ICT Infrastructure and Services

ITU: ICT Statistics – More reliable data for better e-commerce strategies


This programme offers developing countries support in collecting and disseminating data about Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The objective is to help countries implement better ICT strategies by providing reliable figures on the access and use of ICTs, and their impact on development. This, in turn, should help facilitate the growth of the national digital economy, including the e-commerce sector.

The programme offers both technical support for data collection and training for staff of National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and other national institutions responsible for ICT statistics and household surveys.

For whom

Decision makers
Policy makers

Services offered

Capacity Building
  • Improve the capacity of official data producers to produce internationally comparable statistics
  • Get a better understanding of which concepts, variables and indicators to use for measuring and compiling data, including an internationally agreed core list of ICT indicators and the statistical operations best adapted to surveying ICT use
Technical support
  • Implement a methodological framework to deliver ICT statistical work throughout the different phases of survey planning and design, data collection, data processing and dissemination
Policy support
  • Review and improve the institutional aspects of producing ICT statistics, such as co-operation between data providers and users, and co-ordination among data producers
  • Provide data producers with background information on the measurement of ICT in key areas, including the link between indicators, ICT policymaking and related international initiatives
  • Offer national statisticians a week-long training course on measuring ICT access and use by household and by person
  • Benefit from technical workshops, both regionally and nationally, to exchange experiences and discuss methodologies, definitions, survey vehicles and other issues


International Organizations
  • Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development
  • Broadband Commission
  • UN Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA)
  • UNData

Meet the beneficiaries

Building capacity through global training

In 2009, the city of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago hosted statistics experts from the Caribbean region for a week-long training course on measuring ICT access and use by households and individuals. In 2011, the course was organized in Amman, Jordan for experts in the Arab region.

For both regions, the course was an opportunity to :

  • get a better understanding of ICT statistics
  • learn about the importance of measuring ICT in a harmonized way to optimize policy-making and tackle the digital divide
  • understand the importance of quality and reliability when carrying out surveys and producing statistics

Providing workshops for technical skill building

To help countries collect data more efficiently, the ICT Statistics programme provides regional and national workshops on ICT infrastructure and access indicators. The workshops are based on the ITU Handbook for the Collection of Administrative Data on Telecommunications/ICT, and on various administrative sources.

Participants learn about:

  • indicators and definitions
  • data sources and questionnaires
  • databases
  • dissemination and other relevant topics

Many previous workshops have been co-organized with other members of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development.

Promoting access to statistics

A key objective of this programme is to empower countries by providing better access to ICT statistics. To achieve this, ITU disseminates:

> 180 indicators

on telecommunication infrastructures

data on 200 economies

from 1965 to 2015

including data on :

  • ICT service prices
  • revenue and investment
  • access to and use of ICTs by households and individuals

Examples of recent available online tools and reports:

ICT Facts and figures 2016

The digital divide in 2016:
Percentage of the individuals using the internet

ITU Data visualisation tool

Measuring the information Society Report