Thursday, April 24, 2008

More on ICT Indexes

My previous post noted the differences between Korea's ranking on the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) and its world rank according to the Networked Readiness Index. In fact, although these two indices receive considerable attention, there are many more, as shown in Table 2 (click on the graphic to see a larger image) from the Global Information Society Watch website. The indices listed in this table all represent efforts to measure information and communication technology (ICT) and the manner in which it contributes to "development." However, they vary considerably in how ICT and development are conceptualized. They also differ in terms of the variables that are measured, the number of countries in which they are measured, and other important aspects. In future posts I plan to take a closer look at all of the major indices. However, at first glance it seems that the Digital Opportunity Index is a leader because of its origins and auspices. It is a product of the ITU's Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development , an international, multi-stakeholder initiative to improve the availability and quality of ICT data and indicators, particularly in developing countries. The World Bank's Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM) has produced other indexes, notably the Knowledge Economy Index (KEI) which can be explored in depth at their web site. For an interesting treatment of how these and other indices, including the Networked Readiness Index, compare, see the report "Measuring Progress" at the Global Information Society Watch website.

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