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Capacity Development


million for hands-on technical advice, policy-oriented training, and peer learning

The IMF works with countries to strengthen their economic institutions by providing technical assistance and training on critical economic issues. This work helps countries strengthen their economies and create more jobs. The IMF shares its knowledge with government institutions such as finance ministries, central banks, statistical agencies, financial supervisory agencies, and revenue administrations through hands-on advice, training, and peer-to-peer learning. IMF capacity development is delivered in person and remotely by long-term in-country resident advisors or by advisors at regional capacity development centers, during short-term visits by IMF staff and experts, and through classroom training and free online courses.

Strengthening the capacity of institutions—including central banks, finance ministries, revenue administrations, statistical agencies, and financial sector supervisory agencies—results in more effective policies and greater economic stability and inclusion. The IMF works with countries to modernize their economic policies and strengthen such institutions by providing technical assistance and training focused on issues that are critical to economic stability and growth.

The IMF provides capacity development (CD)—hands-on technical assistance, policy-oriented training, a suite of diagnostic tools and publications, and peer-learning opportunities—so countries can build sustainable and resilient institutions. These efforts are an important contribution to countries’ progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

CD focuses on the IMF’s core areas of expertise, such as public finances, financial sector stability, central bank operations, macroeconomic frameworks, and economic statistics, and also helps countries tackle cross-cutting issues, such as income and gender inequality, corruption, climate change, and digital money. The IMF is uniquely positioned to support its membership in these areas, with its global reach, institutional experience, and world-class expertise. All IMF members benefit from CD, but support for fragile and conflict-affected countries is prioritized.

At the request of country authorities, IMF country teams and technical experts develop and implement an integrated work plan tailored to countries’ needs and absorptive capacities. The IMF works with countries through a global network of 17 regional centers, in-country placements of long-term resident advisors, short-term visits by IMF staff members and experts (in person and remotely), classroom training, and free online courses.In addition, a variety of publications provide technical information and cross-country analysis useful to country authorities.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IMF CD swiftly adopted innovative remote delivery modalities providing real-time support to about 180 countries. These included working with tax administrations and budget offices to help restore operations and helping countries on issues such as debt sustainability, public investment management, cash management, financial supervision, and the development of strong macroeconomic frameworks. A series of about 110 technical notes on crisis-related policy issues has been published for the membership’s benefit. A new fiscal risk toolkit has been released on a dedicated portal, providing a suite of analytical tools to guide government policy and CD on fiscal risk management. As part of the move to a hybrid model for CD delivery, in-person delivery gradually resumed in the final months of FY 2022.

The IMF has also supported countries in strengthening the collection and publication of economic data to improve economic decision making and boost transparency. As countries ramped up emergency spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF supported them in strengthening their governance frameworks so money could quickly get to those who need it the most. The IMF is also helping them think through new challenges such as finding digital solutions for direct cash transfers, protecting health expenditures and other social spending, and preparing for the challenges posed by climate change.

During the pandemic the IMF significantly increased its number of free online courses, which saw a sharp increase in participation, with more than 140,000 cumulative active learners since program inception, compared with about 60,000 as recently as the end of 2019.

Figure 2.1

Spending by Major IMF Activities

FY 2022

Capacity development 25%Bilateral surveillance 47%Lending 28%140%Country operations Corporate functions 28%Multilateral surveillance and global cooperation 13%IMF governance and memberships and IMF finances 11%8%IMF policies and analytical work

Source: IMF staff estimates.
Note: Excludes minor miscellaneous items and travel.
Direct delivery only. Excludes capacity development activities related to policy, analytics, and other output areas.
¹ Direct delivery only. Excludes capacity development activities related to policy, analytics, and other output areas.

IMF development partners support about half of the Fund’s CD work. They have helped fund the IMF’s COVID-19 CD Initiative, with about $40 million raised so far. Together, the IMF and its partners are striving to help our members build forward better and work toward a greener, smarter, and more equitable future.

On May 1, 2022, the IMF launched its revised policy on the dissemination of CD information. The policy builds on existing dissemination progress and represents an important step in the IMF’s commitment to transparency. The policy was informed by discussions with the Executive Board and drew from the Updated Framework on the Dissemination of Capacity Development Information. It prioritizes sharing CD information more widely to support coordination and synergies among CD providers and financing partners, contribute to knowledge as a global public good, facilitate accountability to funding partners and the membership, and empower ownership within CD recipient countries. Protection of CD recipient confidentiality and preservation of the IMF’s role as a trusted advisor to its membership remain core to the policy.


The IMF Online Learning Program

The IMF’s online learning program has played an important role in serving the needs of its membership during the COVID-19 crisis.

Over the past year, participation in the program has continued to grow, bringing the overall number of cumulative active global learners to more than 140,000. The IMF Institute Learning Channel offers microlearning videos in various areas of IMF expertise and has more than doubled its audience since its launch in April 2020, to about 10,000 subscribers and more than 750,000 individual views.

With more than 50 online courses available on the edX open online learning platform, the curriculum continues to be enriched in key areas of global interest. New series of modular courses have been rolled out on the topics of debt sustainability and debt management, tax administration (“Virtual Training to Advance Revenue Administration,” or VITARA), and inclusive growth. New courses on the macroeconomics of climate change (“Macroeconomics of Climate Change—Science, Economics, and Policies,” or MCCx-SEP), macroeconomic statistics (NASx, CPIx), revenue forecasting (“Revenue Forecasting and Analysis,” or RFAx), and cyber risk supervision (CRSx) are now available, together with 21 translations of online courses.

As the program continues to adapt to the needs of the membership, several blended courses have been launched, combining asynchronous online learning with interactive virtual sessions fully tailored to the needs of learners and recipients of technical assistance. Blended approaches have the merit not only of making the IMF’s capacity development more efficient, but also of increasing its impact. There is a strong emerging view that blended learning is paving the way for the new model of capacity development delivery.

Online Learning Course Participation Over Time

Source: IMF, Institute for Capacity Development.

All courses on the edX platform are available anytime, anywhere, and at no cost, which makes the program a global public good, spearheading knowledge and skills for a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.

for hands-on technical advice, policy-oriented training, and peer learning

technical assistance visits involving 1,331 experts

fragile states among the top 10 recipients of technical assistance

courses delivered

training languages offered

officials trained

  • Top 10 Partners for IMF Capacity Development

    (signed agreements in US dollars, average, FY 2020–22)
    • Japan
    • Switzerland
    • European Union
    • Kuwait
    • Germany
    • The Netherlands
    • France
    • Kazakhstan
    • Norway
    • Austria
  • Top 10 Recipients of IMF Technical Assistance

    (FY 2022, US dollars spending)
    • Cambodia
    • Uzbekistan
    • Sierra Leone
    • Liberia
    • The Gambia
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Madagascar
    • Angola
    • China
    • Mozambique
    Source: Sources: IMF, Capacity Development Management and Administration Program; IMF, Participant and Applicant Tracking System; and IMF staff calculations.
  • Top 10 Recipients by Training Participation

    (FY 2022, participant weeks)
    • India
    • Kenya
    • China
    • Indonesia
    • Cambodia
    • Bangladesh
    • Nigeria
    • Uganda
    • St. Lucia
    • Madagascar
    Source: Sources: IMF, Capacity Development Management and Administration Program; IMF, Participant and Applicant Tracking System; and IMF staff calculations.

Direct Capacity Development Delivery By

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Figure 2.2


FY 2022 (percentage share of total)

Sources: IMF, Capacity Development Management and Administration Program; and IMF staff calculations.

Training Participation by

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Figure 2.5

Participant Income Group

FY 2022 (number of participants)

Sources: IMF, Participant and Applicant Tracking System; and IMF staff calculations.
Note: Most of the IMF’s training falls under the Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) Training Program, which includes training coordinated by ICD and delivered by ICD and other departments at IMF headquarters and globally at the IMF’s Regional Capacity Development Centers and in programs for country officials. Training also includes IMF online courses successfully completed by country officials. In addition, training is provided by functional departments outside the ICD Training Program.

Thematic and Country Funds for IMF Capacity Development

As of April 30, 2022
Source: IMF, Institute for Capacity Development.

IMF Regional Capacity Development Centers

As of April 30, 2022
Source: IMF, Institute for Capacity Development. Note: The IMF also delivers courses through regional training programs.

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