14-May-2009, New Delhi: The Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India, in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), organized a Seminar on ICT Measurement and Indicators in New Delhi (India) from 12 to 14 May 2009, to discuss on issues related to measurement of ICT access, infrastructure, usage and impact on the society in general, and on business, individuals, governance and education in particular.
To take advantage of the rapidly changing information society, governments need to monitor and benchmark progress in order to design and review national policies and strategies. In order to do so, reliable data and indicators on the access and use of ICTs, and their impact on development have to be defined and collected. Such data and indicators help governments design and evaluate ICT policies and strategies, compare their ICT developments with those in other countries, and adopt solutions to reduce the digital divide. In order to so, different agencies need to work together to identify priority areas and to examine ways of coordinating activities, to maximize available resources and achieve optimum results.
The Seminar was addressed to national ICT policymakers, regulatory agencies, national statistical offices, industry associations and academia. It covered issues related to indicators for infrastructure and access, households, business, education, and e-government; benchmarking the information society; measuring impact; measuring ICT and gender; security and trust in the online environment; statistics on ICT-enabled services; and capacity building for ICT measurement.
There was a session on Indicators on ICT in Education, where Mr. S. Venkataraman of UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) briefly introduced concepts of Information Literacy Indicators, Media Development Indicators, and Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP) of UIS, which are very useful for measuring the information society.
In this Seminar, following manuals/ publications were extensively consulted for understanding of concepts and methodologies:
- Revisions and Additions to the Core List of ICT Indicators, Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, 2009.
- Manual for Measuring ICT Access and Use by Households and Individuals, International Telecommunication Union, 2009.
- Manual for the Production of Statistics on the Information Economy, revised edition, UNCTAD, 2009.
- Measuring ICT: the Global Status of ICT Indicators, Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, 2005.
- Measuring the Information Society: The ICT Development Index, International Telecommunication Union, 2009.
- Information and Communications Technology Statistics, Partnership on Measuring Information and Communication Technologies for Development, 2009.
The seminar provided a platform for national experts, policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders to discuss ICT indicators and topics that are important to national policymaking. The Seminar has made some suggestions to improve the availability of ICT statistics in India, such as:
- harmonization and scaling up of statistics available with deferent ministries, national statistical offices and other agencies;
- bridging the data gaps between available statistics and statistics required based on Revised Core List of ICT Indicators;
- adaptation of international statistical tools and guidelines in gathering, analyzing and presenting statistical data; and
- capacity building at the national level as well as state-level so that quality and reliability of data can be maintained.