You are here

Data dissemination standards (SDDS)

Standards for data dissemination

Data dissemination standards are important because they help enhance the availability of timely and comprehensive statistics, which contributes to the pursuit of sound macroeconomic policies and efficient functioning of financial markets. At the Eighth Review of the Fund’s Data Standards Initiatives in February 2012, the IMF’s Executive Board approved several enhancements to the SDDS and endorsed the creation of the SDDS Plus (described below).

SDDS requirements


The SDDS is a global benchmark for disseminating macroeconomic data to the public. SDDS subscription indicates that the country meets a test of “good statistical citizenship.” The SDDS Guide for Subscribers and Users contains details on commitments undertaken by a subscriber, and is available on the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) of the IMF. Countries that subscribe to the SDDS agree to follow good practices in four areas: the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data; public access to those data; data integrity; and data quality.

Subscribing countries commit to:

  •  Disseminate the data required by the SDDS punctually and with the prescribed periodicity and timeliness on a national webpage, the National Summary Data Page (NSDP), which is hyperlinked to the DSBB of the IMF. A complete list of NSDPs can be accessed by clicking here.
  •  Provide to the IMF an advance release calendar (ARC) containing release dates for the current month and at least the following three months for each prescribed category of data for posting on the DSBB.
  •  Provide detailed information about their statistical practices, or metadata, for dissemination on the DSBB. The metadata follow the rigorous format of the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF). The DQAF was developed by the IMF to assess the quality of countries’ economic and financial data. Details about DQAF, are available on the Data Quality Reference Site.
  •  Certify the accuracy of the metadata on an annual basis.
  •  The use of standardized electronic reporting procedures to monitor more effectively their observance of the SDDS is also a required undertaking for SDDS subscribers.

Monitoring SDDS observance


The IMF monitors SDDS observance and publishes annual observance reports. The reports review the subscribing countries’ observance of their SDDS undertakings. The reports also include a link to the data module of the Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes where relevant, and refer to IMF staff assessments of data quality in the most recent Article IV report. Serious and persistent nonobservance of the SDDS are a cause for action.

Procedures to be followed in instances of such nonobservance have been approved by the IMF’s Executive Board and in February 2012, a more structured timeline for these procedures was adopted.




source( IMF website )