Around 75 % of ISO members are from developing countries, many of which face significant challenges related to trade, climate change and sustainable development, among other things. ISO standards can be powerful tools to address these issues, yet many of our developing country members need capacity building support in order to benefit fully.
The ISO Action Plan for developing countries is the overall framework for technical assistance and training to support developing country members. Its objective is to empower members to contribute actively to the ISO system and fully realize the benefits of using ISO standards, particularly those addressing social, economic and environmental challenges. Achieving this objective will also make an important contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ISO’s vision of “making lives easier, safer and better” by 2030.
It has been updated several times since it was first implemented in 2005 and the latest version aims to address ISO members’ current needs and priorities. Recognizing the difficulties imposed by current circumstances, it takes advantage of tools that offer support remotely, such as digital learning solutions, distance coaching and in-country advisory services.
The Action Plan is implemented by ISO’s Capacity Building unit, which has just launched a brand-new website featuring its ongoing projects and success stories. The site also provides information about how members and their stakeholders can get involved.
ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica said that while the Action Plan is aimed at supporting ISO members, the real beneficiaries are the stakeholders they serve.
“ISO is only as strong as its members, and a strong national standards body is vital in order for our organization to continue to be relevant and effective,” he said.
“This new Action Plan was developed through an inclusive consultation with members to ensure it meets their current and future needs. We are confident it will enhance their capacity to participate and benefit everyone who is affected by ISO standards.”
The Action Plan for developing countries is also a key element of ISO’s commitment to making the world safer, freer, more prosperous and sustainable for future generations to benefit from.
Learn more about ISO’s new Action Plan and its capacity building programmes.