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Countries subscribing to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) undertake to follow good statistical practices in four dimensions: (1) data: coverage, periodicity and timeliness of the data disseminated; (2) access by the public: dissemination of advance release calendars, and simultaneous release of the data; (3) integrity: disclosing information on laws governing the compilation and release of the data, access to the data by other government officials prior to release, ministerial commentary accompanying the release of the data, revision policy, and advance notice of major changes in methodology; and (4) quality: the dissemination of documentation on methodology and sources, and dissemination of detailed and other data that support statistical cross-checks.

Under the SDDS, data dissemination practices are prescribed for 20 data categories covering the real, fiscal, financial and external sectors, as well as population, and are posted on the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB; Currently there are 58 subscribers to the SDDS. Subscribers are required to establish an Internet site containing the actual data disseminated under the SDDS, called a National Summary Data Page (NSDP) that is hyperlinked to the DSBB. Full details on subscribers' metadata are posted on the DSBB.

The SDDS has led to wider availability and enhanced timeliness of published data and the greater use of advance release calendars. In light of the recent financial crises, the IMF also has taken steps to strengthen the SDDS, particularly in the areas of financial soundness indicators, international investment position data, international reserves and external debt.

Assessment Methodology

View the Assessment Methodology

The generic Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) May 2012 serves as an umbrella for seven dataset-specific frameworks. The current May 2012 version of the DQAF is an update of the July 2003 version of the DQAF to reflect experience and international statistical developments, particularly updated international methodological standards.