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ITU-D Study Groups Period 1998-2002 : Working Methods & Procedures to be applied

Section 1: Study groups and other groups

  1. Creation of study groups and other groups
  2. Powers of the study groups
  3. Meetings
  4. Participation in meetings
  5. Frequency of meetings
  6. Establishment of work programmes and preparation of meetings
  7. Preparation of reports
  8. Study group reports to WTDC

Section 2: Submission, processing and presentation of contributions

  1. Submission of contributions
  2. Processing of contributions
  3. Presentation of contributions

Section 3: Development and approval of Questions

  1. Development of Questions
  2. Approval of Questions by WTDC
  3. Approval of proposed Questions between two WTDCs

Section 3A: Template/outline for proposed Questions and issues for study and consideration by the ITU-D Sector

Section 4: Approval of new or revised Recommendations and opinions

  1. General
  2. Process
  3. Prerequisites
  4. Procedure at study group meetings
  5. Consultation
  6. Notification

Section 5: Support to the study groups and other groups

SECTION 1

Study groups and other groups

1 Creation of study groups and other groups

1.1 In accordance with the provisions of Article 16 of the Convention (Geneva, 1992), WTDC may establish study groups for:

  • studying a series of Questions falling within the terms of reference set by the Conference;

  • elaborating draft recommendations, opinions or guidelines to foster telecommunication development in developing countries leading to a more balanced worldwide development of telecommunications.

1.2 To facilitate their work, the study groups may set up working parties, focus groups, rapporteur groups and project teams to deal with specific Questions or subjects. When appropriate, and within the limits of authorized budgetary and other resources, a study group may make use of a single expert, within the area of study, who will report to the study group.

1.3 Where appropriate, regional groups may be set up to study Questions or problems, the specific nature of which makes it desirable that they be studied within the framework of one or more regions of the Union.

Regional and subregional meetings offer a valuable opportunity for information exchange and the development of management and technical experience and expertise. Every opportunity should be taken to provide additional opportunities for experts from developing countries to gain experience by participating in regional and subregional meetings which deal with study group work.

The establishment of regional groups should not give rise to duplication of work being carried out at the global level by the corresponding study group or its other groups.

1.4 Following WTDC-98, study group chairpersons and vice-chairpersons should meet with the Director of BDT to draw up draft work plans to implement the results of the WTDC. This plan should include the structure of the study groups, a schedule of meetings and an agenda for the first meeting of each of the study groups. This information should be sent to all Member States and Sector Members at least three months before a study group meeting.

1.5 Where practical, each study group should have several vice-chairpersons, from different ITU regions. TDAB is authorized to appoint study group chairpersons and vice-chairpersons, when the need arises during the period between world telecommunication development conferences. In principle, each Question should have one rapporteur and at least one associate rapporteur.

1.6 The structure and working methods of the ITU-D study groups should continue to be considered during the next study period, in close liaison with TDAB. TDAB is authorized to approve changes which are appropriate in the structure and working methods of the ITU-D study groups, during the period between world telecommunication development conferences.

2 Powers of the study groups

2.1 Each study group may develop draft recommendations for approval either by WTDC or pursuant to Section 4 below. Recommendations approved in accordance with either procedure shall have the same status.

2.2 Each study group may also adopt draft Questions for approval by WTDC or in accordance with the procedure described in § 3 of Section 3.

2.3 In addition to the above, each study group shall be competent to adopt:

  • – opinions;
  • – guidelines;
  • – handbooks;
  • – reports.

3 Meetings

3.1 The study groups or other groups shall normally meet at ITU headquarters.

3.2 However, some study group or other group meetings may take place outside Geneva in response to invitations by Member States or Sector Members and if holding them outside Geneva is likely to facilitate the attendance of developing countries.

Such invitations shall normally be considered only if they are submitted to a WTDC or an ITU-D study group meeting. They shall be finally accepted after consultation with the Director of BDT if they are compatible with the resources allocated to BDT by the Council.

3.3 The invitations referred to in 3.2 above shall be issued and accepted and the corresponding meetings outside Geneva organized only if the conditions laid down in Resolution 5 of the Plenipotentiary Conference (Kyoto, 1994) and ITU Council Decision No. 304 are met.

4 Participation in meetings

4.1 Member States, Sector Members and other entities duly authorized to participate in ITU-D activities shall be represented in the study groups and other groups in whose work they wish to take part, by participants registered by name and chosen by them as experts qualified to make an effective contribution to the study of the Questions entrusted to those study groups.

4.2 The Director of BDT shall keep up to date a list of the administrations and other entities participating in each study group.

5 Frequency of meetings

5.1 The study groups shall in principle meet at least once a year during the interval between two WTDCs. However, additional meetings may take place with the approval of the Director of BDT, having regard to the priorities laid down by the preceding WTDC and the physical and budgetary resources of the BDT itself.

5.2 To ensure the best possible use of the resources of ITU-D and of those participating in its work, the Director, in collaboration with the study group chairpersons, shall establish and publish a timetable of meetings well in advance. The timetable shall take account of such factors as the capacity of the ITU common services, document requirements for meetings and the need for close coordination with the activities of the other Sectors and other international or regional organizations.

5.3 In the establishment of the work programme, the timetable of meetings must take into account the time required for participating bodies to prepare contributions and documentation.

5.4 In the interval between two WTDCs, the study groups shall hold their final meetings not later than five months before the opening of the next WTDC in order to enable the final reports and draft recommendations to be prepared and disseminated within the required deadlines.

5.5 The programme for the final study group meetings shall be established by the Director of BDT in collaboration with the chairperson of each study group.

6 Establishment of work programmes and preparation of meetings

6.1 After each WTDC, a work programme shall be proposed by each study group chairperson, with the assistance of BDT. The work programme shall take account of the programme of activities and priorities adopted by WTDC.

The implementation of the work programme will, however, depend to a large extent on the contributions received from ITU-D Member States and Sector Members and the BDT secretariat, as well as on the opinions expressed by participants in the meetings.

6.2 An administrative circular with an agenda of the meeting, a draft work plan and a list of the Questions to be studied shall be prepared by the BDT secretariat with the help of the chairperson of the study group concerned.

The administrative circular must reach the bodies participating in the work of the study group concerned at least three months before the opening of the meeting.

A registration form shall be appended to the administrative circular so that the bodies concerned can announce their intention to participate in the meeting. The form must then be returned to the BDT secretariat so as to arrive at least three weeks before the meeting. It shall contain the names and addresses of intended participants or at least the number of participants expected if their names cannot be provided. This information will facilitate the registration process and the timely preparation of registration materials.

6.3 Study group management teams should maintain contact among themselves and with BDT by electronic means to the extent practicable. Appropriate liaison meetings should be arranged, as necessary, with study group chairpersons from the other Sectors.

7 Preparation of reports

7.1 Reports on the work carried out at study group and other group meetings shall be prepared by BDT and shall contain a synopsis of the outcome of the work and emerging trends. They must also indicate items which require further study at the next meeting. The number of annexes to reports must be kept to a minimum.

Reports shall normally comprise two parts:

  • Part I - Organization of work - main results - trends - future work programme;
  • Part II - Draft recommendations, opinions or guidelines.

These reports of meetings shall be submitted to the chairperson of the relevant group for approval.

7.2 The following format is recommended for progress reports by rapporteurs to enable a maximum transfer of information to all concerned:

  • brief summary of contents of report;
  • conclusions or recommendations for which endorsement is sought;
  • status of work with reference to work plan including baseline document, if available;
  • draft new or draft revised recommendations;
  • draft liaison in response to or requesting action by other study groups or organizations;
  • major issues remaining for resolution and draft agenda of approved future meetings, if any;
  • list of attendees at all meetings held since last progress report.

Progress reports by rapporteurs shall be submitted to the relevant group for approval.

7.3 The report on the first meeting of the study group following a WTDC shall contain a list of the chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of any other groups that may have been created.

8 Study group reports to WTDC

8.1 Study groups shall meet at least five months before the WTDC to ensure that the Member States and Sector Members receive the reports submitted by each study group to the Conference at least two months before the Conference.

8.2 The final report of each study group to the WTDC shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the study group concerned and shall contain:

  • a summary of the results achieved by the study group during the study period in question, describing the work of the study group and the outcome which resulted;
  • reference to any new or revised recommendations or opinions approved by correspondence by Member States and Sector Members during the study period;
  • the text of recommendations or opinions submitted to the WTDC for approval;
  • a list of any new or revised Questions proposed for study during the next study period.

8.3 The preparation of recommendations should follow the general practice of the Union. Examples include the recommendations and resolutions of WTDC-94, and of the regional telecommunication development conferences. A recommendation document should stand alone. Information may be annexed to the recommendations, in order to accomplish this.

A model recommendation appears as an example below:

8.4 Model recommendation for guidance when drafting recommendations.

The ITU-D (general terminology applicable to all recommendations).

The World Telecommunication Development Conference (terminology only applicable to recommendations approved at a WTDC),

  • considering

This section should contain various general background references giving the reasons for the study. The references should normally refer to ITU documents and/or resolutions.

  • recognizing

This section should contain specific factual background statements such as "the sovereign right of each Member State" or studies which have formed a basis for the work.

  • taking into account

This section should detail other factors which have to be considered, such as national laws and regulations, regional policy decisions and other applicable global issues.

  • noting

This section should indicate generally accepted items or information that support the recommendation.

  • convinced

This section should contain details of factors which form the basis of the recommendation. These could include objectives of government regulatory policy, choice of financing sources, ensuring fair competition, etc.

  • recommends

This section should contain a general sentence, leading into detailed action points:

  • specific action point
  • specific action point
  • specific action point

etc.

Note that the above list of action verbs is not exhaustive. Other action verbs may be used when appropriate. Existing recommendations provide examples.

SECTION 2

Submission, processing and presentation of contributions

1 Submission of contributions

1.1 Member States and Sector Members and the chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of study groups or other groups should submit their contributions to current studies to the Director of BDT.

1.2 Such contributions should, inter alia, deal with the results of experience gained in telecommunication development, describe case studies and/or contain proposals for promoting balanced worldwide and regional telecommunication development.

1.3 To the extent possible, contributions should be submitted in a convenient electronic form and posted on the ITU Website.

1.4 In order to facilitate the study of certain Questions, the BDT secretariat may submit consolidated documents or the results of case studies. Such documents will be treated as contributions.

2 Processing of contributions

2.1 Contributions received at least two months before a meeting shall be published and distributed in time for the said meeting.

The Director shall assemble the documentation and arrange, for those contributions received before the deadline, any translation needed as well as disseminate this documentation to participants in the requested working language before the date set for the meeting of a study group or other group. When a document is large and is descriptive in nature, and after consultation with the chairperson of the study group or other group involved, it may be agreed that the Director shall send out the document without having it translated.

2.2 Contributions received by the Director less than two months, but not less than ten working days before the opening of a meeting, will not be processed in accordance with the procedure outlined in 2.1 above and shall be published as "delayed contributions" in the original language only (and in any other working language into which they may have been translated by the originator). They shall be distributed at the opening of the meeting solely to the participants present.

2.3 Contributions received by the Director less than ten working days before the opening of a meeting shall not be entered on the agenda. They shall not be distributed but will be held for the next meeting.

2.4 BDT shall not reissue delayed contributions as normal contributions unless the relevant group concerned decides otherwise in cases of special interest and importance. Delayed contributions shall not be incorporated in reports as annexes.

3 Presentation of contributions

3.1 Contributions shall be relevant, clear, concise and comprehensive.

3.2 The first page shall indicate the relevant Question(s), agenda item, date, source (originating country and/or organization, address, telephone number, fax number, and possible email address of author or contact person), as well as the title of the contribution. Then follows the content as defined under 1.2. The last paragraph shall contain the proposal or conclusion.

3.3 If existing text needs to be revised, adequate indications should be given to identify the changes proposed.

SECTION 3

Development and approval of Questions

1 Development of Questions

1.1 Proposed new Questions for the Development Sector shall be submitted at least four months prior to a WTDC by Member States and Sector Members authorized to participate in the activities of the Sector.

1.2 However, an ITU-D study group may also propose new or revised Questions at the initiative of a member of that study group if there is sufficient consensus on the subject.

1.3 Each proposed Question should state the reasons for the proposal, the precise objective of the tasks to be performed, the urgency of the study and any contacts to be established with the other two Sectors and/or other international or regional bodies. Originators of Questions should use the template/outline provided in Section 3A to ensure that all relevant information is included.

1.4 TDAB shall be informed of proposed Questions so that it can offer its opinions and recommend any changes required.

2 Approval of Questions by WTDC

2.1 At least two months before a WTDC, TDAB shall meet to examine proposed new Questions and, if necessary, recommend amendments to take account of the BDT's general development policy objectives and associated priorities.

2.2 At least one month before a WTDC, the Director of BDT shall communicate to Member States and Sector Members a list of the Questions proposed, together with any changes recommended by TDAB, and make these available on the ITU Website.

3 Approval of proposed Questions between two WTDCs

3.1 Between two WTDCs, Member States and Sector Members participating in ITU-D activities may submit proposed Questions to the study group concerned.

3.2 Each proposed Question shall be based on the template/outline given in 1.3.

3.3 If the study group concerned agrees by consensus to study the proposed Question and some Member States and Sector Members (normally at least four) have committed themselves to supporting the work (e.g. by contributions, provision of rapporteurs or editors and/or hosting of meetings), it shall address the draft text thereof to the Director of BDT with all the necessary information.

3.4 The Director of BDT, after consultation with TDAB, shall advise Member States and Sector Members of the new Questions by circular letter.

SECTION 3A

Template/outline for proposed Questions and issues for study and
consideration by the ITU-D Sector

* Information in italics describes the information which should be provided
by the originator under each heading.

Title of Question or issue (the title replaces this heading)

1 Statement of the situation or problem (the notes follow these headings)

* Provide an overall general description of the situation or problem which is proposed for study, with specific focus on the implications for developing countries and LDCs, and how a solution will benefit these countries. Indicate why the problem or situation warrants study at this time. (the notes follow these headings)

* Provide an overall general description of the situation or problem which is proposed for study, with specific focus on the implications for developing countries and LDCs, and how a solution will benefit these countries. Indicate why the problem or situation warrants study at this time.

2 Question or issue for study

* State the Question or issue that is proposed for study, expressed as clearly as possible. The tasks should be tightly focused.

3 Expected output

* Provide a detailed description of the expected output of the study. This should include a general indication of the organizational level or status of those who are expected to use and to benefit from the output.

4 Timing

* Indicate the required timing, noting that the urgency of the output will influence both the method used to carry out the study, and the depth and breadth of the study.

5 Proposers/sponsors

* Identify by organization and contact point those proposing and supporting the study.

6 Sources of input

* Indicate what types of organizations are expected to provide contributions to further the work, e.g. Member States, Sector Members, other UN agencies, regional groups, etc.

* Also include any other information, including potentially useful resources, that will be helpful to those responsible for carrying out the study.

7 Target audience

* Indicate expected types of target audience, by noting all relevant points on the matrix which follows:

  Developed countries Developing countries LDCs
Telecom policy-makers * * *
Telecom regulators * * *
Service providers / operators * * *
Manufacturers * * *

Where appropriate, please provide explanatory notes as to why certain matrix points were included or excluded.

a) Target audience - Who specifically will use the output

* Indicate as precisely as possible which individuals/groups/regions within the target organizations will use the output.

b) Proposed methods for the implementation of the results

* In the originator’s opinion, how should the results of this work best be distributed to and used by the target audience.

8 Proposed methods of handling the Question or issue

a) How?

* Indicate the suggested handling of the proposed Question or issue

  1. Within a study group:
    • Question (over a multi-year study period)
    • Focus group (12 months' duration maximum)
  2. Within regular BDT activity:
    • Programmes
    • Projects
    • Expert consultants
  3. In other ways:
    describe (e.g. regional, within other organizations, jointly with other organizations, etc.)

b) Why?

* Explain why you selected the alternative under a) above

9 Coordination

* Include, inter alia, the requirements for coordiantion of the study with all of:

  • regular ITU-D activities;
  • other study group Questions or issues;
  • regional organizations, as appropriate;
  • work in progress in the other ITU Sectors

10 Other relevant information

* Include any other information that will be helpful in establishing how this Question or Issue should best be studied, and on what schedule.

SECTION 4 *

Approval of new or revised Recommendations and opinions

1 General

Requests for the approval of new or revised recommendations or opinions shall normally be submitted to a WTDC. In accordance with the provisions of Article 20 of the Convention (Geneva, 1992), however, the study groups may seek the approval by Member States and Sector Members of a number of recommendations in the interval between two WTDCs with a view to meeting certain priorities. In such cases, the following rules shall apply. However, for recommendations which are of a policy or regulatory nature, following completion of the study group studies, the recommendations will be approved by Member States only, using the relevant procedures below.

2 Process

Study groups may decide that the procedure described below should be applied for seeking the approval of certain draft new or revised recommendations or opinions which meet priority objectives in the context of the BDT's work programme and have developed to a mature state.

3 Prerequisites

3.1 At the request of a study group chairperson, the Director of BDT shall explicitly announce, when convening the study group meeting, that the intention is to apply the procedure for approving a recommendation or opinion. He shall state the specific purpose of the proposed text, in the form of a summary when the proposed text is voluminous. In this case, reference will be made to the document in which the complete text of the draft new or revised recommendation or opinion to be considered may be found.

The above information shall be disseminated to all Member States and Sector Members.

3.2 Invitations to the meeting and the announcement of the approval procedure shall be sent by the Director of BDT to all Member States and Sector Members so as to be received in the normal course of delivery at least three months before the meeting.

3.3 The text of draft new or revised recommendations or opinions shall be distributed in the three working languages at least two months before the meeting.

3.4 Normally, the revision of a recommendation or opinion approved during a given study period should not be subjected again to the present procedure during the same study period unless the proposed revision supplements rather than amends the previous version of the text.

4 Procedure at study group meetings

4.1 Decisions by delegations to apply the approval procedure must be taken without opposition. Exceptionally, but only during meetings, a delegation may request more time to consider its position. Unless the Director of BDT is informed of a formal opposition on the part of the Member State or Sector Member participating in the meeting within six weeks following the last day of the meeting, he shall proceed in accordance with the provisions in § 5 below.

4.2 If a delegation elects not to oppose the approval of a text but wishes to enter reservations on one or more points, its reservations must be mentioned in the report of the meeting.

5 Consultation

5.1 Within one month following the decision of a study group to seek approval, the Director of BDT shall request Member States and Sector Members to inform him within three months whether they approve or object to the draft new or revised recommendation or opinion.

This request shall contain a reference to the final complete text of the new or revised draft recommendation or opinion, in the three working languages. This text shall also be made available on the ITU Website.

5.2 The Director of BDT shall advise the Directors of the other two Bureaux, as well as other duly authorized bodies participating in the work of the study group concerned that, pursuant to Article 20 of the Convention (Geneva, 1992), he has asked Member States and Sector Members to respond to a consultation on a draft new or revised recommendation or opinion.

5.3 The draft recommendation or opinion shall be accepted if 70 per cent or more of the replies from Member States or Sector Members indicate approval.

5.4 If the draft recommendation or opinion is not accepted, it shall be referred back to the study group.

5.5 Any Member States or Sector Members who indicate disapproval are requested to state their reasons and indicate possible changes that would facilitate the future approval of the draft recommendation or opinion.

6 Notification

6.1 Within four weeks of the closing date for Member States or Sector Members to respond to the consultation, the Director of BDT shall indicate by administrative circular whether or not the text is approved. He shall make the necessary arrangements to ensure that this information is also included in the next available ITU Notification.

6.2 Any comments received along with responses to the consultation shall be collected by BDT secretariat and submitted to the next study group meeting for consideration.

6.3 The Secretary-General shall publish the approved new or revised recommendations or opinions in the working languages as soon as practicable, both on paper and on the Web.

SECTION 5

Support to the study groups and other groups

The Director of BDT should ensure that, within the limits of existing budgetary resources, the study groups and other groups have appropriate support to conduct their work programmes as outlined in the terms of reference and as envisioned by the WTDC's work plan for the Sector. In particular, support may be provided in the following forms:

  • Appropriate administrative and professional staff support.
  • Contracting of outside expertise, as necessary.
  • Coordination with regional and subregional telecommunication organizations.

 

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