Science, technology and innovation (STI) is one of the main drivers of economic growth. Given the rapid pace of technological change, governments need reliable and precise data on research and development (R&D). The Frascati Manual, developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is the global standard for collecting R&D statistics. However, the manual was specifically designed for only the most industrialized countries.
What is the role of the UIS?
The Institute has produced a series of guidelines and documents to better reflect the situation in developing countries, enabling them to apply concepts from the Frascati Manual to their particular needs and contexts.
The UIS produced a Technical Paper on Measuring R&D in Developing Countries, which was the result of a two-year consultation process. The document was presented to the OECD's Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI), which used the document as the basis for an annex to the Frascati Manual.
The advice in these documents is now taken to practice in a Technical Paper: Guide to Conducting an R&D Survey: For countries starting to measure research and experimental development. This guide provides information for countries in the early stages of developing a survey to collect data on R&D. The guide defines common R&D terminology and presents relevant indicators and what they measure. While addressing common issues encountered in data collection, the paper also provides a project management template, in addition to model questionnaires that countries can use to begin their collection activities. Countries can download the model questionnaires, adapt them to their own needs and use them in their survey practice.
These resources are based on consultations with national statisticians, policymakers and recognized experts, as well as regional networks and organizations (see links below) specializing in the collection of R&D statistics.