Statistics capacity building

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;
  • Debt;
  • Commodities;
  • 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.

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.

Latest info:

Niamey, Niger on 01-03 November 2017

UNCTAD and UEMOA jointly participated in a workshop with statisticians from the National Statistical Institutes of the eight UEMOA member states. The purpose of the workshop was to ensure technical and logistical preparations for the first pilot data collection were in place. This first phase will test a bespoke, harmonized questionnaire on three economic sectors (Construction, Information Communications & Telecommunications, and Transport). National Statistical Institutes will report back to UNCTAD-UEMOA at the next workshop, tentatively scheduled for February 2018 in Benin.

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on 12-16 December 2016

UNCTAD participated in a meeting with statisticians from the National Statistical Institutes, Central Banks and Trade Ministries of the eight member states. This workshop was designed to develop a harmonized questionnaire for the collection of Trade-in-Services statistics and included visits to several services enterprises to discuss aspects of the questionnaire with them.

E-learning Tool

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.

Elearning Logo

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

Latest info:

All modules have been designed, tested and filmed (English). Live testing has also been carried out during the spring. The next step is the translation into French.

From September to October 2017, more than 80 participants from 40 countries have started the on-line course on Statistics on International Trade in Services.


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