Identify and prioritize the needs of your country that can be addressed through standardization.

The objective of a national standardization strategy is to have a standardization work programme that reflects national priorities from an economic, social and environmental perspective.

ISO’s capacity building initiatives support our developing country members around the world in their efforts to develop, update or improve their national standardization strategies based on a methodology developed by ISO.

About two-thirds of our members who participated in this capacity building programme have completed, or are close to completing, their national standardization strategy. This strategic approach ensures that relevant standards are implemented as a priority to support the country’s socioeconomic development and optimize the use of scarce resources. 

The approach taken by ISO’s national standardization methodology consists in identifying the priorities that should form part of a country’s national standardization plan. This results in a list of specific standards that are earmarked for national adoption and highlights ongoing standardization projects that require more active participation.


In order to ensure that standards are available for all sectors at the right time, standards-setting bodies must establish a standardization strategy that encourages the judicious use of resources and put in place the right mechanisms to develop the standards required by society at each point in time. Although the benefits of standardization exceed the resources expended, priorities should be well defined to ensure that scarce resources are used effectively to satisfy real needs of the country.

Beneficiary from Gambia

This publication describes in a very systematic manner the objectives, processes and best practices involved in developing a national standardization strategy. It is illustrated with many real-case examples.

Phase 1:  National priorities for standardization

The list of priority standards is mapped to existing regional and international standards that could be adopted and converted into national standards.

Phase 2: National standardization plan

Mapping of the national priorities to:

  • Existing standards
  • Ongoing standardization projects
  • The development of new standards

Decision of whether to start national
standardization projects

  • Adopting existing standards as national standards
  • Participating in ongoing regional/international projects
  • Developing new national/international standards

National standardization plan with project management details for all accepted standardization projects
(e.g. priority of each project/time frame/project proposer/project leader/etc.)


Applying good standardization practices to help ISO members better serve the standardization needs of their countries.
Identify and prioritize the needs of your country that can be addressed through standardization.
Enhancing the collaboration between standardizers and policy makers in support of good regulatory practices.
Efficient participation of developing countries in international standardization enables a better integration in the global market.
Applying ISO standards reduces technical barriers to trade and increases developing countries’ trade opportunities.
Promoting and disseminating clean cooking standards by working in synergy with key partners.
The institutional capacity of national standards bodies in the Middle East and North Africa was strengthened and the use of sustainable development standards promoted.
Applying ISO 26000 on social responsibility in the MENA region contributed to sustainable development.