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ICT Statistics
Ongoing work

Methodological work

• UNCTAD works in close collaboration with the members of the global Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development (ITU, OECD, UNCTAD, UNEP/SBC, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the World Bank, four UN Regional Commissions (ECA, ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA), UN-DESA and Eurostat). UNCTAD is part of the Steering Committee of the Partnership (with ITU and ECLAC). The Partnership core list of ICT indicators, which was endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission at its 38th session in 2007, was revised during 2008 and was presented to the UNSC in February 2009. A further revision was presented to and endorsed by the UNSC in February 2012.

• The revised version of the UNCTAD Manual for the Production of Statistics on the Information Economy aims to help National Statistical Offices in their production of information economy statistics. It is now available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. The UNCTAD website on ICT measurement ( serves as an online source of information on indicators, data, metadata and methodology.

• UNCTAD is contributing to the development of relevant methodologies to measure the information economy. With financial support from the Government of Sweden (Sida), a three-year project will among other things seek to develop core indicators related to trade in ICT services and ICT-enabled services. UNCTAD will also be engaged in methodological work related to gender-disaggregated ICT data. In both cases, the work will be conducted with the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development as well as other relevant stakeholders.

Data collection and processing

• Since 2004, UNCTAD has been collecting data from statistical offices in developing countries on the core list of ICT business and ICT sector indicators through an annual questionnaire sent to National Statistical Offices worldwide. Survey results feed the UNCTAD information economy database that comprises official data on business use of ICT in countries, classified by size of enterprise, geographical location (urban/rural), and economic activity. These statistics as well as data on trade in ICT goods and on the ICT productive sector are now available online through UNCTADstat and are updated regularly. See:

Technical cooperation

• UNCTAD carries out capacity building activities on ICT measurement, including the organization of training courses and contribution to regional workshops, often in cooperation with the members of the Partnership, as well as advisory services to NSOs in developing countries. UNCTAD leads the Partnership Task Group on Capacity Building (TGCB) and coordinates capacity building activities of the Partnership members. UNCTAD has conducted regional training courses for Arab countries, and in Asia-Pacific, Latin American and theCaribbean, and Francophone and Anglophone Africa. It also responds to specific bilateral requests for assistance. In 2012, the Government of Sweden (Sida) announced that it would provide financial support to UNCTAD's work over three years on building capacity of national statistical offices in the area of measuring the information economy.

Priority objectives beyond 2012

• Methodological work related to the gender-dimension of ICT statistics and to trade in ICT services and ICT-enabled services. Continued capacity building on ICT statistics for NSOs, including delivery of the Training Course at the regional level and advisory services at the national level. Further dissemination of ICT Core Indicators, including on-line.

New work to be undertaken in 2013

• Updating of information economy statistics in UNCTADstat. Capacity building and technical assistance to developing countries in Latin America and Africa with regard to measuring the information economy. Translation of UNCTAD's Manual for the Production of Statistics on the Information Economy into Russian and Portuguese. In terms of methodological work, UNCTAD will launch new work related to the measurement of trade in ICT services and ICT-enabled services as well as gender-related ICT statistics in collaboration with other members of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development.