In November 2010, the Bureau reviewed in-depth the topic of measuring information society and statistics on science, technology and innovation. The Bureau concluded that a lot of work is being done by different agencies in the area, and the work could be better coordinated. The Bureau, therefore, asked for an7Add1Rev1 inventory of the groups working in this area.
In June 2011, the Conference was informed of the outcome and noted that there may be scope for better coordination of the many initiatives and that development of a conceptual framework may be considered. The Bureau discussed possible ways forward in November 2011 and February 2012.
Outcome of the review
The secretariat together with Australia and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) made an inventory of the groups working in this area for the November 2011 Bureau meeting.
OECD prepared a paper for the 2012 February Bureau meeting on the conceptual framework for measuring these statistics and on the international coordination. The Bureau asked OECD to inform the OECD Working Party on indicators for the information society (WPIIS) about their views and to encourage the Working Party to link their work with the SNA.
After these investigations, the Bureau did not launch any new work on the topic. Instead, the need to develop UN standards to measure ICT should be raised at the UNSC.
In 2012, UNSC reviewed the work of the Partnership on Measuring Information and Communication Technology for Development and agreed with their recommendations for improvement of ICT statistics.
In 2013, the Partnership informed the UNSC that the revision of the Frascati Manual for Surveys of Research and Development is planned for 2013-2014. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) informed that they will make an inventory of innovation surveys carried out worldwide. In June 2013, UIS planned to launch the first global data collection of innovation statistics, to be carried out every two years. A pilot data collection was carried out in 2011. The report to the UNSC also informed that a patent statistics Task Force has been created to promote the coordination of activities in that area.
The report to UNSC states that following an expansion in the number of activities on ICT statistics, many statistical agencies are reporting financial difficulties and the need to identify priorities and potential areas for savings. The international organizations operating in this field (especially UNESCO Institute for Statistics, OECD and Eurostat) are reviewing alternative methods for collecting data and using administrative sources.