Program Overview

The Macroeconomist Training Program (MTP) is an outreach initiative to young scholars and professionals to help them gain an understanding of how the IMF uses financial programming and other tools to analyze macroeconomic issues and provide policy recommendations.

Under this program, selected applicants are invited for a residential workshop* to join lectures by former IMF economists and undertake group work on a mock IMF-style country surveillance exercise.

Launched in August 2017, seventeen MTP sessions have been held for a total of 330 youths from 44 countries (as of March 2023). These courses have served as a launching pad to the full online courses offered by the IMF Institute for Capacity Development.

* During the COVID-19 pandemic, the courses were offered virtually.


The lectures will provide an overview of IMF economic surveillance, including the use of its financial programming tool. Students will discuss real country cases of bilateral surveillance and lending programs, and undertake their own analysis of a country case as a group, using the tools introduced in the course.

Target Participants

For the English course: Students studying in Japan on Master’s/ PhD degree programs in macroeconomics, international finance, development economics, and other related fields. Young professionals and undergraduate students can also apply.

For the Japanese course: Undergraduate students studying in Japan in macroeconomics, international finance, development economics, and other related fields. Students pursuing a master’s degree and young professionals may also apply.

A Certificate of Participation will be granted to participants who complete this workshop.

Main Lecturers

English course

Jerry Schiff (PhD)
Dr. Schiff currently teaches at George Washington University. Previously, he was Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department of the IMF. He held a number of senior positions at the IMF. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Public Policy.

Japanese course

Shogo Ishii (PhD)
Dr. Ishii currently serves as an IMF and JICA Consultant. Previously, he was the Director of the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. He has also held a variety of senior positions at the IMF including mission chief for Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam and Senior Resident Representative in Thailand.

Agenda (sample: 8th course, 17th course)

8th course (Tokyo, English)

Day 1

9:30-9:45 Welcome and Opening Remarks 

A. Role of the IMF

The session will first explain the role of the IMF in the international financial system. In addition, the lecturer will describe how an IMF economist works at Headquarters and in the field.

10:30-10:45 Break


B. Overview of the IMF's Macroeconomic Framework (1)

This session will provide an overview of the ways in which the IMF analyzes macroeconomic developments and policies. The lecture will discuss the IMF's financial programming tool, and describe how it is used to understand linkages between macroeconomic variables and to make projections that are both internally consistent and sensible.

12:15-13:15 Lunch

C. Overview of the IMF's Macroeconomic Framework (2)

This session will explore the role of financial programming in identifying macroeconomic risks and vulnerabilities and developing policy recommendations. Simple tools for evaluating monetary and fiscal policy will also be introduced


D. IMF Surveillance: Case study in a specific country

This session will utilize a country case to explain the role of IMF surveillance and illustrate how financial programming is utilized to analyze a country economy. In particular, the class will explore how to use economic data to identify trends and risks and develop policy recommendations. A recent IMF staff report will serve as the basis of this lecture.

16:30-16:45 Break
16:45- E. Introduction of Group Assignment

Day 2


F. IMF Supported Program: Case study in a specific country

11:00-11:15 Break
11:15-12:00 G. Presentation by JICA
12:00-13:00 Lunch

H. Group Presentation

In this session, participants will make use of country data from IMF staff reports, to provide a diagnosis of a country’s prospects and risks, and make policy recommendations.

15:15-15:45 Closing / Group Photo
16:00- Reception

Please note that the schedule is subject to change. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the course was offered virtually through online lessons.

17th course (Tokyo, Japanese)

Day 1
13:30-14:00 Icebreaking Session 
This session will be held in order to provide the opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the lectures start.
14:00-14:05 Welcome and Opening Remarks

A. The Role of the IMF
This session will first explain the role of the IMF in the international financial system. In addition, the lecturer will describe how an IMF economist works at Headquarters and in the field.

B. Macroeconomic Framework and Linkages
This session will present an overview of the ways in which member countries’ macroeconomic developments and policies are analyzed in the IMF. It will focus on key macroeconomic accounts and their linkages
16:15-16:30 Break
16:30-18:00 C. Financial Programing: Baseline Scenario
This session will discuss how the financial programing is used to make baseline projections that are consistent among sectors and sensible. 
Day 2
9:00-10:30 D. Assessing Baseline Scenario
This session will explain how a baseline scenario will be used to identify macroeconomic imbalances and risks.
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:15 E. Macroeconomic Policies
This session will discuss various macroeconomic policies and their main objectives. The anticipated impact of policy measures and their constraints will be also discussed.
13:15-14:45 F. IMF-Supported Adjustment Program
This session will discuss the role of, and process behind, an IMF-supported program. A case study of Egypt will be utilized to provide concrete examples of key concepts introduced during the day, and to explore trade-offs faced in program design.
14:45-15:00 Break
15:00-16:00  G. Explanation on Group Assignments
An instruction and a set of macroeconomic data of Lao PDR and Sri Lanka will be provided.
16:00-18:00 H. Office Hour _ Preparation for Group Presentation
Day 3
9:00-10:30 I. Case Study: Egypt
This session reviews Egypt’s recent economic developments and the 46-month Extended Fund Facility program approved in January 2023. The program aims at preserving macroeconomic stability and paving the way for sustainable private-sector-led growth.
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:45 J. Presentation by JICA
11:45-12:45 Lunch
K. Group Presentation I
14:15-14:30 Break
14:30-16:00 L. Group Presentation II
Photo Session and Closing remarks / End of Course Survey
16:30-18:00 Reception

Past Courses

  • 17th course: March 22-24, 2023, Tokyo, Japanese
    19 people from 4 countries participated. FB post Tweet 
  • 16th course: January 10-16, 2023, Online, English
    17 people from 5 countries participated. FB post 1 | FB post 2 | Tweet 1 | Tweet 2
  • 15th course: August 2-8, 2022, Online, English
    19 people from 13 countries participated. FB post 1 | FB post 2 | Tweet 1 | Tweet 2.
  • 14th course : March 22- 28, 2022, Online, Japanese
    17 people from 2 countries participated. FB post 1 | FB post 2 | Tweet 1 | Tweet 2.
  • 13th course : January 12- 17, 2022, Online, English
    18 people from 10 countries participated. FB post 1 | FB post 2 | Tweet 1 | Tweet 2.
  • 12th course : July 27- August 2, 2021, Online, English
    20 people from 11 countries participated. FB post 1 | FB post 2 | Tweet 1 | Tweet 2.
  • 11th course : March 16-22, 2021, Online, Japanese
    18 people from 3 countries participated. See the Twitter page.
  • 10th course : January 5-10, 2021, Online, English
    19 people from 6 countries participated. See the Facebook page.
  • 9th course : July 8-13, 2020, Online, Japanese
    19 people from 4 countries participated. See the news article.
  • 8th course : January 9-10, 2020, Tokyo, English 
    21 people from 13 countries participated, 14 more remotely joined.
    See the news article.
  • 7th course : June 21-22, 2019, Tokyo, English
    20 people from 11 countries participated. See the news article.
  • 6th course : March 7-8, 2019, Fukuoka, Japanese
    23 people from 3 countries participated. See the news article.
  • 5th course : January 10-11, 2019, Tokyo, English
    19 people from 10 countries participated. See the flyer.
  • 4th course : June 15-16, 2018, Kyoto, English
    22 people from 10 countries participated. See the webpage.
  • 3rd course : May 9-10, 2018, Japanese
    20 people from 3 countries participated. See the webpage
  • 2nd course : January 11-12, 2018, English
    18 people from 11 countries participated. See the webpage
  • 1st course : August 9-10, 2017, Tokyo, English
    21 people from 7 countries participated. See the webpage


Voices of Students

"I find the program offers us excellent networking and the opportunity to have engaging discussions on relevant topics with people from diverse backgrounds. We were given adequate time for questions and answers to deepen our understanding of the topics. I feel that it was very interesting and informative to hear the opinions of the distinguished Professor Ishii and the various opinions of other participants." -- Cleo Eri Kyu from Japan, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (17th course)

"Through the workshop, I can try the IMF's analytic framework practically. With team members from diverse backgrounds, the discussion for the presentation was so exciting that I could expand my knowledge. As I am now researching economics at a private thinktank, I will apply the framework I learned to analyze the fiscal and financial imbalance in Japan." -- Kohei Kikuchi from Japan, King's College London (16th course)

"I found the case study the most useful. Before, I would have found it difficult to construct an economic snapshot of a country based on its macroeconomic data, but now I feel confident about drawing inferences from the data and identifying potential vulnerabilities of economies. And what made the whole experience memorable was being able to apply this learning to a group project with other talented students." --  Miyu Haraguchi from Japan, University of Oxford (15th course)

"I could not only learn about the framework the IMF uses for its analysis but also deeply understand it since I had opportunities, such as discussion and presentation, to share what I learned. Totally, I feel like I could manage to know what it is like to work in the IMF and what they work for." -- Daiki Yamashita from Japan, Kyoto University (14th course)

“As for me, it was just the revision of four sectors and I updated my knowledge on macroeconomics. However, it was great to learn new things from international lecturers and specialists. The most interesting part was economic surveillance, how economic organizations like the IMF deal with the economies. I really like the methods which the IMF uses for the evaluation of the economy.” -- Elbek Abdullaev from Uzbekistan, Saitama University (13th course)

“This program helped me to connect all the sectors of the economy and to see a bigger picture of the country, through looking at the economic data. Understanding about Balance of Payment was the most interesting and helpful part for me, since I have quite big interest in foreign exchange reserves.” -- Bolortuya Munkhbat from Mongolia, Saitama University (12th course)

“I was able to gain the experience of incorporating what I learned in the lecture and the knowledge of economics that I had accumulated so far into actual analysis, which greatly deepens my understanding. In addition, I learned the difficulty and the fun of analyzing a country’s economy through a group discussion in cooperation with team members.” -- Inbong Kim from Korea, The University of Hong Kong (11th course)

"Jerry Schiff was a fantastic lecturer. He explained the framework very clearly and I learned so many important insights from him. Breaking down a country's data into the four sectors really make it much easier to understand the overall picture. After this program, I feel like I now understand the problems I used to face back when I was working in the Department of Finance in the Philippines in much clearer ways." -- Leandro Inumerable from the Philippines, Hitotsubashi University (10th course)

"In addition to being able to observe and gain a deeper understanding of practical application of macroeconomics that I have been interested in, I began to aspire to bring meaningful impact to the global economy at an institution like the IMF. I would like to continue to gain opportunities to practice economic analysis." -- Akane Gonda from Japan, Keio University (9th course)

"I really enjoyed the lectures on financial programming design, as this is a great insight into IMF's way of looking at the economy." -- Bastien Guilleminot-Simon from France, The University of Tokyo (8th course)

"I learned a lot about the assessment process based on macroeconomic indicators." -- Quang Thanh Tran from Vietnam, Tohoku University (8th course)

"The assignment itself was very hands-on and reflects real life situations where many times you are required to accomplish tasks in a limited amount of time with a very limited amount of data." -- Jason Agius from Malta, Ritsumeikan University (7th course)

"Studying the country examples was also very helpful in understanding how the IMF conducts surveillance in member states." -- Secil Er from Turkey, Osaka University (7th course)