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ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) have just published a new book to help developing countries and economies in transition develop the optimal organization and use of a national standardization infrastructure as a lever for their economic development, trading capacity and a support for consumer, social and environmental protection.

Fast forward – National Standards Bodies in Developing Countries is intended as a user-friendly introduction and practical tool for people who are tasked with the establishment, upgrading and management of a national standards body (NSB) in a developing country or transition economy.

The book explains the role of standardization in industrial development, trade facilitation and improving access to global markets. It describes how standardization is interlinked with the disciplines of metrology and conformity assessment. It also describes how the three form essential building blocks for developing a quality infrastructure that enables sustainable development, can lead to full participation in international trade and satisfies the technical requirements of the multilateral trading system. Other topics covered include:

  • the World Trade Organization and its influence on standardization
  • a closer look at standards
  • international, regional and national standard bodies
  • activities and structure of an NSB
  • information, sales and promotion
  • international and regional relations.

The book is an initiative of the long-standing and successful partnership between ISO and UNIDO. It is the collective work of some 30 recognized experts in the field. ISO is the world's largest producer of voluntary International Standards. Its membership comprises a network of 157 national standards bodies of which the majority are in developing countries. In particular, the book distils the experience of the ISO Committee on developing country matters (ISO/DEVCO).

UNIDO is the UN agency which promotes poverty reduction and improvements in the quality of life of people in developing countries as well as countries with economies in transition through sustainable industrial development. It has over 40 years experience in setting up and upgrading standards and conformity assessment infrastructure worldwide.

Explaining the background to the book, UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K.Yumkella and ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden point out in its Preface: "Realities and priorities in developing countries are different from those that pertain to the developed world; a typical standards body structure and mode of operation that work well and meet the needs of stakeholders in a developed country are unlikely to be the perfect answer in the developing world."

Fast forward – National Standards Bodies in Developing Countries, A5 format, 88 pages, colour, ring binder is available in English ((ISBN 978-92-67-10477-5) and French (ISBN 978-92-67-20477-2) free of charge (fee for postage and handling) from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing & Communication department. It can also be downloaded as a PDF file from both the ISO and UNIDO Web sites.

Fast forward

This publication will help developing countries and countries with economies in transition make optimal use of national standardization infrastructure.


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