A first in-person seminar on Safeguards Assessments of Central Banks since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic was held at the JVI from October 10-14. The seminar was delivered by IMF staff from the Finance and Legal Departments who conduct IMF safeguards assessments of central banks. Participants comprised 18 officials from 11 central banks of the JVI countries. The seminar material covered broad topical issues across the Safeguards Assessments framework (denoted by the acronym ELRIC) and had a mix of instructor-led presentations and hands-on case studies, as well as pre- and post-seminar quizzes and polling questions to assess learning. The seminar material covered leading practices in governance and legal frameworks for central banks, audit mechanisms, financial reporting, and other central bank operational areas (such as foreign reserves management, banking and currency operations, and central bank digital currency, CBDC, operations).
The transition to in-person seminars made possible the re-introduction of the course’s flagship long-form case study. The case study has role-reversals whereby participants assume the role of IMF staff on a mission for a safeguards assessment and IMF staff assume the role of central bank authorities. Using real life safeguards material, the case study proved a vital teaching aid that greatly helped in cementing the seminar topics. It is not surprising that participants highly rated the long-form case study and most commented that it helped deepen their central banking knowledge in some areas. Overall, participants preferred the in-person event as it provided opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions, lively discussions, and the long-form case study—which are all not possible in a virtual set-up.
Lott Chidawaya, Accountant, IMF Finance Department