What is capacity development?

The IMF provides technical assistance and training – known as capacity development as one of its core functions. Capacity development accounts for around a third of the IMF’s annual spending. It is available to all members upon their request and is tailored to a country’s specific needs. Capacity development can help countries to improve tax collection and bolster public finances. It can help countries to modernize their monetary and exchange rate policies, develop legal systems, or strengthen governance. Capacity development also can help countries collect and disseminate data to inform decision-making.

What countries benefit from capacity development?
How does the IMF provide capacity development? How does it fund it

How does the IMF provide capacity development? How does it fund it?

The IMF provides capacity development in various ways. Staff from the IMF’s headquarters may meet with country officials in person or remotely, or work in the country as a resident adviser. The IMF also offers a global network of regional capacity development centers, and classroom and online training for officials in member countries. External partners finance more than half of the IMF’s capacity development activities through support to regional capacity development centers, thematic funds, and bilateral projects.


How does capacity development help countries?

Capacity development helps countries in many ways.
Here are some of the areas where the IMF assists member countries through its capacity development work:


How does capacity development fit with other core functions of the IMF?

The IMF’s policy advice and lending work help it to identify areas where capacity development can have the greatest impact. Capacity development work helps to increase member countries’ understanding and implementation of IMF policy advice.


How does the IMF monitor its capacity development work?

The IMF Executive Board oversees capacity development to assess its impact and effectiveness. It last reviewed the capacity development strategy in November 2018. The IMF is working to improve how it plans and monitors capacity development. It is assisted by evaluations that measure technical assistance and training across the IMF. Evaluations help determine the degree to which technical assistance has improved macroeconomic stability, public finance management systems, financial governance, and the quality of economic statistics. Evaluations also determine whether training has improved job performance of government officials and enhanced their ability to analyze economic developments and assess policy effectiveness.

How did the pandemic affect capacity development work?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic upheaval, the IMF expanded its capacity development work. It helped more than 160 member countries with urgent issues such as cash management, financial supervision, and cybersecurity. It worked with tax and budget administrators to help member countries support businesses and individuals without compromising safeguards and accountability. The IMF issued nearly 100 technical notes on policy issues and it expanded its online courses, launching an IMF Institute Learning Channel on YouTube. The channel offers on-demand microlearning videos for government officials and the public.

This page was last updated in November 2022