World Bank is launching an International Working Group to Improve Data on Remittance Flows (the “Working Group”) under the auspices of KNOMAD and in coordination with top source and destination countries for remittances, and the IMF, UN, OECD, and Eurostat. The Working Group will also leverage and co-ordinate with the Global Remittances Working Group (GRWG). This proposal is being made against the call for timely and better statistics on remittances as these flows have become an important source of external financing in low- and middle-income countries. Accurate and timely data on remittance flows are necessary to enable decision-makers to enhance evidence-based policies and support the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDG). However, based on assessments made by a wide variety of users, there are gaps in the data and concerns about its quality.

The over-arching rationale of Working Group is to facilitate the coordination and information sharing among participants engaged in remittance flows data collection; compilation of methodologies and related activities, thereby establishing an effective and efficient system for monitoring developments. This will facilitate progress towards the comprehensive measurement of remittance flows in low- and middle- income countries, in conformity with internationally agreed standards and definitions.

The Working Group will also take responsibility for assessing the extent to which countries compile remittance flows data in conformity with internationally agreed standards and definitions and, for documenting deviations from agreed norms. The group will also serve as a discussion forum for proposed initiatives to further improve statistics on remittances by proposing best practices for capturing data sources and the compilation of methodologies, assisting in strengthening of basic statistics, further improving bilateral statistics, data dissemination and publication.