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Bridging the Standardization Gap (BSG)

​The BSG programme is a continuation of ITU’s historic mission and concern about the digital divide and development disparities in information and communication technologies. The overarching goal of the BSG programme is to facilitate increased participation of developing countries in standardization, to ensure that developing countries experience the economic benefits of associated technological development, and to better reflect the requirements and interests of developing countries in the standards-development process.


What is the standardization gap?

​The standardization gap is defined in WTSA-12 Resolution 44 as disparities in the ability of developing countries, relative to developed ones, to access, implement, contribute to and influence international ICT standards, specifically ITU Recommendations.

Reducing the Standardization Gap

Reducing the Standardization Gap is ITU-T's research project on measuring the standards gap; building standards capacity in the developing world; developing case studies of national standards capability and developing guidelines to help developing countries to establish a standardization secretariat to participate in ITU-T standardization work.


Standards Capacity Building and E-learning

​Standards capacity building involves providing training on implementing ITU-T Recommendations and technical assistance on ICT standardization to enhance participation of developing countries in ITU-T meetings. The main objective is to develop human resources on ICT standardization in developing countries. ITU offers training on implementation of ITU-T Recommendations for developing countries with the objective of enhancing understanding of the standard and its adoption at national level. This is carried out through technical tutorials on a regional basis at the request of the developing country.

One of the new measures adopted under Resolution 44 was to explore the use of e-learning channels for training on ITU-T Recommendations. An e-learning course based on Recommendation ITU-T A.1: Working Methods of ITU-T study groups has been developed in 2013 and is hosted on the ITU Academy website.

The main objectives of the course are to introduce the structures, management, coordination mechanisms and operating procedures of ITU-T study groups as defined in Recommendation ITU-T A.1 to delegates of ITU-T study groups. Other e-learning courses are in the pipeline and will be available soon.

National Standardization Secretariat (NSS)

​One of the new measures adopted under Resolution 44 is the development of guidelines for developing countries to set up a national standardization secretariat with the objective of enhancing coordination of standardization activities at the national level and participation in ITU-T study groups.

Recognizing that areas of interest in ICT standardization continue to undergo evolution and change, and as they are addressed in multiple standardization bodies, coordination among a national government and its industry players becomes more and more important. Without a means to address these complex technical areas in a unified and coordinated way, national players from government and industry may find their effectiveness and influence diminished through uncoordinated and conflicting positions in key international standardization bodies such as the study groups of ITU-T. It is therefore in the interest of a developing country to provide national-level perspectives, coordination and actions for the benefit of both its public and private sectors. One way to achieve these goals is to establish a national-level standardization secretariat. 

The main target audience for the guidelines are developing countries where there is minimal structure and processes in place to coordinate ICT standardization activities at national level and effective participation in ITU-T study groups.
Candidate countries interested in obtaining technical assistance from ITU to establish a national standardization secretariat, are invited to contact Venkatesen Mauree by e-mail.