In the International Workshop “Towards a European Approach for Monitoring eInclusion” that took place last June 21st in Brussels — I wasn’t there, but the Internet was — Tobias Hüsing presented “The Digital Divide Index. Exploiting cross national survey data to quantify levels of e-exclusion”.
One of the most relevant aspects in his presentation is the birth (!?) of the eInclusion Index (eIIx). The index is also called “the Riga Index” in honour to the Ministerial Declaration on e-Inclusion signed on June 12th 2006 (not to be tanken for the Riga Declaration on the fight against money laundering). What this eIIx index will focus is in the groups in risk of e-exclusion. Thus, some of the variables from DiDix are taken apart to build this new eIIx and show what Riga is stressing. The problem is that a lot of data is missing as Riga definitions don’t exactly match those chosen by DiDix, thus the conclusion being that there’s a “need for analytical monitoring”, which I totally agree with.
Just a year ago I posted about my PhD dissertation (last step towards the thesis) and uploaded it here:
with abstract and full text in a 1.1 Mb PDF licencesed under a Creative Commons by-nc-nd license. Yesterday the paper reached 6,000 downloads. Besides the paper, I have now 22 more references including all kind of articles and presentations, sometimes full text, sometimes the presentations, sometimes just the reference. Indeed, there are about 200 pages in the Wiki, more than 600 entries (authors and works) in the ICT4D Bibliography and 4 full text online educational resources at the ICT4D Courses repository. The blog has almost 400 total entries (including pages) and somewhere in the past it became a review with its own real ISSN: 1886-5208.
In October that’ll be 3 years with the site, that has become a real personal research portal, quite far in concept from the original blog. Next steps should be entering a new stage in the publication of the review, setting a board of editors, concrete fields of work, etc. Homework for my holidays. Any ideas will be welcome.
New report developed by the International Telecommunication Union, the UNCTAD, the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Republic of Korea and the Agency for Digital Opportunity & Promotion (KADO).
This report charts progress towards the Information Society, in response to the call by the WSIS Geneva Plan of Action, for evaluation and international benchmarking, as well as the need for monitoring of WSIS follow-up and implementation (noted in the WSIS outcome documents). It evaluates access to telecommunications and digital opportunity in 180 economies worldwide in the context of the WSIS targets and Millennium Development Goals. It presents the Digital Opportunity Index, as called for by the WSIS Geneva Plan of Action, paragraph 28, and considers the policy implications for the further evolution of the Information Society. It reviews WSIS implementation and follow-up in different countries, and considers efforts to promote ICT development. It also presents the latest available data on 180 economies worldwide.
It is intended that the “The World Information Society Report” will be an annual publication.
So, it seems that the transition from the Digital Access Index and the Digital Opportunity Index has been done. Nevertheless, looking at who is backing the new report and, hence, the DOI, I guess there’s still some time until the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development becomes really functional. I suppose it’s likely that next edition will be signed by the Partnership in its whole.
Digital Opportunity Index 2005. Source: World Information Society Report 2006
[click to enlarge]
The main two reflections that come to mind — besides the most evident about the digital divide and wealth distribution/opportunity-to-access in the world — are:
- There’s a urgent need to stablish an index covering the whole range of the digital divide and not just infrastructures: digital literacy, content and services use and policy, legal framework.
- Disturbing content and Diverted to bad sites stands for only 7% of the greatest online fears, being cibercrime (in its many faces) up to 91%. This makes me think about the unbalanced efforts made in censorship apps, filters and regulation by paternalist Governments in front of the real needs as perceived by users.
The Millennium Development Goals Report 2006 has just been released and the main conclusion is “well… errrr… we’ve not accomplished almost anyhting… some things have indeed worsened… but, hey, let’s give a positive and optimist message that there’s some change to move into the right path”.
Concerning ICT’s and ICT4D it is evident that, actually, there’s an increasing adoption of these technologies at all levels:
Proportion of world population with telephone subscriptions, personal computers and internet connections, 1990-2004 (Percentage). Source: Millennium Development Goals Report 2006
But I’m “glad” to read that:
[there is] a large digital divide separating developed and developing
regions: Over half the population in developed regions had access to the Internet, compared to 7 per cent in developing regions and less than 1 per cent in the 50 least developed countries.
Of course I’m not “glad” to read that there is a digital divide, but that at least someone recognizes it exists and, regardless of the fact that in relative terms the divide has decreased, in practical terms it is so huuuuuuge that shame on you for sticking to righteous-and-oh-so-formally-correct statistical data interpretation. This is something I wrote about in my post
World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report 2006: digital divide narrowing? and feel comforted to see that I’m not the only one looking at it this way.
Update #2: Cancelled!
I’ve been invited by Professor Santiago Cavanillas (Centre of Law and Computer Studies of the Balearic Islands) to give a seminar in the course Mirades sobre Internet. Un curs polifacètic «per a tots els públics» [A look on the Internet. A course-for-all approach] scheduled in 2006 edition of the Universitat Internacional de Menorca Illa del Rei.
My speech is on Monday September 11th, 2006, at the Claustre del Carme de Maó (Menorca), it is entitled simply The Digital Divide at it is likely to deal with same issues as my previous seminars The Digital Divides or the third industrial revolution: concepts and figures or From e-Readiness to e-Awareness (or the way back).
More info on those past seminars: