Although the IMF publishes Article IV reports on its website, these are only available as individual PDF documents organised under country pages. This means that searching for information about what the IMF is recommending on any particular issue in surveillance is difficult and time-consuming.
The Article IV Scanner has therefore been designed to enable civil society, researchers, and officials to search for key words and phrases in over 2,000 IMF Article IV reports since 2000 all in one place. This allows the IMF’s bilateral surveillance to be more transparent, accessible, and open to civil society engagement.
Please note the search will only find the exact search term typed in the main box. If, for example, you enter Argentina interest rates, only documents containing all the words in the same sequence will be found. It may be that a search for Argentina and interest rates would have been more appropriate. Even better, selecting the advanced option and limiting your search by country would return more accurate results, more quickly.
This search tool enables users to search words or key phrases in IMF Article IV reports. IMF Article IV reports are one surveillance tool through which the IMF gives advice to individual countries on macroeconomic policy. Article IV documents include but are not limited to a press release, an Executive Board assessment, staff report and statement by the Executive Director.
The search tool uses American English, so using American English spellings will provide more consistent results.
You can perform a basic search by typing one or multiple key terms in the box above, then clicking search. It will then show relevant results for one or multiple reports together, from the year 2000 to the present. The search may show multiple results for the same Article IV where a search term appears on more than one page. Relevance is calculated based on the number of times each of your search terms appear in a report. The more times all terms appear, the higher the relevance.
For more control over your search, which allows you to tailor the search more to specific requirements, please click on the advanced search options button. Here you can select to search by country or multiple countries and by date. Use the main search box to type in the search term or phrase you are looking for.
You can also choose how you would like to view the results, by relevance (described above), by date, or by alphabetical title of the report.
Page numbers referred to in the search results are the page numbers of the PDF file, and not the in-document IMF page number itself. Occasionally due to the nature of the source material, dates may be inaccurately identified. Please do advise us if you find any anomalies.
Please note that this search tool cannot guarantee all possible results will be found, and for the purposes of in-depth research we recommend opening each Article IV report for context. To access the full Article IV report, please click the available link in the search result title to take you to the IMF website where you can find related documents as well, or directly to the Article IV PDF document at the bottom of each result.
All searches are carried out case insensitively. Please note the search will only find the exact search term typed in the main box.
If you would like to exclude any words from appearing in the search, please specify them in the box under Exclude Article IV reports containing. You may wish to do this if the tool is returning results with similar words to the ones that you requested, but you require more precision.
For example, to find results for the term country but not country report please type country into the main search box, and the word(s) to be excluded – in this case report – in the box under Exclude Article IV reports containing. Please note, you must also search for a term in the main search box.
If you would like to search for sequences of words, in a specific order, please enter the words in that order. For example, entering country report will find the total number of mentions for both words in that order.
If you would like to search for multiple words independently, you can use the words “and” or “or”. The “and” option requires both words to be present in a report, but not necessarily in sequence or in proximity. The “or” option requires that just one (or both) of the words to be present in a report.
For example, if you enter country or report, the tool will search for reports that contain the words country or report. In this instance, a report will be shown if country is present, even if report is not. Equally, if report is present but country is not, the report will be shown.
If you search for country and report, the tool will search for documents that contain both words country and report, but not necessarily in that order or close together. If only one of the terms is present, the report will not be listed.
Terms can be bracketed if you want to combine search terms in more varied ways and it is possible to use the word “not” to exclude a term. This is almost equivalent to using the advanced option, except you have a little more control over how you structure your search. The exclusion keywords are always grouped together and added to the end of a search term, with the search term being bracketed and the exclusion keywords being bracketed.
For example, to search for reports that include ‘female’ but exclude ‘female labor force participation’, enter in the main search box female and not (labor force participation). Please note that before the word not the word and or or is required.
Searching for popular terms that generate large numbers of search results can take a little time (a few seconds). This is because the system generates a complete result set for you, allowing you to rapidly page through the results. If you are finding that a search is taking more than a few seconds, consider making the search more specific using and or not. Also consider limiting your search to a range of years or one or more countries.
What is Surveillance?
Surveillance is one of three main activities of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), together with lending and technical assistance. Via surveillance, the IMF oversees the international monetary system and the policies of all of its member countries to promote global financial and economic stability. It does so at the country, regional, and global levels.
At the country level, the IMF conducts bilateral surveillance through the ‘Article IV Consultation’, named after Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement. These consultations involve an annual IMF staff visit to each of its member countries, during which they discuss, with government officials and other stakeholders, the country’s overall economic condition, its fiscal and monetary policies, and any perceived economic risks. The IMF then compiles a staff report with an evaluation and recommendations, the views of the IMF Executive
Board, a summary press release, and in some cases a summary from the Executive Director representing the country. Together, these materials are the Article IV report.
Policy advice in Article IV reports is not binding, but it is mandatory for all 189 IMF member states to undergo bilateral surveillance. Nevertheless, research from independent scholars and the IMF suggest the reports can significantly shape macroeconomic policies. Labour unions, academics, United Nations bodies, activists, and civil society organisations argue that the types of macroeconomic policies the IMF promotes through its surveillance undermines the capacity of states to fulfil their human rights obligations, exacerbates inequalities within and between countries, and disproportionately hurts the poor and marginalised.
Using the Article IV Scanner in Advocacy
The Article IV Scanner is especially designed as a tool for those trying to hold governments and the IMF to account for their rhetoric and commitments. We advise the user to be as precise as possible and to go into the original PDF document for context. The Article IV Scanner is aimed to give users an overview of how the IMF and its members discuss certain issues. It should not be used as a substitute for in-depth research. For instance, the Article IV Scanner may show results of an endorsement of a particular policy, but in advocacy it will
also be crucial to understand whether that endorsement is coming from the IMF or from country authorities. If a search does not return results, it does not necessarily mean that the search term is not included in any Article IVs,as the tool is not 100% accurate and may not search all available Article IV documents. For in-depth research, we recommend the user also read accompanying staff notes and documents relating to IMF lending programs.