various issues and exchanged views with senior IMF staff that attended the workshop. CSOs played a key role during the conference where some of them moderated the innovation lab sessions and participated in the various sessions throughout the conference. At the end of the conference, CSOs issued a statement welcoming the IMF’s outreach efforts and sharing their perspectives on the IMF’s policies in the region and the IMF’s work on inequality and inclusive growth.

IMF Country Team Engagement with Labor Unions on Inequality, Gender and Climate Pilots

IMF Country Team Engagement with Labor Unions on Inequality, Gender and Climate Pilots

In recent years, an increasing number of IMF country teams have conducted pilot studies on inequality, gender, and climate.
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Over the past year, several of these teams have exchanged views with national labor unions, including the following:

  • In Korea, the team discussed inequality with the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), including recent inequality trends, the high incidence of low pay, job insecurity, and high youth unemployment due to duality.
  • In the Czech Republic, they met with the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) to discuss gender issues such as the level of female employment, the gender wage gap, and the introduction of dedicated paternity leave.
  • In Nicaragua, they discussed climate with representatives from most of the country’s labor unions—topics included the impact of climate change on health, and the need for technical assistance and transfer of climate-friendly technologies from the international community.

Several other IMF country teams conducting pilots studies have also exchanged views with national labor unions, or plan to do so in the coming months.

Annual Meetings 2017 Civil Society Townhall

Annual Meetings 2017 Civil Society Townhall with IMF Managing Director Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Kim

Every year, at their Annual Meetings the Managing Director of the IMF and the President of the World Bank Group participate in a Townhall with civil society.
Watch the video.

This year’s Townhall took place on Wednesday, October 11 and was moderated by Abdel-Rahman El Mahdi, founder and President of the Sudanese Development Initiative. Around 350 CSOs attended in person, with more viewing the event via livestream in English, Spanish, and French. Issues such as the role of civil society’s engagement with the IMF and the World Bank Group, gender and income inequality, corruption and how international financial institutions can help countries affected by natural disasters were discussed.

CSO and Youth Fellowship Program

CSO and Youth Fellowship Program

Over the past 14 years, the IMF has sponsored more than 700 CSOs from low income countries and emerging markets to come to our Annual and Spring Meetings.
Watch the video to learn more about our CSO and Youth Fellowship Program.

CSO Workshop - Middle East North Africa

Workshop with Civil Society representatives from the South East Asian Region

On July 10-11, ahead of the IMF- Ministry of Finance of Indonesia conference on international taxation in Asia, the IMF organized a workshop with Civil Society representatives from Southeast Asia in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Read more about this meeting

17 participants from Indonesia and representing regional CSO networks based in Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Singapore attended the two-day seminar. It was an opportunity for participants to get a better understanding of the role of the IMF, especially in the region, and to exchange views and thoughts with IMF staff on important issues in their countries such as fiscal policy, gender and income inequality, anti-corruption, jobs and employment. This workshop was also a way to listen to the views and concerns of CSOs and strengthen the relationship between the IMF and Civil Society from the region ahead of the IMF-World Bank- 2018 Annual Meetings that will take place in Bali, Indonesia.

CSO Workshop - CEMAC

Workshop with Civil Society representatives from the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) in Libreville, Gabon

On May 16-17, the IMF organized a workshop with Civil Society representatives from the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) in Libreville, Gabon.
Read more about this meeting

21 participants from Chad, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea attended the two-day seminar. It was an opportunity for participants to get better understanding of the role of the IMF, especially in the region and to exchange views and thoughts with IMF staff on important issues in their countries such as fiscal policy, debt, anti-corruption, use of natural resources, and jobs and employment. Civil Society participants published a statement at the end of the meeting.

CSO Workshop - Middle East North Africa

Workshop with CSOs from the Middle East and North Africa

On February 15 -16, the IMF organized a workshop with representatives from Civil Society Organizations from the Middle East and North Africa.
Read more about this meeting

17 participants came from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, West Bank, and Yemen. It was an opportunity for participants and IMF staff to exchange views and thoughts on the IMF work and its role in the region as well as important issues in their countries such as fiscal policy, subsidy reforms, social protection, jobs and employment, and transparency.

ITUC

High-Level Meetings of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), IMF and World Bank

The High-Level Meetings of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank took place at the IMF on February 7-9, 2017.
Read more about this meeting

Seventy labor union representatives from 30 countries met with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and staff to discuss key issues including: the global outlook, policy tools to support jobs and growth, labor market policies, income and gender inequality, and climate change/energy issues. These biennial High-Level Meetings are part of the IMF's regular interactions with labor unions at global, regional, and national levels. Listen to the podcast interview with Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

Ugandan CSOs

Managing Director Christine Lagarde Meets With Ugandan Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)

On January 26, 2017, Managing Director Christine Lagarde met with representatives of Ugandan Civil Society Organizations during her visit to the country to listen to their views and perspectives.
Read more about this meeting

They also discussed how the IMF could support them in areas where it operates (technical assistance, lending, policy advice and surveillance). The meeting was very productive. They exchanged views on wide ranging issues such as governance, fiscal policies and international taxation. The Managing Director also introduced the new IMF report “Macro-Structural Policies and Income Inequality in Low-Income Developing Countries“ and highlighted how the IMF is working to ensure the fruit of growth benefits the most vulnerable.

Myanmar seminar

Seminar on Strengthening Fiscal Management and Financial Oversight - Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

On December 10, 2016, over 60 members of the Myanmar Parliament along with a number of Central Bank of Myanmar and Ministry of Planning and Finance officials attended a one day Seminar on Strengthening Fiscal Management and Financial Sector Oversight.
Read more about the seminar

IMF delivered a series of presentations covering the macroeconomic policy challenges, Fund capacity development activities, revenue administration and public financial management, financial sector oversight, and macroeconomic statistics and introduced the MPS to Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF. This seminar is an extension of the Fund‘s extensive technical assistance and training activities in Myanmar, ranging from central bank operations, bank regulation and supervision, revenue administration and policy, public financial management, macroeconomic statistics and analysis, and AML/CFT—making Myanmar one of the top recipients of IMF capacity development resources. The assistance is delivered through a mix of resident advisers, the Technical Assistance Office for Lao PDR and Myanmar, and Washington-based experts.

Youth Perspectives: Cost of Corruption

The Cost of Corruption: Youth Perspectives

During the Annual Meetings 2016, the IMF organized a Youth Dialogue “the Cost of Corruption: Youth Perspectives”. These Youth Dialogues provide a platform for young leaders to share their views on issues.
Read more about this Youth Dialogue

This year, the topic was on the cost of corruption and the role of youth in combating it. This town-hall style event moderated by Roberto Ferdman from Vice, featured a distinguished panel of young leaders from various global institutions working on addressing corruption (Cissy Kagaba, Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda; Sergejus Muravjovas, Transparency International Lithuania; Emilia Diaz Struck, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) as well as senior staff from the IMF (Sean Hagan, General Counsel IMF). They discussed the substantial direct and indirect costs of corruption, including low growth and greater income inequality. The conversation highlighted how corruption can have a significant impact on youth, as it can negatively affect their employment opportunities and hamper their access to basic services, including education. They also made the point that fighting corruption is not just about the rule of law and institutions, but about building values and changing societal norms. You can watch a video of the seminar The Cost of Corruption: Youth Perspectives.

In the lead up to the event, the IMF launched a social media campaign asking youth worldwide to recommend three ways to address corruption. Youth worldwide shared insightful ideas on how to combat corruption such as the need for more transparency and access to information, the idea that countries could leverage technology to streamline processes, the importance of education to empower citizens and raise awareness; and the need for the rule of law. Check out the hashtag #IMFYouth on Twitter to see more.

For videos on previous Youth Dialogues see Bridging the Unemployment Gap through Education and Inclusion and Inclusive Growth and Entrepreneurship through Education, Innovation and Passion.

Publications

How to Operationalize Gender Issues in Country Work

This note provides examples of good practice with respect to coverage of gender issues in country reports and lays out the resources available to country teams, both with respect to existing analytical work as well as the availability of data and tools.

How to Operationalize Inequality Issues in Country Work

This note provides examples of good practices with respect to coverage of inequality-related issues in country reports and lays out the resources available to country teams, both with respect to existing analytical work as well as the availability of data and tools.

Macroeconomic Developments and Prospects in Low-Income Developing Countries

The paper examines macroeconomic trends across LIDCs in recent years, contrasting key features of the current situation with the period prior to the 2014 decline in commodity prices. Particular attention is given to the evolution of fiscal positions and public debt levels, including detailed analysis of the drivers of debt accumulation and the current severity of debt vulnerabilities. See also our blog “Managing Debt Vulnerabilities in low income and developing countries”.

Review of the Debt Sustainability Framework in Low-Income Countries: Proposed Reforms

Since its introduction in 2005, the LIC DSF has been the cornerstone of the international community’s assessment of risks to debt sustainability in LICs, with important operational implications for stakeholders. The current review assesses the DSF’s performance in recent years and proposes a wide ranging set of reforms that adapts the framework to the evolving circumstances facing LICs and makes it more comprehensive and transparent, and yet simpler to use. The guidance note providing operational and technical guidance on the implementation of the reformed framework was published in February 2018.

Fiscal Monitor: Tackling Inequality

Rising inequality and slow economic growth in many countries have focused attention on policies to support inclusive growth. This Fiscal Monitor discusses how fiscal policies can help achieve redistributive objectives. It focuses on three salient policy debates: tax rates at the top of the income distribution, the introduction of a universal basic income, and the role of public spending on education and health.

The role of the Fund in governance issues

Against a growing recognition that systemic corruption can undermine prospects for delivering sustainable and inclusive growth, the paper assesses the extent to which corruption has been appropriately addressed in the IMF's work in member countries in both economic reviews and Fund-supported programs.

Social Safeguards and Program Design in PRGT and PSI-Supported Programs

This paper examines how IMF supported programs in low income countries safeguard spending on poor and vulnerable groups. Social safeguards include (i) minimum floors for social and other priority spending (generally defined to include spending on health, education and social safety nets) (ii) specific reform measures designed to protect vulnerable groups. The effectiveness of social spending in improving social outcomes, including by durably reducing poverty, is beyond the scope of the paper.

Macro-Structural Policies and Income Inequality in Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs)

The note explores how policies and reforms aimed at boosting growth affect income inequality in LIDCs and how complementary policy measures can be used to offset adverse distributional effects of such reforms. The finding confirms that these macro-structural policies can have important distributional consequences with the impact dependent on both the design of reforms and on country specific economic characteristics. While there is no one-size-fits-all recipe, accompanying measures (such as strengthening land ownership, or conditional cash transfers …) , implemented along with pro-growth reforms, can be deployed to contain adverse distributional effects.