ISO’s most important resource is its member organizations and their networks of experts.

This is why ISO invests in strengthening the skills of its members, both at the human and the organizational level, through extensive training and technical assistance programmes.

We're helping to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by supporting our members to maximize the benefits of international standardization and ensure the uptake of ISO standards. Economic, environmental and societal dimensions are all directly addressed by ISO standards.

The effective participation of ISO members in international standardization contributes to the global relevance of ISO standards and helps realize ISO’s vision of standards used everywhere.

What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2015 the UN set an ambitious fifteen year plan to address some of the most pressing issues faced by the world.

By supporting our members to maximize the benefits of international standardization and ensure the uptake of ISO standards, we’re helping to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Economic, environmental and societal dimensions are all directly addressed by ISO standards.

Our aim is to spread these benefits as widely as possible through capacity building where it's most needed.

Our capacity building activities

Technical assistance is delivered under the ISO Action Plan for developing countries. Specific programmes help our members get the most out of International Standards in order for them to fully participate in global trade and achieve sustainable development.

The Action Plan is implemented in coordination with donors, international organizations, regional standards organizations and ISO members involved in delivering development assistance. 

Training courses cover a wide range of subjects related to the international standardization process and aim at helping members participate effectively in the development of international standards. The courses target technical committee chairs, managers, working group convenors and their support staff involved in standardization work. Further information on training courses for ISO members can be found on the members' portal. 


Did you know?

In 2016, 105 countries participated in our capacity-building initiatives, involving more than 3000 people worldwide.

During the same period, 43 national standards bodies took advantage of sponsorship programmes to participate in international standards development work

Building linkages for export success
For national standards bodies, trade promotion organizations and government agencies to show how close collaboration can assist exporters

Core initiatives

Standardization in support of public policies

Efforts are undertaken for members to strengthen the link between standardization and public policies by disseminating knowledge, promoting awareness and supporting the application of good practices in referencing standards in national legal frameworks.

National standardization strategies

After the identification of national standardization priorities, members are guided to building their national standardization strategies; best practice to applying the strategies is also part of this capacity building activity.

Financial sustainability of national standards institutions

Members work on establishing strategies and business plans to ensure that their organizations are run efficiently and remain financially sustainable. Possible risks to the organizations are also assessed.

Stakeholder engagement

As stakeholders play a key role in the standards development process, members need to have in place solid engagement strategies and collaboration schemes to ensure that the relevant stakeholders participate in the standardization work. This is the focus of the core initiative on stakeholder engagement.

Good standardization practice

Increasing the competence of standardization experts in Good Standardization Practices (GSP) is a key area of improvement. This activity includes the evaluation of the building blocks of an effective national standards institution, its standards development processes, and whether the standardization principles applied be the institution are in line with WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement.
A committee to support developing countries: DEVCO
ISO's committee dedicated to developing countries
Fast forward
This publication will help developing countries and countries with economies in transition make optimal use of national standardization infrastructure

Programmes in the middle-east and north Africa

A regional approach to support ISO members and their stakeholders

The institutional capacity of ISO members in the Middle East and North Africa is strengthened and the use of sustainable development standards is promoted through the five-year MENA STAR project.

Applying ISO 26000 on Social Responsibility

A series of practical case studies on organizations applying ISO’s social responsibility standard (ISO 26000) have been developed as part of the four-year SR MENA project.

Benefits in applying ISO 26000 - Selected case studies as a result of the SR MENA Project
Case studies from the ISO project to increase use and uptake of ISO 26000 in the SR MENA region.