Science, Technology & Innovation and ICTs
UNCTAD provides intellectual leadership and serves as a source of expertise on science, technology and innovation (STI) and information and communication technologies (ICTs) policies for development.
UNCTAD’s activities in this area seek to bring the development perspective to international discussions, supporting consensus-building and capacity-building for sound, evidence-based, development-oriented policy in relevant areas.

STI, including ICTs, are an essential component of policies to promote development. They can serve as instruments for supporting relevant components of the national development agenda, helping local industry compete, generating better paying jobs, reducing poverty, promoting export diversification and catching up.

However, the assimilation, diffusion and application of scientific and technological knowledge require investments in human and physical capital, together with the establishment and nurturing of a national innovation system and a systematic effort to access and use relevant knowledge. Policies at the national and international levels are needed to organize and sustain those processes.
Areas of work


11 February 2019What if our future were designed equally by women?
28 January 2019Map sheds light on state of data protection around the globe
14 May 2018We must control our devices, acclaimed scientists tell UN meeting
14 May 2018Rapid technological change threatens to outpace public policy
23 March 2018Digital economy data gap risks widening inequalities, UNCTAD says
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 Latest Publications

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United Nations Commission 

UNCTAD is responsible for the substantive servicing of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development

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