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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

5. This evaluation focuses on the broad spectrum of data activities associated with the IMF’s core strategic operations—surveillance and lending 2 —and also on the role of the IMF as a key provider of a public good, namely economic and financial statistics for the use of the international community. 3 It emphasizes data practices and developments during the past five years and addresses the following questions: (a) Do the IMF’s practices/policies with respect to data and statistics provide effective support for the conduct of Fund operations? Is the

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Data problems are well known … 103. In general, the Fund has been able to rely on a large amount of data of sufficiently acceptable quality. Nonetheless, this evaluation finds—as have other reports in the past—that data deficiencies still affect the Fund’s strategic operations ( Figure 14 ). In particular, inadequate data and data practices have implied that the Fund has been, at times, not fully equipped to play its critical role of helping to secure global macro-financial stability. 96 Figure 14. Data Issues and the IMF’s Mandate Source: IEO

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office


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
This report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Data Module is a summary assessment of Estonia's data practices against the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard, complemented by an in-depth assessment of the dimensions of data quality that underlie the national accounts, consumer prices, government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. Accuracy and reliability are generally good, but could be improved in a few areas of national accounts and in general government data by strengthening source data and improving statistical techniques.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

acceptable quality. Furthermore, data provision has improved markedly over time—in part owing to the IMF’s capacity-building activities—allowing the institution to keep abreast of the growing complexity and interconnectedness of the world economy. Nonetheless, problems with data that are missing or misleading, or with internal data practices—such as overlooking available data or mismanaging data—have, at times, adversely affected the Fund’s ability to deliver on its core surveillance and lending operations. 3. The factors behind such data problems are diverse, ranging