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copy the linklink copied! Data sources and features

Most of the data in Government at a Glance Southeast Asia 2019 were collected from government officials by the OECD via specifically defined surveys (Budgeting Practices and Procedures, Digital Government, Open Government and Open Government Data, and Strategic Human Resources). As such, they represent either official government statistics or the country’s own assessments of current practices and procedures. To the extent possible, OECD data collection instruments use standardised definitions and common units of measure. However, biases can occur in that countries may interpret and answer questions differently and/or may not answer the questions completely objectively. In general, the direction of the bias is known but not necessarily its extent. To try and minimise these biases, the OECD cleaned and verified the collected data by following up with countries when there were potential inconsistencies and outliers. This has been mainly achieved thanks to the OECD’s knowledge through previous work in the region and local presence in the countries under study. In addition, respondents have been asked to provide additional evidence to validate their answers which, in turn, have been verified with other external and additional sources whenever available. Data collection began in 2017 and in six countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand (for the Budgeting Practices and Procedures survey data collection started in 2015 and was updated in 2018). Data collection began in 2018 in the remaining four countries – Brunei Darussalam, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam. All data were finalised after a thorough data cleaning process for all countries in 2018.

Data were also drawn from other international organisations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The public finance and economics data for SEA countries were based on the IMF World Economic Outlook (IMF WEO) and the IMF Government Financial Statistics (IMF GFS) databases. Data from the IMF WEO were extracted in early May 2018 corresponding to the April update. Data from the IMF GFS database were extracted on May 30th 2018. Moreover, data for tax revenues, which are also part of the public finance data, were extracted from the OECD Revenue Statistics in Asian Countries database on May 30th 2018. Finally, for the OECD countries and the average, the data were based on the System of National Accounts (SNA) and were extracted from the Government at a Glance online database representing the last available update: 28 June 2018 (financial government accounts: 3 July 2018). In many cases, data on public finances are presented for 2007, 2009, 2016 and if available, 2017.

The public employment data for SEA countries was extracted from the ILO dataset LABORSTA on 13 July 2018.

Despite the significant accomplishments of international organisations in harmonising data among the various statistical systems, several differences that impact some of the indicators analysed. Therefore notes are included within the methodological sections whenever specific methodological considerations need to be taken into account.

Finally, indicators included in the Serving Citizens chapter are also resulting from different sources, which are the worldwide public opinion polls of Gallup World Pool database for 2007 and 2017, the Word Justice Project database for 2017, the OECD 2015 PISA database for 2015, and the World Health Organisation 2018 - Global Health Estimates 2016 dataset for 2010 and 2016. Data for this chapter were extracted from the correspondent databases on 24 August 2018.

copy the linklink copied! Country coverage

Government at a Glance Southeast Asia 2019 includes data for ten SEA countries: Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Indonesia; the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; the Philippines; Singapore; Thailand and Viet Nam. As such, throughout this publication, ‘SEA countries’ refer to a maximum of these ten countries. However, it should be noted that the number of countries available for each indicator varies. Therefore, SEA averages and totals calculated for each indicator correspond to the number of countries for which data were available. In the case of surveys, this typically depends on whether they responded to each survey, as well as on the exact questions to which countries provided data for (more information can be found in the table below and in the specific chapters). This is the list of countries for which data from external sources (e.g. ILO, IMF) were also extracted, based on data availability. In addition, for this edition, four OECD survey instruments were used to collect data on relevant public management practices. Based on the coverage and country participation, data were collected for an uneven number of countries. This publication also includes data for four OECD countries in the region: Australia; Japan; Korea and New Zealand, as well as the OECD average of all member countries.

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0.1. Overview of all surveys to which SEA countries responded

Budget practices and procedures

Digital government

Open government and open data

Strategic Human Resources Management

Brunei Darussalam




Lao People’s Democratic Republic






Viet Nam






* Brunei Darussalam did not respond to the open government section of the survey.

The first Government at a Glance Southeast Asia Steering Committee meeting was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 15-16 September 2016, with support from the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission of Thailand. Countries that participated included: Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The aim of this meeting, where the OECD presented the concept paper to the participating countries, was to discuss the strategic orientation of the initiative. Following this meeting, an initial six countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) formally agreed to participate in the publication. The data collection process began by disseminating the three OECD surveys (strategic human resources management; digital government; and open government and open data) to the six countries in 2017. For the budgeting practices and procedures survey data collection started in 2015 and was updated in 2018. The OECD carried out data cleaning following established guidelines created by topic experts in the OECD.

The first data validation workshop, in conjunction with the OECD Korea Policy Centre and the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission of Thailand, took place the following year in Seoul, Korea, on 12-13 September 2017. All six countries participated in the workshop that was also attended by independent technical experts, experts from the Korean government, country representatives, OECD staff and ADB staff. The purpose of the workshop was to provide an overview of the country’s responses and to verify the collected survey responses. The workshop also served as a means to discuss preliminary results of the collected data and to resolve any pending data validation issues.

Following the first data validation workshop, the four other countries (Brunei Darussalam, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam) formally agreed to participate in the Government at a Glance Southeast Asia 2019 publication. Data collection for the same three surveys began immediately. The OECD carried out data cleaning using the same guidelines, involving active communication with the respective country’s focal points.

A second data validation workshop was held on 9 May 2018 in Manila, the Philippines. Participating countries included: the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam. In addition to the country representatives, independent technical experts, OECD staff and ADB staff also participated in the workshop. Data for the Budget Practices and Procedures survey were also validated during this second validation workshop. The data validation process for Brunei Darussalam was conducted over a series of online WebEx sessions.

Shortly after the second data validation workshop, the data cleaning for all ten countries was finalised, in close co-operation with the respondents of each survey.

copy the linklink copied! Country codes (ISO codes)

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines three-letter codes for the names of countries, dependent territories and special areas of geographical interest. For the geographical display of some figures, the following ISO codes are used.

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0.2. ISO Codes

SEA countries

Brunei Darussalam






Lao People's Democratic Republic (hereafter ‘Lao PDR’)












Viet Nam


OECD selected countries







New Zealand


* With regards to Korea, the name refers to the Republic of Korea.

copy the linklink copied! SEA and OECD averages and totals


In figures and text, the SEA and OECD averages refer either to unweighted, arithmetic mean or weighted average of the SEA region – covering the 10 ASEAN member countries – and OECD member countries for which data are available. SEA countries not included in the graphs and tables are those where data are not available.

When a figure depicts information for one or more years, the SEA average includes all countries with available data (unless specified otherwise). For instance, a SEA average for 2016 includes all current SEA countries with available information for that year.

In the case of National Accounts data, which are shown in the Public Finance chapter, the SEA and OECD averages refer to the weighted average, unless otherwise indicated.


SEA and OECD totals are most commonly found in tables and represent the sum of data in the corresponding column for SEA and OECD countries for which data are available. In the case of SEA countries, those not included in the tables are countries without available data.

For the selected OECD member countries and OECD averages and totals, data are those published in the Government at a Glance online dataset and/or in the OECD Government at a Glance 2017 edition. On 3 May 2018, the OECD Council invited Lithuania to become a Member. This country entered officially as an OECD member on the 5 of July 2018. At the time of preparation of this publication, the deposit of Lithuania’s instrument of accession to the OECD Convention was pending and therefore Lithuania does not appear in the list of OECD Members and is not included in the OECD average.

copy the linklink copied! Online supplements

Government at a Glance Southeast Asia 2019 also offers access to StatLinks, a service that allows readers to download the corresponding Excel files of the data featured. StatLinks are found at the bottom right-hand corner of the tables or figures and can be typed into a web browser or, from an electronic version of the publication, clicked on directly.

In addition, the following supplementary materials are available online at:

  • The Government at a Glance statistical database, which includes updated data for a selection of quantitative indicators via OECD.Stat and the published qualitative data;

  • Country fact sheets, which present key data by country compared with the SEA and OECD averages.

copy the linklink copied! Per capita indicators

Some indicators (e.g. expenditures, revenues and government debt) are shown on a per capita (e.g. per person) basis. The underlying population estimates are based on the notion of residency. They include persons who are resident in a country for one year or more, regardless of their citizenship, and also include foreign diplomatic and defence personnel together with their families, students studying and patients seeking treatment abroad, even if they stay abroad for more than one year. The one-year rule means that usual residents who live abroad for less than one year are included in the population, while foreign visitors (for example, tourists) who are in the country for less than on year are excluded. An important point to note in this context is that individuals may feature as employees of one country (contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP) of that country via production), but residents of another (with their wages and salaries reflected in the gross national income of their resident country).

copy the linklink copied! Purchasing power parities

Purchasing power parities (PPPs) are the rates of currency conversion that equalise the purchasing power of different countries by eliminating differences in price levels between countries. When converted by means of PPPs, expenditures across countries are in effect expressed at the same set of prices. An equivalent bundle of goods and services will, therefore, have the same cost in both countries, enabling comparisons that reflect only the differences in the volume of goods and services purchased.

The PPP index used for SEA countries is the same as those used by the IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO). The International Comparisons Program is a global statistical initiative that produces internationally comparable PPP estimates. The WEO uses PPP exchange rate estimates (maintained and published by the World Bank, the OECD, and other international organisations) to calculate its own PPP weight time series.

copy the linklink copied! Composite indicators

The publication includes seven descriptive composite indicators in narrowly defined areas. These composite indexes are a practical way of summarising discrete, qualitative information. The composites presented in this publication were created in accordance with the steps identified in the Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators (Nardo et al., 2008).

Details about the variables and weights used to construct the different composite indicators are available in Annexes A and B. While the composite indicators were developed in co-operation with OECD countries and are based on theory and/or best practices, the variables included in the indexes and their relative weights are based on expert judgments and, as a result, may change over time.

copy the linklink copied! Signs and abbreviations


Missing values


Not applicable (unless otherwise stated)


Asian Development Bank


Alternative dispute resolution


Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Central budget authority


Chief information officer


Central public administration




Gross domestic product


Government Financial Statistics


Government Finance Statistics Manual


Human resources


Human resources management


Information and communication technology


International Labour Organization


International Monetary Fund


International Open Data Charter


International Organization for Standardization


Medium-term expenditure frameworks


Non-communicable diseases


Office of the Civil Service Commission


Open government data


Open Government Partnership


Parliamentary budget offices


Programme for International Student Assessment


Percentage points


Purchasing power parities / public-private partnerships


Proportional representation


Performance-related pay


Senior civil servants


Southeast Asia


Strategic Human Resources


System of National Accounts


US dollars


Traditional infrastructure procurement


World Bank


World Economic Outlook


World Justice Project

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD, ADB 2019

This Work is available under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 3.0 IGO (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO) public license.

Reader’s guide