Committed to connecting the world


Digital technologies to achieve the UN SDGs

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ICT4SDG BCKGROUNDERWSIS Forum 2018 Photo Contest, Promoting access to information to our key stakeholders in the Pacific, Vanuatu and Fiji ​


How tech can help achieve each SDG:

Digital technologies can contribute significantly to the fulfilment of every SDG:

ITU has formed strategic partnerships with UN agencies and other organizations and companies to drive sustainable development and address specific challenges in relation to all 17 SDGs.​

ITU’S CONTRIBUTION: Harnessing tech to meet all 17 SDGs

ITU's contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals starts with SDG 9: Building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. ITU helps countries deploy broadband connectivity and develop ICT applications to facilitate the provision of free or low-cost digital access for schools, hospitals, and underserved populations. ITU supports countries in achieving SDG 9 (specifically SDG Target 9.c) by enabling access to the Internet and other ICTs, in three main ways:

  1. ITU is the sole international institution that brokers international agreements to allocate and coordinate the use of the global radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. This effort allows ICT devices anywhere in the world to be used on the same frequency bands, which in turn ensures that radiocommunication services run smoothly, without interference from other radio communication services and users, and benefit from the resulting economies of scale.
  2. ITU and its members, including governments, the private sector and academia, are developing the international standards—the technical criteria, processes, and practices—that ensure key ICTs perform smoothly, efficiently, and safely and will provide further opportunities for economies of scale.
  3. ITU supports developing countries in making ICTs affordable, accessible and relevant to all. Key programmes, for example, help to build the necessary physical infrastructure, strengthen cybersecurity, build digital skills among youth and others, ensure digital inclusion for people with special needs, enhance the regulatory and market environment to increase access to ICTs, and promote ICT-centred innovation and entrepreneurship.

ITU raises awareness and rallies the commitment necessary to achieve the SDGs through various processes and fora. Through the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process, ITU leverages pre-existing Action Lines and other WSIS mechanisms to promote SDG achievement. The annual WSIS Forum takes stock of the positive impact of ICTs on people's lives around the world.

An SDG Mapping Tool illustrates how key ITU activities contribute to the SDG. ITU is the custodian of the following SDG indicators and tracks progress on each of these indicators at the global levels:

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted connectivity, as more people have moved online to continue working, studying and to stay in touch with friends and family during lockdowns and confinement. However, the challenges of the pandemic and economic slowdown pose additional problems for achieving the SDGs. The international community has pledged to learn from the global challenge of the pandemic and 'build back better'. Increased connectivity and ICTs can form a major part of building back better, countries can take advantage of increased connectivity to engage with their citizens better to achieve the SDGs.


Further Resources

SDG 1 - ITU News Magazine – Digital financial inclusion - My ITU

SDG 2 - Focus Group on "Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) for Digital Agriculture" (FG-AI4A) (

SDG 3 - How COVID-19 accelerated digital healthcare - My ITU

Here's how we can avoid an AI divide in healthcare - My ITU

SDG 4 - School connectivity equips learners for education, work, and life - My ITU

SDG 5 - International Girls in ICT Day 2021 | #GirlsinICT 2021: Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures (

SDG 6 - Focus Group on Environmental Efficiency for Artificial Intelligence and other Emerging Technologies (FG-AI4EE) (

SDG 7 - Focus Group on Environmental Efficiency for Artificial Intelligence and other Emerging Technologies (FG-AI4EE) (

SDG 8 - Digital Transformation Centres Initiative | ITU Academy

SME programme - ITU Digital World 2021

SDG 9 - ITU Development Digital Innovation Ecosystems

SDG 10 - Connect2Recover Initiative (

SDG 11 - SG20: Internet of things (IoT) and smart cities and communities (SC&C) (

SDG 12 - How ITU is stemming the e-waste surge with standards, studies and more - My ITU

E-waste Coalition (

SDG 13 - Reimagine, recreate, restore: How we can make digital transformation sustainable - My ITU

SDG 14 - Monitoring the atmosphere, ocean and climate from space - My ITU

SDG 15 - How Earth observation protects our planet: WMO Secretary-General - My ITU

SDG 16 - Here's how ICTs bring stability to an uncertain world - My ITU

SDG 17 - Digital collaboration to build back better - My ITU ​



Last update: December 2021​