Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) conduct surveys; publish  research findings; collect and disseminate high quality statistics;  produce reports, articles, newsletters, and much more.   In short,  IGOs can be a terrific resource for you when conducting your own research.  Examples:

Imagine you are looking for articles and data related to education and gender inequality.

  • You wouldn’t want to miss the World Bank’s “Key Issues” page on Girl’s Education.   This part of the Bank’s site offers links to its (freely downloadable) publications and statistics on the topic.
  • Also: check out UNICEF’s “Basic Education and Gender Equality” section.   Provides press releases, publications,  and podcasts.
  • The United Nations has established a special initiative to tackle girls education in particular – the  “Girls Education Initiative.”  Provides press releases, publications, video & audio programs, and links to findings from the GAP Report (Gender Achievements & Prospects in Education).
  • While these groups don’t have subject pages for this topic, they are all working on related projects, conducting research and publishing materials on gender and access to education: the International Labour Organization (ILO); UNESCO; and the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Another Example:  Imagine you are looking for facts & figures related to telecommunications/broadband access and usage around the world.

  • The OECD has a “Broadband Portal” that brings together all the organization’s statistics related to broadband – including number of subscribers per 100 inhabitants, penetration rates, cable modem coverage, DSL coverage, broadband pricing, speeds and more.   Also links to OECD telecommunication indicators and telecom reports.
  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has a wide array of free telecommunication  statistics
  • UNESCO maintains a portal for websites that provide statistics related to our “information society.”  Includes links to the OECD and ITU as noted above, and other useful sites such as country statistical agencies; related EU/Europa sites and sites from scholarly societies/institutes

For further information on IGOs and what they can add to your research efforts check out our guide to Intergovernmental Organizations. Features a Google Custom Search Engine that will allow you to search the sites for more than 30 high quality/reputable  IGOs from a single search box.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)  is “the oldest international organization in the UN family….(providing leadership) for information and communication technology issues.”  The ITU has just launched its “History of ITU Portal” which contains ITU historical documents from radio, telegraph and telephone conferences.  Note, the process of digitization is currently underway and as of this date much of the proposed content has yet to be launched online.  Still, it’s worth noting for now and will be a terrific resource once the project is complete.   The site also provides a link to ITU statistics, which are freely available.

The FAO (Food & Agriculture Organization) has just launched a Gender and Land Rights Database which “puts the spotlight on one of the major stumbling blocks to rural development – widespread inequalities between men and women in their access to land….. (It)  offers up-to-date information on how men and women in 78 countries differ in their legal rights and access to land (and)  provides policymakers and other users with a better picture of the major social, economic, political and cultural factors which affect access to land and enforcement of women’s land rights.”

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