From the Digital Divide to Digital Opportunities
Measuring Infostates for Development
The International Telecommunication Union and Orbicom, the Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communications, are proud to present the publication “From the Digital Divide to Digital Opportunities: Measuring Infostates for Development”, a contribution to the international community in the context of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Tunis 2005.
This work is the first result of the merger of two well-known initiatives, ITU’s Digital Access Index (DAI) and Orbicom’s Monitoring the Digital Divide/Infostate conceptual framework and model, and from now known as the “ICT Opportunity Index”. This is a response to calls from the international community and follows the explicit recommendation of the WSIS Plan of Action, paragraph 28, to “…develop and launch a composite ICT Development (Digital Opportunity) Index” to combine statistical indicators with analytical work on policies and their implementation. This measurement tool reflects the importance the ITU attaches to the collection, dissemination and exchange of information on telecommunications/Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). It further highlights the role of ITU as the main source of global telecommunication/ICT statistics.
Beyond the much-needed measuring instrument based on the Infostate framework and model, the publication is complemented with several in-depth analytical chapters. This includes detailed regional analyses with a policy focus for countries in Africa, Asia and Latin American and the Caribbean. The publication further combines unique quantitative and qualitative research in a chapter on ‘women in the Information Society’.
This joint ITU-Orbicom project was made possible with the collaboration of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), l’Agence intergouvernementale de La Francophonie (AIF), and United Nations organizations such as UNESCO and UNCTAD. A project of this magnitude would not have been possible without the collective competence and dedicated efforts of many individuals and non-governmental organizations and networks. More than a dozen teams were at work across all continents, with 50-60 people working directly on the project and many more contributing indirectly through extended networks. Believing that “communication links us together”, we take pride in this truly collaborative global endeavour that has involved so many known researchers around the world.
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