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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This report examines whether the IMF has effectively leveraged an important asset: data. It finds that in general, the IMF has been able to rely on a large amount of data of acceptable quality, and that data provision from member countries has improved markedly over time. Nonetheless, problems with data or data practices have, at times, adversely affected the IMF’s surveillance and lending activities. The roots of data problems are diverse, ranging from problems due to member countries’ capacity constraints or reluctance to share sensitive data to internal issues such as lack of appropriate staff incentives, institutional rigidities, and long-standing work practices. Efforts to tackle these problems are piecemeal, the report finds, without a clear comprehensive strategy that recognizes data as an institutional strategic asset, not just a consumption good for economists. The report makes a number of recommendations that could promote greater progress in this regard.

International Monetary Fund

02-12 2. Spending by Output/Work Area, FY 08 and FY 12 3. Fund Membership by Country Status 4. Budget Envelope, FY 12-15 5. New Budget Demands 6. Funding New Demands 7. Demands and Reallocation by Output/Work Area 8. Long-Term Facilities Capital Plan, FY 04-26 9. IT Spending, FY 08-15 Boxes 1. Expenditure Prioritization: A Regional Analysis 2. Workload Pressures 3. Capacity Building: Meeting the Changing Needs of the Membership. 4. The Economic Data Management Initiative 5. Efficiencies in Travel Annexes I. The FY 12 Projected

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

new data management initiatives that are under way in the Fund, together with the renewed impetus in the Statistics Department (STA) towards increased cooperation within the Fund and greater internal service orientation, offer a solid institutional foundation for transformation.

International Monetary Fund

Management Initiative and Data Provision V. Data Quality Characteristics of Relevance for Surveillance VI. Draft Template for the SIA: with Greater Focus on Data Issues Affecting Financial Sector Surveillance VII. Data Sets At-A-Glance VIII. The DGI and 2011 TSR Priorities APPENDIX TABLES A.1. List of 50 Countries for the Review of Staff Reports A.2. Summary of Cases Potential Cases Acronyms AUD Australian dollar BIS Bank for International Settlements BOP Balance of Payments BPM6 Balance of

International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department

Vision of Data and Statistics at the Fund Around Six Strategic Priorities TABLE Data and Statistics Strategy: Indicative Gross Resource Needs and Savings for FY2019–21 ANNEX I. Taskforce and Other Contributing Staff Glossary BIS Bank for International Settlements BOP Balance of Payment Statistics CSR Comprehensive Surveillance Review D4D Data for Decisions EDGG Economic Data Governance Group EDMI Economic Data Management Initiative EDSC Economic Data Steering

International Monetary Fund

maintenance for new IT systems—although more of an issue in FY 14 and 15 when some new systems will be introduced; and ✓ Governance arrangements to strengthen data management, with the creation of a small Economic Data Team under the Economic Data Management Initiative ( Box 4 ). Box 4. The Economic Data Management Initiative The Fund is a heavy consumer and producer of economic data, yet there is a broad recognition that its data management strategy, governance, and practices require improvements. These views were reiterated in the context of the Economic Data

International Monetary Fund
The FY 13–15 Medium-Term Budget presented in this paper reflects the following main features: Unchanged administrative budget in real terms for FY 13. Overall spending (structural plus crisis/temporary) will be kept unchanged in real terms in FY 13 relative to the FY 12 budget (excluding the one-off additional cost of the 2012 Annual Meetings in Tokyo).Broadly unchanged administrative envelope in nominal terms for FY 13. This reflects the impact of the Executive Board’s decision in March to grant no increase in the staff salary structure in the context of the 2012 Compensation Review. The “structure increase” is the main component in the budget deflator applied to map the real total envelope into nominal terms. A capital budget dominated by the impact of the HQ1 Renewal Program. The final appropriation for this project, approved by the Executive Board in March 2011, is reflected in the proposed capital budget for FY 13.
International Monetary Fund
The IMF keeps data provision by members under periodic review since timely, accurate, and comprehensive data are essential for fulfilling its surveillance mandate. The previous Review of Data Provision to the Fund for Surveillance Purposes was discussed by the Executive Board in March 2008 (the 2008 Review). The 2008 Review introduced a new classification system for rating the adequacy of data provision by a member to help with this assessment. The present review was expected to be conducted in 2013, but was brought forward to 2012 in the context of the ongoing global crisis. In particular, the Managing Director’s (MD) statement on the 2011 Triennial Surveillance Review (TSR) announced that the Review of Data Provision to the Fund for Surveillance Purposes would be brought forward to 2012 to allow the Board to consider where more and better data could be leveraged to enhance surveillance.
International Monetary Fund

Economic Data Management Initiative and Data Provision 1. The Economic Data Management Initiative (EDMI) Task Force was established in April 2010 at the request of the Managing Director, to address data management challenges at the Fund. Background studies concluded that the Fund is at the earliest stages of data management (DM) maturity by industry standards, with no clear guiding strategies for DM driven by business needs, weak governance bodies, and poorly executed procedures. 2. To upgrade the Fund’s DM framework, a new governance structure has been established

International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
The first data and statistics strategy for the Fund comes at a critical time. A fast-changing data landscape, new data needs for evolving surveillance priorities, and persisting data weaknesses across the membership pose challenges and opportunities for the Fund and its members. The challenges emerging from the digital revolution include an unprecedented amount of new data and measurement questions on growth, productivity, inflation, and welfare. Newly available granular and high-frequency (big) data offer the potential for more timely detection of vulnerabilities. In the wake of the crisis, Fund surveillance requires greater cross-country data comparability; staff and authorities face the complexity of integrating new data sources and closing data gaps, while working to address the weaknesses noted by the IEO Report (Behind the Scenes with Data at the IMF) in 2016. The overarching strategy is to move toward an ecosystem of data and statistics that enables the Fund and its members to better meet the evolving data needs in a digital world. It integrates Fund-wide work streams on data provision to the Fund for surveillance purposes, international statistical standards, capacity development, and data management under a common institutional objective. It seeks seamless access and sharing of data within the Fund, enabling cloud-based data dissemination to support data provision by member countries (e.g., the “global data commons”), closing data gaps with new sources including Big Data, and improving assessments of data adequacy for surveillance to help better prioritize capacity development. The Fund also will work with policymakers to understand the implications of the digital economy and digital data for the macroeconomic statistics, including new measures of welfare beyond GDP.