Resit assignment IOD: Evaluating the intended impact of IMF programmes
Participation in IMF programmes is usually linked to a commitment to pursue certain macro-economic policies as well as structural reforms. The targets and (structural) benchmarks to be achieved are articulated in the Letter of Intent (and further discussed in subsequent Reviews). However, participation in an IMF programme does not guarantee that these targets and benchmarks are achieved.
This assignment focuses on the structural reforms, so you can disregard the macro-economic policies for which quantitative (or indicative) targets are formulated. The purpose of this assignment is (a) to identify two different structural benchmarks and to link them to broader governance-related variables as can be found in international databases; and (b) to evaluate to what extent these broader governance indicators have improved in the short term.
Select a country that participated in at least one IMF programme (SBA, EFF, PRGF (older name for ECF),ECF, or SCF) between 2008 and 2015.
Identify two different structural benchmarks. These benchmarks can be found in the Letter of Intent.
To evaluate whether the reform proposals have achieved their intended effect, select at least two indicators (for each structural benchmark; so four in total) that provide information about the outcome of interest (i.e. the broader governance objective). You can choose indicators from the World Development Indicators database (check the CPIA – Country Policy and Institutional Assessment – indicators), from the Worldwide Governance Indicators database and/or from the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI). If relevant, you can also use other databases. In any case it is important that you motivate your choice of indicators, so make sure you know how the indicators are defined and measured, and that they have a relationship with the selected benchmarks.
Use a simple before-after approach, by examining data for at least 5 years before the (first) loan and at least three years after.
Present all data in a table and show the most important results in one or more graphs. We expect you to make the graphs yourself, so do not copy them from a database. Discuss the results.
Finally, briefly discuss the limitations of the before-after approach in the context of this assignment.
Assessment and what to submit
This assignment will be assessed on i) choice of benchmarks and choice of indicators, as well as justification for these choices (25%), ii) accuracy of retrieved data and information (20%), iii) presentation of the data in tables and graphs (15%) and iv) interpretation and discussion of the results (40%).
The text should be no more than 2000 words. Submit a word file only in which you have copied your tables and graphs. Make sure tables and graphs are readable on their own. They should be numbered, have appropriate headings and legends (avoid redundancy), and you should provide sources.
The word limit includes tables and graphs (including sources to graphs and tables), but excludes references. There is no 10% margin.
Additional information on the databases
In the World Development Indicators, you can push the “i” for definition and measurement of the variable. For the Worldwide Governance Indicators, you can check the tab “documentation” for useful information on definition and sources. For the data from the Bertelsmann Foundation, you can check the “methodology” and, for example, read the relevant parts of the “Codebook”.
For access to BTI data, open atlas, click countries, country selection, time-series, adjust period (if necessary) and select indicators. This is also a useful source for getting more background information on your country; see, for example, the country reports.
Websites: https://databank.worldbank.org/source/world-development-indicators https://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/ www.bti-project.org
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