Measuring the WSIS Targets. A statistical framework


Work data:

Type of work: Report


Digital Divide | e-Readiness | ICT Infrastructure | ICT4D | Information Society


The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Geneva Plan of Action identified ten targets to be achieved by 2015, along with numerous recommendations based on different action lines. In 2008, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) recommended that the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development track progress towards achievement of the WSIS goals and targets (Resolution 2008/3).

The Partnership has developed a set of core ICT indicators designed to monitor ICT developments (Partnership, 2010). They cover ICT infrastructure, household ICT access and individual use of ICT, business ICT use, the ICT sector, trade in ICT goods, and ICT in education. Work on defining core indicators on ICT in government is in its final stage.

A number of the core ICT indicators can be applied to measuring the ten WSIS targets. Other WSIS targets go beyond the areas covered so far by the Partnership’s core indicators and include targets on connecting health centres, libraries, post offices and scientific and research centres, and encouraging linguistic diversity and local content on the Internet. The WSIS outcome documents do not specify quantifiable indicators that could be applied to monitor progress. As a result, to date, no international framework has existed for measuring the WSIS targets.

ITU, in close collaboration with UIS, UNDESA and WHO started to work on a quantitative review of the WSIS targets in 2009 and identified a preliminary set of measurable indicators that could be applied by national and international stakeholders. The outcomes of this effort were presented in the publication World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report 2010: Monitoring the WSIS Targets (WTDR) (ITU, 2010a) launched in May 2010 at the WSIS Forum in Geneva. Following release of the WTDR 2010, the work on measuring the WSIS targets was brought under the umbrella of the Partnership, in particular through the creation of the Task Group on Measuring the WSIS Targets (TG WSIS).

The indicators to measure the WSIS targets were also presented in a dedicated session at the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators meeting (WTIM), which took place from 24‐26 November 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland.They were further discussed through the TG WSIS online discussion forum, which included 90 experts in the area of ICT measurement. This publication finalizes the work of the Task Group and other members of the online forum, by presenting a statistical framework and a set of indicators for measuring the WSIS targets. It elaborates on each indicator and presents relevant statistical standards, such as classifications, definitions and data sources.

The publication was prepared by Sheridan Roberts, a consultant to the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development. Substantive contributions were received from members of the TG WSIS, in particular, Vanessa Gray and Susan Teltscher from ITU, Misha Kay from WHO, Scarlett Fondeur Gil and Remi Lang from UNCTAD, Seema Hafeez from UNDESA and Elettra Ronchi from the OECD. Other major contributors were Claude Akpabie, Martin Schaaper and José Pessoa from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Daniel Pimienta from FUNREDES, Erick Iriarte Ahon from LACTLD, Joie Springer from UNESCO, Georgios Goumas from the UPU and Michael Minges, Lead Consultant, Useful comments were also received from other members of the discussion forum.

The production of the publication was coordinated and funded by ITU.