International Standards bring technological, economic and societal benefits. They help to harmonize technical specifications of products and services making industry more efficient and breaking down barriers to international trade.
For developing countries, International Standards are an important source of technological know-how. Developing countries can use International Standards to access knowledge in areas where they may lack expertise and/or resources.
In addition, International Standards can improve access to global markets. As they define the characteristics that products and services have to meet on export markets, International Standards help developing countries take part fairly in international trade.
Developing countries can also benefit from actively taking part in the development of International Standards. Standards are developed in an open process and reflect the views of many stakeholders including technical experts, government representatives, academics and consumers. Being actively involved in this process brings widespread benefits, including:
Playing an active role in the ISO community, promoting the national use of International Standards and taking part in their development, helps developing countries realize their full potential.
With, over three quarters of our 163 members from developing countries, we are committed to helping them get the most out of International Standards.
As part of our Action Plan for Developing Countries, we offer a number of programmes to increase their capacity and involvement in standardization, improve awareness of the benefits and to help strengthen regional cooperation.
Recent examples of our work include:
We also offer training and educational opportunities through the ISO Academy.
Twinning relationships is one of the actions ISO has taken to support participation from developing country members. A twinning relationship means that members can work together to build capacity of a developing country. For more information please read this Guidance on Twinning or contact the Technical Management Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leading ISO’s work on developing countries is DEVCO, ISO’s Committee on developing country issues. Find out more about DEVCO.
Many published ISO standards, standards projects and initiatives related to them - such as workshops aiming at sharing information and transferring knowledge - are of particular interest for developing countries.
Drip Irrigation: Seminar organized in conjunction with the ISO Workshop Agreement (IWA) meeting in Stockholm, on 31 August 2016
Sponsored by DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, ISO/DIN's award for young professionals in developing countries working for national standards bodies is awarded every two years and aims to encourage engagement by young people in international standardization and raise awareness of the importance of standards in promoting safe and sustainable economic development.
The 2016 award is now closed. The next competition will be held in 2018.