Defining Internet Universality Indicators


Work data:

Type of work: Report




UNESCO launched its concept of Internet Universality in 2014. The concept, which was endorsed by UNESCO’s General Conference, roots the future of the Internet in four core themes, which are concerned with Rights, Openness, Accessibility to All and Multistakeholder Participation. Together these are known as the ROAM Principles.

UNESCO has developed a framework of Internet Universality indicators to assist governments and other stakeholders to assess their national Internet environments and develop policies to advance these Principles. These indicators, which are comparable to the Media Development Indicators adopted by UNESCO in 2008, are intended for use by governments and other stakeholders (from any group or sector) in interested countries where resources can be mobilised to undertake national assessments. The aim of applying the indicators is to identify achievements and gaps within a country in relation to Internet Universality, and to make appropriate recommendations concerning policy and practice. They are not intended to rank countries in comparison with one another.

The Internet Universality indicators have been developed through a process of desk research and consultation, undertaken by UNESCO with the support of a consortium which has been led by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and includes ict Development Associates, LIRNEasia and Research ICT Africa. The advice of the project’s Multistakeholder Advisory Board and of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has also been sought during the project.

The main indicators are set out in Chapters 4 to 8 of this report. Chapter 4 includes indicators concerned with Rights, Chapter 5 with Openness, Chapter 6 with Accessibility to All, Chapter 7 with Multistakeholder Participation, and Chapter 8 with Cross-Cutting Indicators. A set of contextual indicators is included in Chapter 3. A set of core indicators, drawn from those in Chapters 4 to 8, is included in Chapter 9.

The first phase of consultation, which lasted from 29 March to 31 October 2017, was concerned with general principles. That consultation included 24 face-to-face consultation meetings in 21 countries and attracted 165 written and online contributions. This report follows a second phase of consultation on a first draft of indicators which lasted from 1 December 2017 to 15 March 2018, included 12 face-to-face consultation meetings in 10 countries and attracted 148 written and online contributions. The draft indicators have been revised in light of this second consultation. Feasibility testing and part-piloting of the indicators will take place between May and August 2018. The final draft indicators will be considered in November 2018 by the International Council of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).