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C C S. and A P

Abstract

A key feature of the reform of the international financial architecture since the mid-1990s has been the development of international standards and codes.2 The data standards initiative, on which the IMF took the lead, broke new ground. The dissemination standards put in place as the centerpiece of this initiative continue to be among the most widely known of the international standards and codes.

A W E., C J, G-G, J, and K A Y.

Abstract

Recognition of the importance of data transparency—including for promoting the efficient operation of financial markets and policy accountability on the part of governments and central banks—is a remarkably recent phenomenon in the history of economic thought. The timely availability of data on international reserves and the foreign exchange operations of central banks is a case in point. As recently as 10 years ago, with relatively few exceptions, only very aggregated information typically was available, and then often only with a substantial lag. Indeed, in a number of countries, these data were treated as state secrets. Moreover, significant regional differences existed—and still do, to an important degree—in terms of views about the value of enhancing transparency.

W E. A, T B, C D, A H, and L V

Abstract

Although the name of the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) infers that its central focus is dissemination, in its initial stages the GDDS emphasized the development of national systems in an explicit medium-term framework. Attention to data dissemination came only at a later stage. Indeed, participating countries are not required to make any formal commitments regarding data dissemination. The main premise underlying the GDDS is to give high priority to improvements in data quality, which may need to precede improvement in dissemination practice.

C J and G-G J

Abstract

The financial crises of the 1990s revealed a need for the dissemination of more comprehensive data on foreign currency liquidity positions to help prevent similar crises. In 1998, the IMF began working on initiatives in this area in collaboration with working groups of the Group of Ten (G-10) and the Group of 22 (G-22). The resulting international reserves and foreign currency liquidity data template (reserves template) became a prescribed element of the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). Data reporting under this initiative began in June 1999, and after a short transition period, SDDS subscribers were required to observe the standard as of April 2000.

Mr. William E. Alexander, Mr. John Cady, and Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia

Abstract

In its first 10 years, the IMF’s Data Dissemination Initiative has had a demonstrable positive impact on data dissemination. Currently, the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) and the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) taken together include 83 percent of the IMF’s member countries. This initiative has become an integral part of the international financial architecture and has helped to promote economic transparency and efficiency. Along with other financial standards and codes it has served to strengthen transparency and good governance globally.

ALEŠ BULÍR and A. JAVIER HAMANN

This article examines empirical evidence on the volatility and uncertainty of aid flows and their main policy implications. Aid is found to be more volatile than fiscal revenues—particularly in highly aid-dependent countries—and shortfalls in aid and domestic revenue tend to coincide. The article also finds that uncertainty about aid disbursements is large and that the information content of commitments made by donors is either very small or statistically insignificant. Specific policies and broader international efforts to cope with these features of aid are briefly discussed