Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
May 2003
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Photographs and Illustrations
Page number
Massoud EtemadiCover design and pages 4-5, 23
Dean Conger, Corbis41
Goh Chai Hin, AFP photos22
Willie Heinz, IDB14
IMF photo group11, 12, 18, 35, 49, 52
IMF staff7, 10, 19, 42-48
Alexander Joe, AFP photos25
Yuri Kochetkov, AFP photos40
Liu Jin, AFP photos21
Philippe Lopez, AFP photos16
Juda Ngwenya, Reuters29
World Bank photo library37

IMF Technical Assistance

Transferring Knowledge and Best Practice

International Monetary Fund

Washington, D.C.

© 2003 International Monetary Fund


Jeremy Clift

Production: IMF Multimedia Services Division

Cover and design: Luisa Menjivar-Macdonald

Typesetting: Philip Torsani

ISBN 9781589060999

Published May 2003

To order IMF publications, please contact:

International Monetary Fund, Publication Services

700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20431, U.S.A.

Tel.: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201




This pamphlet focuses on the Technical Assistance Program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is part of a series that aims to describe key aspects of the activities and policies of the IMF for the general public.

Further information on IMF Technical Assistance can be obtained from the IMF’s Policy Statement on Technical Assistance, the IMF Annual Report, and the annual Supplement to the IMF Survey, all available on the IMF’s website ( Details about the IMF Institute’s work can also be accessed through the website.

Jeremy Clift of the IMF’s External Relations Department prepared this pamphlet, with contributions from staff working in the IMF’s Office of Technical Assistance Management.

Note to the Reader

The IMF’s Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department was renamed the Monetary and Financial Systems Department as of May 1, 2003. The new name has been used throughout the pamphlet.



African Capacity Building Foundation


African Regional Technical Assistance Center


The Caribbean Community


Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center


Central African Economic and Monetary Union


Eastern Caribbean Central Bank


Financial Sector Assessment Program


Gross Domestic Product


Heavily Indebted Poor Country


International Monetary Fund


Joint Vienna Institute


Least-Developed Country


Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development


Office of Technical Assistance Management (of the IMF)


Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center


Report on Standards and Codes


Technical Cooperation Action Plan


United Nations


United Nations Development Program


Value-Added Tax


West African Economic and Monetary Union


Providing technical assistance to member countries—particularly developing countries and countries in transition—is among the IMF’s most important jobs. Yet this major component of our work is relatively unknown to the public at large. While the IMF’s lending in support of policy programs in crisis countries captures the world’s headlines, its technical assistance rarely does so, although it plays a vital role in laying foundations for stronger economies and for a better future for the people of many countries of the world.

The technical assistance provided by the IMF, which includes training for government and central bank officials, is recognized as an important benefit of IMF membership. It is provided mainly in the IMF’s core areas of responsibility and expertise—public finance, central banking, economic and financial statistics, and related legal matters. IMF staff, together with experts from member countries, share with member governments and central banks approaches for improving the design and implementation of economic policy, as well as for building up local expertise and helping develop stronger institutions, with the aim of enhancing economic policy management.

Over the years, our technical assistance agenda has evolved with the needs of our member countries. In the early 1990s, we sharply stepped up technical assistance to the formerly centrally planned economies to help them build the policy infrastructure and institutions needed for market-based economies. Since the mid- and late 1990s, we have increased our efforts to help countries meet the challenges posed by globalization, particularly by strengthening their financial and statistical systems. Also in recent years, the IMF has given added emphasis to integrating its technical assistance with the policy advice it provides in the course of its economic surveillance and lending activities. And we have increasingly been encouraging countries to identify their technical assistance needs and priorities in advance rather than waiting for problems to emerge. Working in partnership, the IMF and its members are thus taking a more proactive approach to the planning, prioritization, and delivery of technical assistance.

Sharing, through our technical assistance program, the collective knowledge of the IMF and our membership is one of the main ways in which we are working to achieve a global economy that works for the benefit of all.

Eduardo Aninat

IMF Deputy Managing Director

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