The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper analyzes the effectiveness of technical assistance provided by AFRITAC West (AFW) in the area of national accounts using the Fund's Technical Assistance Information Management System (TAIMS). The challenge has been to report on "ultimate outcomes" (i.e., the production and dissemination of national accounts statistics along best international practices) rather than on "inputs" (i.e., the number of national accounts missions fielded by AFW), as it has been the case to date. The paper concludes that the "ultimate outcome" of producing and disseminating robust national accounts is work in progress, with AFW's technical assistance efforts mainly focusing on source data assessments and methodological issues underpinning the compilation of national accounts. The pending challenge is to further support a more timely production and dissemination of national accounts data, as recommended in the Data ROSCs and by the IMF mission teams to AFW member countries.