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Development Policy, Statistics and Research

  • Collects and compiles industrial statistics for use by member states and the research community;
  • Generates global and thematic evidence-based understanding of the role of industrialization on sustainable development and developing on that basis industrial policy recommendations for countries and regions;
  • Provides strategic industrial policy advice and related technical cooperation activities to support national governments and regional organizations in their policy-making processes, as well as to feed into an informed policy debate at regional and international forums;
  • Disseminates, promotes, transfers and expands UNIDO’s knowledge base through networking, partnering and capacity developing activities.

UNIDO’s industrial statistics component is designed to implement the United Nations mandate given to UNIDO for maintaining international industrial statistics databases and disseminating industrial data globally as well as to meet the internal needs of statistics for the Organization’s research and technical cooperation activities. The programme broadly covers (i) the maintenance and updating of international industrial statistics databases with structural business data, compilation and dissemination of industrial data; (ii) methodological and analytical products based on statistical research and experience of maintaining internationally comparable statistics; (iii) contributions to the development and implementation of international statistical standards and methodology; and (iv) technical cooperation services to countries of developing and transitional economies in the field of industrial statistics.

DPR’s global research and analysis addresses international trends and issues that have an impact on industrial development at the national level as well as topics that have a bearing on global industrialization. The former consist of issues such as the global financial crisis, international agreements to address climate change or new trends in the international relocation of production, while the latter include questions such as the impact of trade restrictions by certain countries or the effect of specific discoveries or innovations. UNIDO’s global research and diagnosis currently focuses on the connections between technological change, environmental sustainability and industrial ‘greening’ and will provide analytical support and policy recommendations for the Organization’s global forum activities.

The thematic segment of DPR’s research and analysis provides the empirically-based conceptual framework for both analyses and policy advisory services. Research will thereby concentrate on industrial structural change, examining patterns of subsectoral productivity differentials and growth and the role of investment and technology in determining those patterns. DPR’s research and analysis will also address questions related to what types of industrial policies, patterns or structural shifts are most conducive to poverty reduction, international trade expansion, energy efficiency or environmental sustainability. Typologies of countries will be developed based on the relation between structural change dimensions and poverty, trade, environment and energy considerations. These typologies are expected to be used for identifying industrial development strategies and providing policy advisory services. Another major thematic research will be the Industrial Development Report, UNIDO’s periodical flagship publication.

The policy advisory services of the branch deliver to Member States Strategic Industrial Policy (SIP) advice, especially in the diagnostic and design stages of the industrial policy-making process. Strategy refers to the position in which a country wishes its manufacturing industry to be at a point in time in the future or vis-à-vis the rest of the world. DPR offers information and knowledge, as well as advice on governance and coordination mechanisms for preparing the diagnosis for, and design of a strategic industrial policy. At the diagnosis stage advice is provided on industrial activities that may carry a competitive advantage, on domestic and international analytical expertise, and on the local and international actors that could be involved in the industrialization process. The advice may take the form of direct consultations with relevant stakeholders or strategic design documents. Advice is also provided regarding the organization and the necessary mechanisms to ensure a transparent, participatory and inclusive diagnostic phase. At the design phase, intelligence gathering is focused on identifying specific programmes, projects and policy instruments, as well as on preparing the overall governance architecture, including the required institutions, committees and forms of private-public-academic partnerships.

In order to expand the knowledge base of UNIDO’s research and analysis efforts, UNIDO has established within DPR the UNIDO Institute for Capacity Development as a resource centre for generating, disseminating and sharing industrial development knowledge. The Institute is  using three main modalities to achieve its objectives: (i) networking and partnering, (ii) joint research and (iii) training. Networking seeks to expand specialized expertise through organizing joint conferences, meetings and knowledge exchange and by providing sounding boards and knowledge resources. Joint research deepens networking relations by focusing knowledge generation on issues that are in the programmatic focus of the Institute. Training provides opportunities to disseminate specialized knowledge and build capacity among policymakers, while at the same time learning from their practical experience.

DPR seeks to become the point of reference for all UNIDO internal and external stakeholders, in terms of providing unique applied analysisfor understanding the key processes and determinants of sustainable industrial structural change. To achieve this the branch operates on the basis of four principles: concentration, integration, value addition and relevance. Concentration is pursued through a clear focus for research on issues of sustainable industrial structural change. Integration is searched by pulling together the immense volume of statistics produced within UNIDO and the vast amount of national, regional and sectoral industrial development experiences accumulated in documents and memories of UNIDO staff, as well as solid assessments of what has worked and what has not in terms of policy recommendations. Value is expected to be added by providing a coherent explanation of how and why sustainable industrial structural change takes place and identifying the relevant policy implications. Relevance should be achieved by linking the statistics, research and capacity-development work of the branch to UNIDO’s thematic priorities, technical cooperation efforts and policy advisory services.

Statistics and Research for Policy is the motto of the activities of the branch.