The Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) was established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF/Fund) to guide members that have, or that might seek, access to international capital markets in the provision of their economic and financial data to the public. SDDS are expected to enhance the availability of timely and comprehensive statistics and therefore contribute to the pursuit of sound macroeconomic policies; the SDDS is also expected to contribute to the improved functioning of financial markets.
The SDDS, in taking a comprehensive view of the dissemination of economic and financial data, identifies four dimensions of data dissemination:
- The data: coverage, periodicity, and timeliness;
- Access by the public;
- Integrity of the disseminated data;
- Quality of the disseminated data.
For each of these dimensions, the SDDS prescribes two to four monitorable elements--good practices that can be observed, or monitored, by the users of statistics.
The data dimension lists 18 data categories that provide coverage for the four sectors of the economy, and it prescribes the periodicity (or frequency) and timeliness with which data for these categories are to be disseminated. In recognition of differences in economic structures and institutional arrangements across countries, the SDDS provides flexibility. Certain categories are marked for dissemination on an "as relevant" basis.