Ex Ante Conditionality

The imposition of International Monetary Fund (IMF) lending conditions before the IMF grants the loan.

Since the 1980s, as the IMF has extended lending and funding programmes in the Third World and the post-communist states, the focus of conditionality has been on the establishment of open economies and other aspects of structural adjustment. Conditions can range from provisions to reduce corruption to more controversial requests, such as improvement in human rights or reduction in deficit spending. The IMF may also require that the funds be used toward a specific project rather than being left to the discretion of the receiving country. Conditionality has been criticized for imposing the model of Western political liberalism on countries where it may not be appropriate or supported by the people; exposing poor countries to competition and exploitation from companies in wealthier countries; and for focusing on economic growth rather than promotion of social reform and equality.