E-commerce assessments

UNCTAD: ICT Policy Review Programme (ICTPR) – an Integrated Strategic Framework for E-commerce


UNCTAD is mandated to promote trade in developing countries, and serves as a focal point within the United Nations on issues of science, technology and innovation for development. Its ICT Policy Review (ICTPR) Programme provides technical assistance, advisory services, diagnostics and strategy development on e-commerce and national ICT planning at the request of governments.

The ICTPR makes use of an integrated framework of eight pillar areas of strategic importance to e-commerce development set out in UNCTAD’s Information Economy Report 2015. These include ICT infrastructure and telecom services; logistics and trade facilitation; the legal and regulatory environment; electronic payments; e-platforms; skills development and building talent; awareness-raising; e-procurement. Other strategic measures to help galvanize e-commerce in developing countries include fostering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the buildup of the consumer market, inclusive rural development as well as the creation of job opportunities in the IT and business process outsourcing sectors. In these contexts, the ICTPR can support developing countries to strengthen their economic growth, promote exports and create jobs.

For whom

Decision makers
Private sector
Business Associations
Policy makers
Middle Managers

Services offered

Policy Advice
  • Identity critical success factors, best practices and conditions within your existing framework
  • Address bottlenecks so you can adjust and reform ICT policies
  • Foster inclusive policy dialogue at the national level
  • Compare and contrast achievements, successes and bottlenecks with other countries
Policy Formulation

Formulate new and targeted policy decisions to support and accelerate ICT penetration to sustain e-commerce development with government, businesses and society

Meet the beneficiaries

Designing a step-by-step approach for ICT policy reviews

The programme features a model framework, specially designed to meet the needs of developing countries. It draws on UNCTAD´s ongoing work on ICT policies and ICT measurement for economic development and trade.


2009 to 2010

first ICTPR carried out in Egypt



Recent requests

from Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar

Assessment of existing ICT master plan – Framework

Success stories
Egypt: formulating an e-commerce strategy for future development

In 2009, Egypt was the first country to benefit from the ICT Policy Review programme. Following the assessment, UNCTAD received a request from Egypt for support on e-commerce strategy. The subsequent review was undertaken through an assessment and diagnosis of the current status of e-commerce in Egypt. To ensure a comprehensive approach, the review process used a combination of fact-finding missions, policy dialogue with government officials, consultations with key stakeholders, desk research and surveys.


The findings will be used to establish:

  • short, medium and long-term targets
  • policy recommendations for e-commerce development

Strategic measures to help galvanize e-commerce will include:

  • fostering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises
  • facilitating innovation
  • optimizing exports and cross-border trade capabilities
  • promoting new payment solutions
  • building up the consumer market
  • boosting local productivity
  • facilitating inclusive rural development
  • creating job opportunities
« By supporting this initiative, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is proud to promote ICT for democracy, just as it has previously championed ICT for development. The ICT Policy Review will be of great value to us. »
Dr. Mohamed Abdel Kader Mohamed Salem

Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt, 2011

« This ICT Policy Review is an opportunity to build on past experiences and lessons learned, to ensure that ICTs continue to expand opportunities for Egyptians, and to build a more inclusive and just society. »
Mr. James W. Rawley

UNDP Resident Representative, Egypt, 2011