Defining, gathering, and disseminating international statistics is a collective effort of many people and organizations. The indicators presented in World Development Indicators are the fruit of decades of work at many levels, from the field workers who administer censuses and household surveys to the committees and working parties of the national and international statistical agencies that develop the nomenclature, classifications, and standards fundamental to an international statistical system. Nongovernmental organizations and the private sector also make important contributions, both in gathering primary data and in organizing and publishing their results. And academic researchers play a crucial role in developing statistical methods and carrying on a continuing dialogue about the quality and interpretation of statistical indicators. All these contributors have a strong belief that available, accurate data will improve the quality of public and private decisionmaking.
The organizations listed here make World Development Indicators possible by sharing their data and their expertise with us. More important, their collaboration contributes to the World Bank's efforts, and to those of many others, to improve the quality of life of the world's people. We acknowledge our debt and gratitude to all who help to build a base of comprehensive, quantitative information about the world and its people.
For easy reference, Web addresses are included for each listed organization. The addresses shown were active on March 1, 2011. Information about the World Bank is also provided.
International and government agencies
The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) is the primary global climate change data and information analysis center of the U.S. Department of Energy. The CDIAC's scope includes anything that would potentially be of value to those concerned with the greenhouse effect and global climate change, including concentrations of carbon dioxide and other radiatively active gases in the atmosphere, the role of the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans in the biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases, emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, long-term climate trends, the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on vegetation, and the vulnerability of coastal areas to rising sea levels.
For more information, see cdiac.esd.ornl.gov.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a German government-owned corporation for international cooperation with worldwide operations. GIZ's aim is to positively shape political, economic, ecological, and social development in partner countries, thereby improving people's living conditions and prospects.
For more information, see giz.de.
The Food and Agriculture Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, was founded in October 1945 with a mandate to raise nutrition levels and living standards, to increase agricultural productivity, and to better the condition of rural populations. The organization provides direct development assistance; collects, analyzes, and disseminates information; offers policy and planning advice to governments; and serves as an international forum for debate on food and agricultural issues.
For more information, see fao.org.
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre was established in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council and is the leading international body monitoring conflict-induced internal displacement worldwide. The center contributes to improving national and international capacities to protect and assist the millions of people around the globe who have been displaced within their own country as a result of conflicts or human rights violations.
For more information, see internal-displacement.org.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, is responsible for establishing international standards and recommended practices and procedures for the technical, economic, and legal aspects of international civil aviation operations. ICAO's strategic objectives include enhancing global aviation safety and security and the efficiency of aviation operations, minimizing the adverse effect of global civil aviation on the environment, maintaining the continuity of aviation operations, and strengthening laws governing international civil aviation.
For more information, see icao.int.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) was founded in 1973/74 with a mandate to facilitate cooperation among the IEA member countries to increase energy efficiency, promoting use of clean energy and technology, and diversify their energy sources while protecting the environment. IEA publishes annual and quarterly statistical publications covering both OECD and non-OECD countries' statistics on oil, gas, coal, electricity and renewable sources of energy, energy supply and consumption, and energy prices and taxes. IEA also contributes in analysis of all aspects of sustainable development globally and provides policy recommendations.
For more information, see iea.org.
The International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights. ILO helps advance the creation of decent jobs and the kinds of economic and working conditions that give working people and business people a stake in lasting peace, prosperity, and progress. As part of its mandate, the ILO maintains an extensive statistical publication program.
For more information, see ilo.org.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization of 187 member countries established to promote international monetary cooperation, a stable system of exchange rates, and the balanced expansion of international trade and to foster economic growth and high levels of employment. The IMF reviews national, regional, and global economic and financial developments; provides policy advice to member countries; and serves as a forum where they can discuss the national, regional, and global consequences of their policies.
The IMF also makes financing temporarily available to member countries to help them address balance of payments problems. Among the IMF's core missions are the collection and dissemination of high-quality macroeconomic and financial statistics as an essential prerequisite for formulating appropriate policies. The IMF provides technical assistance and training to member countries in areas of its core expertise, including the development of economic and financial data in accordance with international standards.
For more information, see imf.org.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the leading UN agency for information and communication technologies. ITU's mission is to enable the growth and sustained development of telecommunications and information networks and to facilitate universal access so that people everywhere can participate in, and benefit from, the emerging information society and global economy. A key priority lies in bridging the so-called Digital Divide by building information and communication infrastructure, promoting adequate capacity building, and developing confidence in the use of cyberspace through enhanced online security. ITU also concentrates on strengthening emergency communications for disaster prevention and mitigation.
For more information, see itu.int.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent U.S. government agency whose mission is to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense. NSF's goals—discovery, learning, research infrastructure, and stewardship—provide an integrated strategy to advance the frontiers of knowledge, cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce, expand the scientific literacy of all citizens, build the nation's research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation and facilities, and support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization.
For more information, see nsf.gov.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) includes 34 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment, raise living standards, maintain financial stability, assist other countries' economic development, and contribute to growth in world trade. With active relationships with some 100 other countries, it has a global reach. It is best known for its publications and statistics, which cover economic and social issues from macroeconomics to trade, education, development, and science and innovation.
The Development Assistance Committee (DAC, www.oecd.org/dac/) is one of the principal bodies through which the OECD deals with issues related to cooperation with developing countries. The DAC is a key forum of major bilateral donors, who work together to increase the effectiveness of their common efforts to support sustainable development. The DAC concentrates on two key areas: the contribution of international development to the capacity of developing countries to participate in the global economy and the capacity of people to overcome poverty and participate fully in their societies.
For more information, see oecd.org.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) conducts research on questions of conflict and cooperation of importance for international peace and security, with the aim of contributing to an understanding of the conditions for peaceful solutions to international conflicts and for a stable peace. SIPRI's main publication, SIPRI Yearbook, is an authoritive and independent source on armaments and arms control and other conflict and security issues.
For more information, see sipri.org.
As part of broader efforts to develop effective and long-term solutions to child labor, the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Bank initiated the joint interagency research program "Understanding Children's Work and Its Impact" in December 2000. The Understanding Children's Work (UCW) project was located at UNICEF's Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy, until June 2004, when it moved to the Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth in Rome.
The UCW project addresses the crucial need for more and better data on child labor. UCW's online database contains data by country on child labor and the status of children.
For more information, see ucw-project.org.
The United Nations currently has 192 member states. The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in its charter, are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.
For more information, see un.org.
The Urban Indicators Programme of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme was established to address the urgent global need to improve the urban knowledge base by helping countries and cities design, collect, and apply policy-oriented indicators related to development at the city level.
With the Urban Indicators and Best Practices programs, the Global Urban Observatory is establishing a worldwide information, assessment, and capacity-building network to help governments, local authorities, the private sector, and nongovernmental and other civil society organizations.
For more information, see unhabitat.org.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works with other UN bodies and with governments and nongovernmental organizations to improve children's lives in more than 190 countries through various programs in education and health. UNICEF focuses primarily on five areas: child survival and development, basic education and gender equality (including girls' education), child protection, HIV/AIDS, and policy advocacy and partnerships.
For more information, see unicef.org.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly in the field of trade and development. Its mandate is to accelerate economic growth and development, particularly in developing countries. UNCTAD discharges its mandate through policy analysis; intergovernmental deliberations, consensus building, and negotiation; monitoring, implementation, and follow-up; and technical cooperation.
For more information, see unctad.org.
The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations contributes to the most important function of the United Nations—maintaining international peace and security. The department helps countries torn by conflict to create the conditions for lasting peace. The first peacekeeping mission was established in 1948 and has evolved to meet the demands of different conflicts and a changing political landscape. Today's peacekeepers undertake a wide variety of complex tasks, from helping build sustainable institutions of governance, to monitoring human rights, to assisting in security sector reform, to disarmaming, demobilizing, and reintegrating former combatants.
For more information, see un.org/en/peacekeeping.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes international cooperation among member states and associate members in education, science, culture, and communications. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics is the organization's statistical branch, established in July 1999 to meet the growing needs of UNESCO member states and the international community for a wider range of policy-relevant, timely, and reliable statistics on these topics.
For more information, see uis.unesco.org.
The mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
For more information, see www.unep.org.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization was established to act as the central coordinating body for industrial activities and to promote industrial development and cooperation at the global, regional, national, and sectoral levels. Its mandate is to help develop scientific and technological plans and programs for industrialization in the public, cooperative, and private sectors.
For more information, see unido.org.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was established in 1977 and is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. The office assists member states in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime, and terrorism by helping build capacity, conducting research and analytical work, and assisting in the ratification and implementation of relevant international treaties and domestic legislation related to drugs, crime, and terrorism.
For more information, see unodc.org.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. UNHCR also collects and disseminates statistics on refugees.
For more information, see unhcr.org.
The Upsalla Conflict Data Program has collected information on armed violence since 1946 and is one of the most accurate and well used data sources on global armed conflicts. Its definition of armed conflict is becoming a standard in how conflicts are systematically defined and studied. In addition to data collection on armed violence, its researchers conduct theoretically and empirically based analyses of the causes, escalation, spread, prevention, and resolution of armed conflict.
For more information, see pcr.uu.se/research/UCDP.
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance for developing countries. The World Bank is made up of two unique development institutions owned by 187 member countries—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). These institutions play different but collaborative roles to advance the vision of an inclusive and sustainable globalization. The IBRD focuses on middle-income and creditworthy poor countries, while IDA focuses on the poorest countries. Together they provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits, and grants to developing countries for a wide array of purposes, including investments in education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. The World Bank's work focuses on achieving the Millennium Development Goals by working with partners to alleviate poverty.
For more information, see data.worldbank.org.
The objective of the World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.
For more information, see who.int.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated
to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation, and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest. WIPO carries out a wide variety of tasks related to the protection of IP rights. These include developing international IP laws and standards, delivering global IP protection services, encouraging the use of IP for economic development, promoting better understanding of IP, and providing a forum for debate.
For more information, see wipo.int.
The World Tourism Organization is an intergovernmental body entrusted by the United Nations with promoting and developing tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a source of tourism know-how.
For more information, see unwto.org.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably, and freely as possible. It does this by administering trade agreements, acting as a forum for trade negotiations, settling trade disputes, reviewing national trade policies, assisting developing countries in trade policy issues—through technical assistance and training programs—and cooperating with other international organizations. At the heart of the system—known as the multilateral trading system—are the WTO's agreements, negotiated and signed by a large majority of the world's trading nations and ratified by their parliaments.
For more information, see wto.org.
Private and nongovernmental organizations
Containerisation International Yearbook is one of the most authoritative reference books on the container industry. The information can be accessed on the Containerisation International Web site, which also provides a comprehensive online daily business news and information service for the container industry.
For more information, see ci-online.co.uk.
DHL provides shipping and customized transportation solutions for customers in more than 220 countries and territories. It offers expertise in express, air, and ocean freight; overland transport; contract logistics solutions; and international mail services.
For more information, see dhl.com.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) provides information and analysis on strategic trends and facilitates contacts between government leaders, business people, and analysts that could lead to better public policy in international security and international relations. The IISS is a primary source of accurate, objective information on international strategic issues.
For more information, see iiss.org.
The International Road Federation (IRF) is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to encourage and promote development and maintenance of better, safer, and more sustainable roads and road networks. Working together with its members and associates, the IRF promotes social and economic benefits that flow from well planned and environmentally sound road transport networks. It helps put in place technological solutions and management practices that provide maximum economic and social returns from national road investments. The IRF works in all aspects of road policy and development worldwide with governments and financial institutions, members, and the community of road professionals.
For more information, see irfnet.org.
Netcraft provides Internet security services such as antifraud and antiphishing services, application testing, code reviews, and automated penetration testing. Netcraft also provides research data and analysis on many aspects of the Internet and is a respected authority on the market share of web servers, operating systems, hosting providers, Internet service providers, encrypted transactions, electronic commerce, scripting languages, and content technologies on the Internet.
For more information, see news.netcraft.com.
PricewaterhouseCoopers provides industry-focused services in the fields of assurance, tax, human resources, transactions, performance improvement, and crisis management services to help address client and stakeholder issues.
For more information, see pwc.com.
Standard & Poor's is the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indexes, risk evaluation, investment research, and data. S&P's Global Stock Markets Factbook draws on data from S&P's Emerging Markets Database (EMDB) and other sources covering data on more than 100 markets with comprehensive market profiles for 82 countries. Drawing a sample of stocks in each EMDB market, Standard & Poor's calculates indexes to serve as benchmarks that are consistent across national boundaries.
For more information, see standardandpoors.com.
The World Conservation Monitoring Centre provides information on the conservation and sustainable use of the world's living resources and helps others to develop information systems of their own. It works in close collaboration with a wide range of people and organizations to increase access to the information needed for wise management of the world's living resources.
For more information, see unep-wcmc.org.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional, and industry agendas. Economic research at the WEF—led by the Global Competitiveness Programme—focuses on identifying the impediments to growth so that strategies to achieve sustainable economic progress, reduce poverty, and increase prosperity can be developed. The WEF's competitiveness reports range from global coverage, such as Global Competitiveness Report, to regional and topical coverage, such as Africa Competitiveness Report, The Lisbon Review, and Global Information Technology Report.
For more information, see weforum.org.
The World Resources Institute is an independent center for policy research and technical assistance on global environmental and development issues. The institute provides—and helps other institutions provide—objective information and practical proposals for policy and institutional change that will foster environmentally sound, socially equitable development. The institute's current areas of work include trade, forests, energy, economics, technology, biodiversity, human health, climate change, sustainable agriculture, resource and environmental information, and national strategies for environmental and resource management.
For more information, see wri.org.