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Participation in ICT Standardization

How can countries participate in standards development?

Standardization Development Ladder

ITU has developed the Ladder of Standardization Development as a recommendation for increasing participation in ITU processes.

On the lowest rung of the ladder is the growing usage of ITU Recommendations and website. This can be measured in terms of downloads of Recommendations. Use of international standards in ICT procurement should help to reduce costs and promote inter-operability.

On the second rung of the ladder is the national capacity-building in use of ICT Standards. Capacity-building helps to build a national resource base of qualified engineers able to implement Recommendations. ITU can provide capacity-building and training programmes.

On the third rung of the ladder is ITU Sector and Associate membership. Institutional membership in the global community helps promote globalization while off-setting its negative aspects. Membership also gives access to meeting reports, contributions, temporary and working documents.

On the 4th rung of the ladder is participation in Study Groups and Focus Groups. Participation promotes “learning by doing” and opens possibilities for networking. Possibilities also exist for remote participation (e.g., through Internet Broadcast of Study Group meetings and through correspondence groups).

On the 5th rung, countries may seek to attract ITU meetings, or establish regional groups to foster participation. Hosting events will create new opportunities for “learning by doing”, training and raising awareness. An increasing number of joint ITU-T/ITU-D Study Groups, Focus Groups and workshops are now held in different regions.

On the 6th rung of the ladder is Giving “contributions” (ie input documents) at ITU-T Study Groups and related meetings. By making inputs to the process, it is possible to shape future standards. The whole standardization process is “contribution-driven”, as these form the basis for virtually all Recommendations.

On the 7th rung of the ladder is Nominating representatives, eg to serve as Study Group chairs, vice chairs or rapporteurs. These officials form part of the management team for each Study Group and help progress the work. Nomination is a sign of respect for the contributions made by individuals over a number of years.

On the final rung of the ladder is Entering Proposals, in WTSA, eg on future study questions and work programmes. ITU-T’s work is structured around study questions which determine the work of the Study Groups.