Networked Readiness Index vs. Human Development Index

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #30, March 2006

 

The World Economic Forum has released the Global Information Technology Report 2005-2006, being one of the more interesting outputs the Networked Readiness Index (NRI). A pity — like most cases — you have to pay to get the full report.

In open access you can find:

I’d usually finish here my post, but tickling is tickling.

I put in a table both the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) and the
Human Development Index (HDI). In another table, same NRI against the Education Index extracted from the HDI. And plotted a couple of graphics shown below.


NRI-HDI graphic

[click to enlarge]

On vertical axis, NRI. On horizontal axis, HDI. Main remarks:

  • Almost all countries with high NRI are above 0.8 HDI. And they behave in quite a similar way, with a progressive but quick adoption of ICTs the higher the HDI. Significative.
  • Notable exceptions: South Africa and India, the last two points on the left, with HDI among 0.6 and 0.7
  • Above (around) HDI = 0.6 and up, the tendency stays the same: steppy courve of adoption… but without adoption, as NRI is below 0. Some of them (HDI among 0.6 and 0.7) might be doing the effort of entering ICTs, but to their economies this is a real effort. Some of them (HDI above 0.8) should have their rules fired immediatly and replaced by other ones with better e-awareness (Bosnia and Herzegovina an exception for logical reasons of reconstruction).
  • Below HDI = 0.6, those countries with HDI below 0.6 they do have an opportunity to catch up with the potential train-misser ones (the ones with HDI above 0.6 but NRI below 0). Surely the effort would be worth doing it… in case it could be done. These countries are really poor (and most of the poorest don’t even show in the map as they were not counted when computing the NRI!).

NRI-EduI graphic

[click to enlarge]

On vertical axis, NRI. On horizontal axis, Education Index. I guess same analysis applies than in the previous graphic, though the dispersion is a little bit bigger. It seems as if education was not as important as power in adopting ICTs, as the whole cloud of points looks shifted leftwards some 0.05 in the index (but this could be explained as the HDI itself is 0.05 shifted upwards in relation to the Education Index).

All in all

  • Two tendencies: one in the road to ICTs adoption, one just left behind.
  • Two groups of countries under NRI under 0: one trying to, the other one completely abandoned to his luck.
  • One group of countries (high HDI, low NRI) that could have changed their status in the world scenario if they don’t success / try to catch the digital train.

Sincere thanks to my colleague Albert Padró-Solanet for valuable hints with stats.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2006) “Networked Readiness Index vs. Human Development Index” In ICTlogy, #30, March 2006. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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