Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
July 2007
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© 2007 International Monetary Fund

The point of contact in the IMF for the General Data Dissemination System is:

Chief, Data Dissemination Standards Division

Statistics Department, International Monetary Fund

700 19th Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

Tel.: (202) 623-4874 Telefax: (202) 623-6165

E-mail: Internet:

Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The General Data Dissemination System : guide for participants and users — [Washington, D.C.] : International Monetary Fund, 2007.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-1-58906-417-1

1. Statistical services — Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. International Monetary Fund — Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. International Monetary Fund.

HA36.G85 2007

Price: $25.00

Please send orders to:

International Monetary Fund, Publication Services

700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

Tel.: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201




The purpose of this Guide is to explain the nature and objectives of the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), to describe its operation, and to provide practical guidance to IMF member countries on participation in the GDDS. The GDDS gives members a basic framework for a broader national statistical development strategy. That is, it covers a set of statistics recognized to be essential for all countries for policymaking and analysis in an environment that increasingly requires relevant, comprehensive, and accurate statistics. The GDDS addresses the full range of issues critical for compiling and disseminating data and making explicit plans for improvement to align national procedures with best practices.

This version of the Guide, superseding the version updated in October 2004, has benefited from the suggestions and recommendations of member countries that participate in the GDDS. This version also incorporates the decision taken by the IMF’s Executive Board in November 2005 to present the GDDS metadata in the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF). The Guide is expected to continue to evolve as the GDDS evolves.

Since establishing the GDDS in December 1997, the IMF Statistics Department has worked closely with member countries and with other international organizations on the GDDS. For participating member countries, the GDDS has provided a management tool and a framework to foster sound statistical methodology, professional data compilation, and data dissemination. With other international organizations, such as the World Bank, the department has worked to further develop and implement of the GDDS guidelines. In this regard, it is important to highlight the valuable contribution of the World Bank in articulating the sociodemographic component of the GDDS.

The purpose of the GDDS remains to assist member countries to develop their statistical systems. The GDDS further allows the data-producing agencies to take control of their statistical development programs in a structured manner and to coordinate effectively among producing agencies, users, and the international community. The IMF supports these efforts by providing technical assistance and by catalyzing support from other sources.

As the GDDS continues to change, this Guide is especially important for countries that are already participating. Participating countries must update and revise their metadata to describe how their data compilation and dissemination activities are keeping pace with the necessary changes in best statistical practices.

In addition, I urge member countries that are interested in participating in the GDDS, and those actively involved in preparing for participation, to consult the GDDS section of the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) on the Internet at: The site contains an extensive body of information on the statistical practices and statistical development plans of countries that participate in the GDDS.

I would like to thank staff of the Data Dissemination Standards Division within the Statistics Department for preparing the manuscript, and of the External Relations Department for copyediting the final manuscript and coordinating the publication of the Guide.

Robert W. Edwards


Statistics Department

International Monetary Fund



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