Effective debt management depends on the maintenance of a timely and accurate database of the country’s borrowings. This database should also be complete and cover all types of public borrowings as well as contain information on private sector debt.

This module will look at the concepts, definition and classification behind external and domestic debt instruments as well as data sources and techniques to compile debt data. The module will explore the core accounting principles involved and the link between debt data statistics and those in balance of payments and national accounts. It will also discuss the publication of debt statistics as well as the use of such statistics for analytical purposes.

The last part of the module will discuss how debt statisticians can assess the timeliness, accuracy and coverage of debt databases using published methodologies such as the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) of the IMF and the undertaking of public debt audits. This module will be of special interest to those involved in back office operations although debt data analysts would also benefit from an understanding of core concepts.

The module will be based around the two main documents in this area: External Debt Statistics, a Guide for Compilers and Users and Public Sector Debt Statistics, A Guide for Compilers and Users, both published by the IMF.

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