Press Release: IMF and World Bank Co-Host Third Global SDMX Conference to Advance Implementation of Worldwide Standards for Data and Metadata Exchange

May 4, 2011

Press Release No. 11/161
May 4, 2011

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank co-hosted a global conference on May 2-4, 2011 to promote and broaden implementation of the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) standards. SDMX addresses a key challenge facing public administrations: how to best to leverage web technology to deliver statistical data quickly and efficiently to consumers, both people and computers. Co-hosted by the IMF’s Statistics Department and World Bank’s Development Economics Data Group, the conference brought together over 200 senior officials, statisticians and information technology professionals from 90 countries to share SDMX implementation strategies and to participate in a one-day capacity-building workshop aimed at national agencies that have not yet implemented SDMX.

During the conference, the IMF launched a new iPhone and iPad application that relies on SDMX standards to display data tables and charts from the Principal Global Indicators (PGI) website. The PGI is an initiative of the Interagency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics, which comprises the same seven international organizations that sponsor the SDMX initiative, namely the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the European Central Bank (ECB), Eurostat, the IMF, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and the World Bank.

The SDMX standards are registered as a technical specification (ISO/TS 17369:2005 SDMX) with the International Organization for Standardization. The conference announced the release of the latest version of these standards and an expansion of country authorites’ role with the creation of two working groups. The groups include experts from national data producing agencies—principally central banks and national statistical offices—who will guide future SDMX developments. In closing the conference, the initiative’s sponsors provided an action plan to further promote the global implementation of SDMX standards by the statistical community. That plan, which covers aspects of governance, implementation, and outreach, received broad support from the participants, who recognized the benefits of jointly working on common global standards for the exchange and sharing of statistical data and metadata.

This conference marked the 10th anniversary of the first global workshop, also held in Washington, D.C., in September 2001 and co-hosted by the IMF and the BIS. The conference was organized by the SDMX secretariat as part of its outreach and training activities to promote the business case for broader implementation of SDMX standards and to seek input for future developments.

The conclusions of the conference will inform the initiative’s future development. The presentations delivered at the conference are already on the conference web page, while a summary of the conference will be posted on the SDMX website in the coming weeks.


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