UNCTAD assists national statistical agencies in developing and transition countries in their data collection and dissemination efforts. In cooperation with UN agencies, development banks and other international organisations, such as Eurostat, capacity-building initiatives are carried out in the area of:
- International trade;
- Foreign direct investment;
- Information and communication technology;
- Creative economy.
UNCTAD coordinates technical cooperation activities with donors and other organisations to avoid duplication of work and to encourage complementarity and synergy. For this purpose UNCTAD contributes to the Partner Report on Support to Statistics (PRESS) maintained by Paris21, which provides a snapshot of support to statistical capacity development worldwide and, thus, is a valuable tool for collaboration building among statistical international organisations.
- International Trade in Services Statistics
The aim of this project is to improve the quality and harmonization of statistics on internationally trade in services (SITS) for countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) or Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine (UEMOA). The project, a collaboration between the statistics Branch in UNCTAD and the Centre Statistique de l’UEMOA, is formally titled 'Projet pour la mise en place des statistiques du commerce international des services' or Strengthening Statistics on Internationally Trade in Services.
This project is also supported by the Inter-Agency Task Force on International Trade Statistics (organized by UN Statistics Division). The task-force is particularly interested in any lessons learned and assessment of the scalability of the project.
This project begins in July 2015 and is expected to last for 30 months.
- E-learning Tool on international trade in services statistics
This is a joint capacity building project led by UNCTAD in partnership with the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD).
Within UNCTAD this is a joint project between the Statistics Branch and the 'Train-for-Trade' Knowledge Development Branch.
The aim of the project is to develop an online tool or training course to assist compilers of international trade in services statistics around the world in ensuring they adhere to the new international standards i.e. The 2010 Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services.
The online tool will comprise of 6 modules:
- Importance of Trade in Services Statistics
- Setting up Prerequisite for Data Collection and Compilation
- Data Sources and Collection
- Data Compilation (SITS)
- Data Compilation (FATS)
- Dissemination and Analysis
As of July 2015, work is at quite an advanced stage. The first drafts of all 6 modules have been completed and are now being improved by taking on board comments from consulted experts. UNCTAD will begin filming in mid-September and it is expected that a final, fully tested, online tool will be launched in late spring/early summer 2016.