E-commerce assessments

UNCTAD eTReady – eTrade Readiness Assessments


eTrade Readiness Assessments (eT Readies) provide a snapshot of the e-commerce ecosystem in developing and least developed countries and regions for each of the seven pillars of the eTrade for all initiative, which are key to embrace their digital transformation: e-commerce assessments, ICT infrastructure, payment solutions, trade facilitation and logistics, legal and regulatory frameworks, skills development and access to finance.  They also address challenges related to gender equality and measuring e-commerce and the digital economy.

The objectives of the Assessments are to: 

  • enhance knowledge on the evolution of the digital economy and its implications for national and regional development strategies.
  • strengthen stakeholders’ overall perception of e-commerce and foster public-private dialogue among e-commerce players.
  • identify the challenges and opportunities of e-commerce growth through a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches (primary and secondary data collection/analysis, focus groups and multi-stakeholders’ consultations, dedicated online surveys, targeted interviews, etc.).
  • Set up an institutional body (national committee or task-force) to support the implementation of the project.
  • identify priority actions with key stakeholders, in the seven relevant policy areas (integrated in the final eT Ready Action Plan or Matrix); and develop synergies and programmes between beneficiary countries and development partners to implement the eT Readies’ policy recommendations.

To assist eT Ready beneficiary countries in implementing the recommendations of the assessments, UNCTAD has developed an eT Ready monitoring and follow-up strategy to keep track of eT Ready implementation progress. Outputs in the form of “implementation review reports” will serve as tools to guide the engagement of stakeholders at the country level to accelerate e-commerce enabling reforms and mobilize resources for priority projects. The first comprehensive review was launched in 2020 and will continue on an annual basis.

For whom

Private sector
Policy makers

Services offered

Policy Support & Policy Formulation
  • Assess current e-commerce situation through an appropriate mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches (secondary data collection, focus group discussions, dedicated public and private-sector surveys, targeted interviews).
  • Identity opportunities and barriers within the seven key policy areas of eTrade for all.
  • Encourage public-private dialogue and inter-ministerial cooperation for advancing digital transformation in your country.
  • Develop an Action Matrix (or a more detailed, operational Action Plan), in line with the findings of your assessment, to support and accelerate the digital development agenda.
Technical Assistance
  • Increase access to technical support from eTrade for all partners.
  • ‘Connect the dots’ between beneficiary countries and development partners’ priorities.
  • In line with the findings of the assessment, development and eTrade for all partners may develop their own technical assistance package.
Capacity Development
  • Empower local stakeholders, increasing their ability to master their own e-commerce development process.
  • Increase peer-learning among actors engaged in e-commerce development, building on international and eT Readies good practices.
Implementation support
  • Implementation reviews, which identify gaps based on a scored performance assessment.
  • Advisory support to eT Ready Focal Points to help build momentum for implementation.
  • Stakeholders’ engagement and coordination workshops to identify implementation priorities.
  • Capacity building workshops to foster a whole-government approach in steering eT Ready implementation.
  • Development partners roundtables and partnership development activities to mobilize eTrade for all development solutions, as well as technical and financial resources from other sources for the implementation of identified priorities.


Development partners, including eTrade for all partners from international and regional organizations.

Meet the beneficiaries

General Fact Sheets

The following fact sheets are now available with a summary of the key findings and policy recommendations.

Fact sheet based on the key learnings of the 10 first assessments: Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Samoa, Senegal, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.


E-Commerce Readiness Assessment and Strategy


ICT Infrastructure and Services


Payment Solutions


Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation


Legal and Regulatory Frameworks


E-Commerce Skills Development


Access to Financing



Policy Impact Notes

UNCTAD Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessments of Least Developed Countries

Policy Impact and Way Forward

A summary of key findings and recommendations found in the 18 Assessments carried out so far.



African LDCs Assessments

Key findings and recommendations from the African LDCs assessments



Implementation Reviews

‘Fast-tracking implementation of eTrade Readiness Assessments’

UNCTAD’s first comprehensive review of the status of implementation of recommendations contained in the 18 countries’ eT Readies conducted by June 2019.


eTrade readiness Assessments of Land-Locked Develpoing countries

A summary of key findings and recommendations of  the eTReadies of land-locked developing countries (November 2019)