The IMF's work on data dissemination standards consists of two tiers: the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), which applies to all IMF member countries, and the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), for those members having or seeking access to international capital markets. The GDDS framework provide governments with guidance on the overall development of the macroeconomic, financial, and sociodemographic data that are essential for policymaking and analysis in an environment that increasingly requires relevant, comprehensive, and accurate statistical data. This Guide explains the nature, objectives, and operation of the GDDS; the data dimensions it covers; and how countries participate. It provides national statistical authorities with a management tool and a framework to foster sound statistical methodology, professional data compilation, and data dissemination. The Guide supersedes the version updated in March 2002 and incorporates the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as specific elements of the GDDS sociodemographic component, which was articulated with the collaboration of the World Bank.
The Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) was established by the IMF in 1996 to guide members that already had, or that might seek, access to international capital markets in providing key economic and financial data to the public. In the following year, the IMF established the General Data Dissemination Standard (GDDS), which seeks to prepare countries for meeting the requirements of the SDDS. Data supplied by countries subscribing to the SDDS, as well as information provided by countries participating in the GDDS, are posted on the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) on the IMF's public website (http://dsbb.imf.org). This Guide is intended to assist subscribers of the SDDS, GDDS participants moving toward subscription to the SDDS, and users of the DSBB in becoming aware of the features and scope of the SDDS and the DSBB. It is intended to further the IMF's initiatives in data transparency and standards, to enhance the public availability of timely and comprehensive international statistics, and therefore to contribute to countries pursuit of sound macroeconomic policies and to the improved functioning of global financial markets.