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 Monday, September 18, 2006

"Chapter One: A Summit for Building the Information Society" outlines the background to the World Information Society Report (WISR). It sets out the background to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in the origins, aims and achievements of the Summit. In particular, it considers the call by member governments for an effective means and methodology for follow-up to monitor progress in building the Information Society through implementation of the Summit's recommendations.

The Geneva Plan of Action calls for a composite ICT Development (Digital Opportunity) Index to be published annually, or every two years, in a report on ICT development to clarify the magnitude of the digital divide in both its domestic and international dimensions.

Chapter One of the WISR reviews WSIS implementation since the Summit concluded in Tunis in November 2005, and explains why composite indices give a more complete picture of the development of the Information Society in any given economy than a single indicator. It gives an overview of the main composite Indices for measuring Digital Opportunity, and how they differ. It concludes by explaining the main virtues of the Digital Opportunity Index, especially for developing countries: it evaluates digital opportunity in 180 countries, the most of any index published to date; it is based on standard indicators (as defined by the Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development); it uses objective data rather than survey data; it can be split into its fixed and mobile components, so developing countries can be measured on the basis of their strengths; it uses household penetration data (which favour developing countries, on the basis of their large average household size); and it is simple and easy-to-use.

"Chapter One: A Summit for Building the Information Society" of the World Information Society Report can be downloaded for free here.