Standards and standardisation can be seen as a tool for promoting trade and supporting sustainable development and economic growth. Through their global relevance, international standards can have multiple functions: as basic requirements for producing products and services and designing partner agreements, as supporting documentation for national legislation and the curriculum for academic education and courses. Companies, organisations, government agencies, manufacturers in a supply chain, universities, sector organisations and consumers are just some examples of stakeholders that are affected and can use standards to their benefit. Standards are also a useful tool in work relating to the revised UN Sustainable Development Goals, where the emphasis is on cooperation between governments/authorities, organisations and businesses.
To ensure the global relevance* of international standards, it is of key importance that as many countries and different stakeholders representing various sectors as possible actively participate in the development of standards. Likewise, a standard is not fulfilling its purpose until it is used and implemented by these stakeholders. All of us, as part of our daily lives, are affected by standards, for example when we make our coffee (size and function of the coffee making machine), when we use our smart phones to chat and text with friends/family or when we go to the grocery store to buy food and other products. To increase their global relevance and to highlight the positive benefits standards can have and what a useful tool they are, SIS is actively implementing a number of projects in developing countries, mainly funded by Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency). The projects aim to strengthen the capacity of the National Standards Institutions and improve cooperation with private/public sector stakeholders, as well as increase the practical use of standards in production, and within organisations, government agencies and companies.
SIS is currently actively working in the following regions:
*Global relevance definition according to ISO TMB “The required characteristic of an International Standard that it can be used/implemented as broadly as possible by affected industries and other stakeholders in markets around the world’ www.iso.org