Measuring Digital Opportunity


Work data:

Type of work: Report


e-Readiness | ICT Infrastructure


There are many different indices which rank the world's countries according to their level of ICT penetration or their ‘e-readiness’, but there is no agreement on what indicators to include or what methodology to use. To tackle this issue, a new methodology has been released for developing a composite Digital Opportunity Index (DOI).

As a proof-of-concept, the methodology has been applied to 40 leading economies, with Sweden, Denmark, South Korea, Switzerland and Hong Kong appearing in the top five. The DOI has been developed according to a modular methodology, so that it can be easily extended, adapted for national use, or used alongside other indices, such as the UNDP's Human Development Index. The proposed methodology is structured around eleven indicators in four clusters:

  • Affordability and coverage: mobile phone coverage and tariff baskets for mobiles and Internet access.
  • Access path and device: penetration of fixed-lines, mobile phones and PCs.
  • Infrastructure: fixed and mobile Internet subscribers and international Internet bandwidth per inhabitant.
  • Quality: penetration of fixed and mobile broadband subscribers

The report finds that there is a close relationship between each country’s DOI and its gross national income per capita. However, the report shows that a number of economies such as South Korea and Taiwan are doing much better in ICTs than their incomes would suggest, while countries such as Austria and the United States have lower DOI scores than it would be expected.

[abstract from Eldis]