The ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) was established to help spread equitable, sustainable and affordable access to information and communication technologies (ICT) as a means of stimulating broader social and economic development. Held every four years, the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) establishes concrete priorities to help achieve these goals. Through a series of regional initiatives together with comprehensive national programmes, activities on the global level and multiple targeted projects, the Sector works with partners in government and industry to mobilize the technical, human and financial resources needed to develop ICT networks and services to connect the unconnected. To that end, we are pushing for the expansion of global broadband connectivity that is pervasive, simple and affordable for all and enables the migration towards next-generation networks (NGN).
In order to address the challenges raised by fast-paced ICT growth, we promote an enabling regulatory and business environment through a range of tools for policy-makers and regulators that have resulted in innovation and a more efficient telecommunications marketplace. We support the deployment of new wireless and mobile technologies through projects that bring access to rural communities and, when necessary, provide disaster relief through emergency telecommunications. We furthermore help create an ICT-literate workforce through our numerous technical and policy training initiatives around the globe, paying particular attention to the specific needs of youth, women and people with disabilities.
Acting as a promoter and catalyst for ICT development, ITU-D engages with government leaders and the international donor community to find the right balance between public and private investment. There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy to create digital opportunity, and ITU-D assists Member States in elaborating targeted national e-strategies, including in the areas of e-government and e-learning. Further, we endeavour to build safety in cyberspace by helping developing countries secure their networks and promote a culture of cybersecurity. In addition, ITU-D offers widely referenced, reliable statistics on trends and developments in the ICT field and organizes study groups on key questions facing governments and industry.
ITU-D provides a unique one-stop service for governments and private sector companies interested in forging new development partnerships, by identifying “win-win” opportunities for collaboration, and linking external partners with experienced ITU project specialists to ensure successful project implementation.
ITU-D’s activities, policies and strategic direction are determined by governments and shaped by the industry its serves. The Development Sector’s diverse membership includes telecommunication policy-makers and regulators, network operators, equipment manufacturers, hardware and software developers, regional standards development organizations and financing institutions.