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)| false Alexander, E. William, Forthcoming 2007, Theo Bikoi, Claudia Dziobek, Artak Harutyunyan, and Louis Venter, “ Assessing the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS)—What Has Been Accomplished After Ten Years, and Where Do We Go From Here?,” ( Forthcoming, Washington: International Monetary Fund).
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)| false International Monetary Fund, 2005a, “ Sierra Leone—Sixth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria and Additional Interim Assistance Under the Enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, Review of Financing Assurances, and Ex Post Assessment of Longer-Term Program Engagement”. ( Washington).
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This paper benefited from comments from William E. Alexander, Elliott Harris, Kevin O’Connor, Tom Morrison, Steve Kayizi, John Cady, Andrew Kitili, Meshack Tjirongo, and Jaroslav Kuceera, as well as from colleagues in a number of IMF and World Bank departments. Ken Kirkley provided useful technical assistance. Comments on an earlier draft were received from participants in the Scientific Statistics Conference in Kampala, Uganda during June 11–13, 2007.
The approach entails preparation of nationally owned comprehensive poverty reduction strategy papers, which can also be used by donors and other development partners for providing assistance to low-income countries (see Box 1).
The terms “integration” and mainstreaming” statistics into the PRS approach are used interchangeably in this paper. They refer to the process of designing/developing all aspects of the PRS approach concurrently and in a fully coordinated manner with the relevant statistical issues, including the requisite statistical capacity building to ensure the availability of data to monitor progress and inform policies. This should ultimately require a clear identification also of the cost of the essential statistical reforms to implement the PRS approach. In practical terms, the costing and inclusion of statistical reform in the budget has serious implications for the implementation of such reforms and the effectiveness of technical assistance, hence, the emphasis placed on this issue in the paper.
MTEF is used throughout this paper to refer also to the medium-term macroeconomic framework.
In the case of the HIPC and Enhanced HIPC Initiative, the decision point and completion point documents are required as a basis for the decisions of the IMF and World Bank Executive Boards. The MDRI also requires Executive Board documentation. For details, see http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/hipc.htm, http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/mdri.htm, and IMF, 2007a.
The IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office report in Box 1 focuses exclusively, while the Joint Bank/Fund reviews partially cover, the role of the IMF. The review in Box 3 was undertaken jointly by DFID and World Bank staff, drawing on the experience of 12 LICs to focus on the institutional arrangements, that is, formal and informal processes, procedures, rules, and mechanisms that bring monitoring activities into a coherent framework.
The issue is not the availability of data since many development partners have tended to generate the data they need, but rather the capacity of the LIC’s statistical system to compile and disseminate a broad range of internally consistent data and metadata; the latter to inform users of any deficiencies in the data.
“The description of current practices (metadata) would correspond to each of the objectives for data, access, integrity, and quality dimensions in the GDDS. The plans (for improvement) would identify the major shortcomings relative to the objectives set out in the system (i.e., the GDDS); the steps by which the shortcomings would be addressed; the resources, including technical assistance, necessary to achieve the improvements; and the timeframe during which improvements would be achieved. In particular, the improvements to be undertaken within 3–5 years would be identified.” (IMF, 1997, p. 2)
The SDDS requirements are based on international best practice. IMF staff visited about 50 countries and had workshops, including many more to establish the periodicity and timeliness of the various indicators based on existing best international practice. The GDDS recommendations were based on “good practice” in developing countries, hence the range of such good practices that are specified.
Standards and codes are benchmarks of good practices. The IMF and the World Bank have recognized international standards in 12 areas related to their work. In assessing countries’ observance of these standards, and helping them implement reforms where needed, the IMF and the World Bank aim to improve the functioning of the economy as well as the basis for investors’ decisions, and ultimately to promote greater financial stability and help prevent financial crises. The international standards in 12 areas may be divided into three groups, namely: (1) policy transparency, which includes data transparency (the SDDS, the GDDS, and, since July 2001, the DQAF); (2) financial sector regulation and supervision; and (3) market integrity. For details, seehttp ://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/sc.htm.
STATCAP is a World Bank financing mechanism with a simplified process for project preparation supporting the implementation of a country’s NSDS.
Note that the 12 indicators are divided into five categories namely ownership, alignment, harmonization, managing for results, and mutual accountability. If fully implemented, these indicators should mutually underpin a well-coordinated PRS framework that simultaneously guide partner country and donor activities to a common goal of reducing poverty in the host country. Concomitantly, all of the partner country’s and donor’s need for statistics to monitor progress and guide policies in this regard should have been effectively mainstreamed within this PRS framework. Appropriate priority and funding in the MTEF would provide a basis to support sustained reforms.
During the PARIS21 Steering Committee discussions, there was general support to adopt a “systemwide approach” to statistics as opposed to a “sectorwide approach.”
Economic liberalization and globalization are leading to the greater need for surveys to generate source data for balance of payments statistics. The abolition of exchange controls in many central banks removed a major access to administrative source data, for which surveys are the alternative means of generating the requisite source data. Moreover, the rapid expansion of services and private financial flows (e.g., remittances and direct investments) require more regular updates of enterprise and other surveys to generate source data.
To date, 94 countries have participated in the GDDS, 6 of which went on to become subscribers to the SDDS, leaving 88 countries as current participants.
See, for instance, “the Canadian Initiative,” including proposals for twinning arrangements by Statistics Canada with a number of developing country statistical offices. For details, see Fellegi, 2006. See also the U.K. White Paper on Eliminating World Poverty (DFID, 2006).
These comprise Central AFRITAC (Gabon), East AFRITAC (Tanzania), West AFRITAC (Mali), CARTAC (Barbados), METAC (Lebanon), and PFTAC (Fiji).
As of April 2007, there were 17 countries in Africa with PRGF-supported programs out of a total of 28 such programs, while a majority of countries with PRSPs are from Africa.
Experience with some early versions of the NSDS is a case in point, where overly ambitious infrastructural projects and reforms resulted in substantial resource requirements, which were not acceptable to the relevant ministries of finance and donors. Such setbacks proved almost fatal to the worthy need to support statistical reforms and required considerable confidence rebuilding to overcome the initial negative reaction.