IMF Regional Training Centers and Programs
September 28, 2016
IMF capacity development—technical assistance and training—helps member countries design and implement economic policies that foster stability and growth by strengthening their institutional capacity and skills. An extensive network of regional training centers (RTCs) and programs (RTPs) offer hands-on, policy-oriented training in macroeconomics, finance, and related fields for country officials. Key objectives include strengthening the formulation and implementation of policies and improving the quality of the country’s policy dialogue with the IMF.
A regional approach
The focus of the IMF‘s training around regional centers allows for better tailoring of the needs of a region, closer coordination with other training providers, and enhanced ability to respond quickly to emerging needs. Each RTC or RTP is operated in collaboration with and benefits from the financial support of one or more co-sponsors.
The Africa Training Institute (ATI) started operations in June 2013 in Mauritius and was officially inaugurated in June 2014. The ATI supports capacity development in sub-Saharan Africa through training in macroeconomic and financial sector policies, and by integrating it with technical assistance, including that offered through the five regional technical assistance centers in sub-Saharan Africa. One of them, the Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa—AFRITAC South—is co-located and jointly managed with the ATI. Financial support for the ATI is provided by Mauritius, Australia, China, Korea, Seychelles, and Togo. A fundraising effort is ongoing to attract additional donor partners.
The Joint Partnership for Africa (JPA) was established in 2010, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB). The JPA aims at enhancing capacity development of sub-Saharan African officials through training in macroeconomic management held in venues in sub-Saharan Africa.
Asia and Pacific
The IMF-Singapore Regional Training Institute (STI) was established in Singapore in 1998 as a joint initiative of the IMF and the Government of Singapore. STI’s mission is to enhance the economic and policymaking capacity of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, by providing training in Singapore (and, on occasion, elsewhere in the region) on the formulation and implementation of macroeconomic and financial sector policies. Financial support for the STI is provided by Singapore and Japan, with additional support from Australia.
The Joint China-IMF Training Program (CTP) was established in 2000 by the IMF and the People’s Bank of China (PBC) to provide policy-oriented training in economics and related fields for officials from China. Financing for the CTP is provided by China; the IMF pays for its staff time and travel. Since its establishment, the CTP has held an average of five training events per year; the schedule of courses is jointly determined each year by the PBC and the IMF, and coordinated by the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development.
The South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) will begin operations in 2017. This will be the first center that fully integrates training and technical assistance and is a model for the IMF’s future capacity development work. Located in Delhi, India, SARTTAC is expected to become the focal point for planning, coordinating, and implementing the IMF’s capacity development activities in the region. The Center will help address existing training needs and respond to the demand for IMF training in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, while bringing the region’s training volume on par with those of other regions. SARTTAC will begin with an average of nine training courses per year, determined jointly by the Steering Committee and the IMF in coordination with expected technical assistance projects.
Europe and Central Asia
The Joint Vienna Institute (JVI) anchors the IMF’s training activities in Europe and Central Asia. It is an international organization established in 1992 by the IMF, Austria (represented by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Oesterreichische Nationalbank), and several other international institutions. The JVI’s training curriculum, offered in cooperation with the IMF, Austria and other JVI partners, enables participants to take full advantage of the synergies and complementarities of a multilateral approach to training, with member institutions contributing in their respective areas of expertise. Financial support for the JVI is mainly provided by its primary sponsors, Austria and the IMF. In addition, the IMF and the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, in cooperation with the JVI, have established the Georgia Training Program to increase training to officials from eight Caucasus and Central Asian countries.
The IMF-Middle East Center for Economics and Finance (CEF) started operations in 2011. It is hosted and fully funded by Kuwait (through the Kuwait Investment Authority). The CEF organizes courses for officials from Arab League member countries to strengthen their policymaking capacity in areas related to economics, finance, and development. It also regularly leads seminars, panel discussions, and forums open to the wider public. The IMF is the principal training provider for the CEF on topics related to economics and finance. Training outside the core areas of expertise of the IMF is delivered by organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. As part of CEF’s outreach in the region, the CEF has also partnered with the Arab Monetary Fund to conduct training activities in various Arab countries, and with Bank Al-Maghrib to conduct training in Morocco.
The Joint Regional Training Center for Latin America (Brazil Training Center, BTC) was originally established in 2001 as an agreement between the IMF Institute and the Brazilian government. The center hosts training on macroeconomic, fiscal and financial management, and statistics for Latin American officials. Currently a joint venture with Brazil’s central bank (through its training arm, UniBacen), the center also serves as a platform to disseminate IMF and country policy experiences and challenges.