Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer increased potential for advancing progress towards economic and social development objectives.
The worldwide spread of mobile telephony and communication systems, the growth of Internet networks and widespread use of a broadband infrastructure have an impact on international production and trade patterns. At the same time, benefits from new ICTs cannot be taken for granted.
Making ICT work for development requires more than expanding the infrastructure. In order to foster productive and inclusive use of ICTs Governments need to create legal, institutional and policy frameworks and generate the necessary skills in government, business and civil society.
UNCTAD assists governments of developing and transition economies towards their increased participation in the information economy. The work programme is supported by UNCTAD’s regular budget and by bilateral donors (Finland, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Sweden).
UNCTAD is also working closely with various parts of the UN and other relevant international institutions. Drawing on its policy research, UNCTAD monitors trends related to the “digital divide”, and advices countries on how to design and implement ICT strategies and policies to better participate in the global information economy.