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Standards development

ITU-T offers a unique contribution-driven and consensus-based environment, using the latest collaboration tools and facilities.

Contribution is the term used to describe membership input into a Study Group. This input can be on any relevant topic but is typically limited to suggesting new work areas, draft Recommendations, changes to existing Recommendations.

Study Groups drive their work primarily in the form of study Questions. Each of these addresses technical studies in a particular area of telecommunication standardization. Each SG has a Chairman and a number of vice-chairmen appointed by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA).

To assist in the organization of the work, the SG may be organized into a number of working parties. The working party is the next organizational unit down within the study group (SG). It coordinates a number of study Questions on a related theme, e.g. the Media Coding Working Party in Study Group 16 deals with all study Questions relating to coding of speech, audio and video streams that we use every day for Internet calls, DVDs, etc.

The team of experts working on a specific Question is known as the rapporteur group. Their meetings are chaired by the relevant rapporteur. Considering the text of the Question and guidance from the SG, the participants determine what Recommendations are required and develop text for these Recommendations taking all relevant inputs into account and consulting other relevant parts of ITU-T. During a meeting of the parent WP or SG, the experts will normally meet to progress the work, but they may also meet independently of the parent WP or SG, in a more informal setting, when required.

A Question is the basic project unit within ITU-T. The area of study of the project is defined by the text of the Question, and this is generally approved by the study group itself. For a new Question to be established, it is necessary that a number of Members commit to support the work. Questions address technical studies in a particular area of telecommunication standardization, and are driven by contributions. A Question is normally terminated once the defined work has been completed, or the task is revised in the light of developments, which can be technical, market-oriented, network or service driven. The text for each of the Questions assigned to a study group can be found on its web page.

Standards approval