PROMOTING THE ICT SECTOR
The Importance of Internationally Comparable Data
Chief, ICT Analysis Section, UNCTAD
Measuring the IT Industry Globally
GPATS, Sao Paulo, Brazil
13 November 2013
UNCTAD Work on ICT4D
Research and analysis
Information Economy Report
Stand alone studies
Measuring the information economy
Reviewing national ICT policies
Strengthening cyberlaw frameworks
Consensus-building and collaboration
Collaboration Within UN system and Beyond
UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS)
30 member organizations
Co-organizer of the annual WSIS Forum/WSIS+10 Review
Lead facilitator of Action Line C7 on E-business
Secretariat of the CSTD
Follow-up to the WSIS
Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development
Member of Steering Committee
Responsible for information economy indicators
Why Promote the ICT sector?
Vibrant ICT sectors contribute to jobs, innovation, exports and
o Kenya: ICT sector accounted for 24% of total GDP growth
o India: ICT sector grew at over 20% annually since 2000
o Cameroon: Growth was 15-46% per year from 2000
Local ICT capabilities needed to sustain ICT use throughout
economy and society
Within ICT sector, software and IT services offer the most
promising opportunities in low- and middle-income countries
Software is Everywhere
Growing emphasis on ICTs in the delivery of government, healthcare, education
and other goods and services demands customized applications. Countries
therefore need the capacity to adopt, adapt and develop relevant software.
BAN Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
Software Sector Opportunities
Low capital barriers to entry
Generator of employment – not least for the skilled youth
o Some 10 million people work in computer software and services
Source of innovation
o Software top recipient of venture capital in the US
Source of export revenue
o Top exporters from the South: India, China, Philippines, Singapore
Key to sustain productive ICT use in society
o Software increasingly important for functionality of goods and services
Why Measure the ICT sector?
Data needed for informed policy-making
Data missing for the majority of developing countries
o No LDCs are currently reporting ICT sector data
Lack of official data means that policy makers and other
decision makers will rely on private sources of data
o Forrester, Gartner, IDC, EITO, etc
o Methodologies are not harmonized
o Strong focus on “sales” rather than “production”
ICT Sector’s Share of Business Sector Employment
New Zealand (2011)
Costa Rica (2010)
Hong Kong (China) (2010)
Russian Fed. (2008)
United States (2009)
Distribution of ICT sector employment
IT services and
sector in most
UNCTAD-WITSA 2012 Survey of
Online survey conducted March–April 2012
38 out of 80 IT/Software Associations responded
Countries represented accounted for more than half of global
spending on software and IT services, and more than half of
all ICT spending.
o 8 associations in developed economies
o 26 in developing economies
o 4 in transition economies.
The responding associations had more than 16,000 member
companies, employing more than 5 million people
Influencing Policy ― Key Task
Most associations actively contribute to the process of national
policy making relevant to the software industry.
All respondents support national policy formulation and
engage in policy advocacy and lobbying.
More than 80% are engaged in raising awareness of the
IT/Software industry, promoting interaction between industry
and academia and promoting the national sector abroad.
Relatively few are involved in incubation, certification or
facilitation of internships or scholarships.
Good data important to influence policy and raise awareness!
Less than 50% Survey their Members at Least
Source: UNCTAD and WITSA.
Proposal to Enhance Data Availability
Explore collaboration with the private sector - WITSA
Build on the IT Industry Barometer (BMZ/GIZ)
Develop a harmonized tool that all WITSA members could use
Leverage good national practice (such as Assesspro/ALETI)
Use approach that allows data to be compared with official
What is in it for WITSA and its Members?
Show importance and evolution of the sector
Compare IT sector performance of different countries
Identify barriers to growth
Use in interaction with governments
To Fulfill the Promise of the Digital Age!
INFORMATION ECONOMY REPORT 2012
can be downloaded free of charge at