In the context of the different theoretical models available, this Working Paper examines the various policy options that are available to developing countries in attempts to achieve balance of payments equilibrium. The policies include devaluation, demand management, and controls of various types, all of which have frequently featured in International Monetary Fund (IMF) programmes, either in terms of their encouragement or discouragement. Prior to this examination, Section I reminds us of some of the definitional problems associated with the balance of payments and relates balance of payments concepts to the various theories. Section II examines the underlying nature of the policy problem. The paper sets out to provide a theoretical and empirical backdrop to subsequent papers which will investigate the IMF’s involvement with payments policy in developing countries.