Michel Camdessus, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, plans to pledge today that the international lending agency will show greater sensitivity "to social realities" when requiring economic changes as a condition for aiding Third World countries.

Camdessus, who took over the leadership of the IMF this year from Jacques de Larosiere, is concerned about the negative image of the IMF in much of the Third World, where the very name of the agency is a bad word.

In a speech prepared for delivery in Geneva to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO) and made available in Washington yesterday, Camdessus asserted that the IMF has unfairly been charged with demanding excessive austerity as a price for its help. But he acknowledged that the poorest segments of the population in some countries "have carried the heaviest burden of economic adjustment.

"Hence has emerged the notion of an IMF which is insensitive, or which ignores the social aspects of economic policies," Camdessus said. He promised that the IMF would expand its contacts with UN-related agencies "in order to sharpen its appreciation of the issues," and would stand ready to look for alternative ways of helping the debtor countries "with a view in particular to sheltering the poor."

Camdessus also issued a thinly disguised warning to Third World politicians not to lay all of the blame for their internal problems on the IMF. He noted that adjustment programs undertaken by poor countries "are not fund programs, only fund-supported programs . . .

"Governments must therefore recognize such choices as their own, explain them and implement them with resolve. If governments do not live up to their responsibilities, but instead attribute the adoption of corrective measures to external forces rather than to the country's own needs and its own initiative, the prospects for success will be jeopardized."

Camdessus said he is pressing forward with his proposal, made at the Venice summit, for tripling the concessional aid available to the 62 poorest countries through the IMF's new Structural Adjustment Facility. The SAF has assets equivalent to $3.5 billion, which came from a reflow to the IMF from earlier loans made out of the proceeds of gold sales.

The SAF, put into effect last year, lends money at 1/2 of 1 percent a year for a relatively long IMF repayment period of 5 1/2 to 10 years. Camdessus suggested to the heads of government in Venice that they help build the SAF to just over $9 billion to supplement the help the recipient countries get through debt rescheduling and from World Bank concessional money.

The Venice summit "welcomed" Camdessus' proposal, without citing the $9 billion goal, and called for a conclusion to be reached "within this year." Camdessus said in his speech that he is seeking specific commitments from the seven major nations and others, and that a number of smaller nations have promised contributions.

It was learned that Camdessus has written separately to leaders of the seven summit nations asking them to fulfill their implied promise, and saying he plans to meet with each of them before the IMF annual meeting here in September.

"It is . . . imperative that the international community give renewed hope to these {poorest} countries by showing its willingness to provide increased aid and exceptional financial help," Camdessus told his UNESCO audience.