Data programs

As an integral part of the international community, the World Bank works closely with other international agencies, regional development banks, donors, and other partners to:

  • Develop appropriate frameworks, guidance and standards of good practice for statistics.
  • Build consensus and define internationally agreed indicators, such as indicators for the Global Goals (SDGs).
  • Establish data exchange processes and methods.
  • Help countries improve statistical capacity.

The World Bank offers technical assistance and financial support for statistical development to its member governments. Training and seminars are also provided. For more information on training, contact the Development Data Group or the Open Learning Campus. Programs include:

Open Government Data Toolkit

The Open Government Data Toolkit is designed to help governments, Bank staff and users understand the basic precepts of Open Data, then get “up to speed” in planning and implementing an open government data program, while avoiding common pitfalls.

Improving Statistical Capacity

The World Bank works to improve the quality, timeliness and relevance of national and international statistics to better support fighting against poverty and to increase the statistical capacity of client countries and international partners. We provide a variety of services, including advice and support for projects, management of partnership activities, and financial resources. The main statistical capacity program is the Global Data Facility:

The Global Data Facility is an innovative global funding instrument that enables long-term support and durable transformation of data systems and data capital in low- and middle-income countries to improve lives and safeguard the planet. The Global Data Facility is part of a new data financing architecture established through a unique partnership between the World Bank, United Nations, and development partners to mobilize at least $500 million and coordinate support for the world’s most critical data impact opportunities by 2030. Learn more at

International Household Survey Network

The mission of the International Household Survey Network (IHSN) is to improve the availability, accessibility, and quality of survey data within developing countries, and to encourage the analysis and use of this data by national and international development decision makers, the research community, and other stakeholders.

International Comparison Program and Purchasing Power Parity

The International Comparison Program (ICP) is a worldwide statistical initiative—the largest in geographical scope, in implementation timeframe, and in institutional partnership. It estimates purchasing power parities (PPPs) for use as currency converters to compare the size and price levels of economies around the world. The 2011 ICP round covered 199 economies from eight regions.

External Debt Reporting System

At the beginning of each fiscal year, the World Bank Development Data Group provides a status report on the external debt of each country that is an active borrower. The report includes an assessment of the adequacy of debt-reporting arrangements and the nature of any inadequacies (e.g., lack of staff, data problems, inadequate administrative arrangements, simple neglect).

Quarterly External Debt Statistics

The Quarterly External Debt Database, jointly developed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, brings together detailed external debt data that are published individually by countries that subscribe to the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS).

The Joint External Debt Hub

Jointly developed by the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, the Joint External Debt Hub (JEDH) brings together external debt data and selected foreign assets from international creditor/market and national debtor sources.

Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange

SDMX stands for Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange-the electronic exchange of statistical information. Its goal is to explore e-standards that could allow us to gain efficiency and avoid duplication of effort in our own work and possibly in the work of others in the field of statistical information.The BIS, ECB, EUROSTAT, IMF, OECD, UN, and the World Bank have joined together to focus on business practices in the field of statistical information that would allow more efficient processes for exchange and sharing of data and metadata within the current scope of our collective activities.

The Sponsoring Institutions created common (SDMX) technical and statistical standards and guidelines, together with an IT architecture and IT tools, to be used for the efficient exchange and sharing of statistical data and metadata.

Standardized file formats for data and metadata and standardized contents of these files are the pre-condition for the automated production, processing and exchange of SDMX data and metadata files between national and international statistical organisations.