Annual Meetings 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. 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.

Past Feature Stories

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

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.
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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.
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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.
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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

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 wideranging 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 framework is expected to become operational in the second half of 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.