The Digital Opportunity Index is an
e-index based on internationally-agreed ICT indicators. This makes it a valuable
tool for benchmarking the most important indicators for measuring the
Information Society. The DOI is a standard tool that governments, operators,
development agencies, researchers and others can use to measure the digital
divide and compare ICT performance within and across countries.
The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI)
is based on 11 ICT indicators, grouped in 3 clusters: opportunity,
infrastructure and utilization. The DOI has been compiled for 181 economies for
a period of three years from 2004-2006. An even longer time series for 62
leading economies for the period 2000-2006 is also available.
Note: The index ranges between 1 and 0,
where 1 would be complete digital opportunity.
World Information Society Report 2007: Beyond WSIS.
A working methodology was developed and
presented at the
WSIS Thematic Meeting on Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships for Bridging the Digital
Divide held in Seoul on 23-24 June 2005. It outlined a methodology for
the DOI, and analyzed 2003 data for 40 economies.
As a composite index, the DOI allows the tracking
and comparison of countries in different aspects of the Information Society. It
measures countries’ ICT capabilities in infrastructure, access path and device,
affordability and coverage, and quality.
The Geneva phase of the
World Summit on the
Information Society called for the creation of a composite Digital Opportunity
Index. In considering what such an index should comprise, it is useful to think
about what digital opportunity means. In an ideal world, digital opportunity
The whole population having easy access to
ICTs at affordable prices;
All homes equipped with ICT devices;
All citizens having mobile ICT devices;
and Everyone using broadband.
The Digital Opportunity Index measures these
aspects, including price and affordability of ICTs (Internet and mobile,
relative to average income. The Digital Opportunity Index measures the ICT
penetration of households and individuals relative to 100% ownership, to measure
growth in the ICT development of each economy over time. This enables
cross-country comparisons, as well as comparisons of growth in digital
opportunity over time.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
are fundamentally changing how firms do business and how countries compete in
the new ‘information economy’. This shift, and the rapid evolution of these
technologies, led to concerns among economists and the international community
that developing countries are being left behind in the emerging Information
Society – not just in basic infrastructure, but in their abilities to compete in
service industries, experience, and skilled labor.
World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS), a UN Summit organized by the International
Telecommunication Union in a unique two-phase format (Geneva 2003, Tunis 2005),
governments and world leaders made a strong commitment towards building a
people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society for all,
where everyone can access, utilize and share information and knowledge. WSIS has
identified the need to measure the advances made in breaching the digital divide
and in promoting the broad development goals included in the
United Nations Millennium Declaration
through increased access and use of
In the spirit of the
Development Goals, the WSIS implementation seeks to connect villages,
schools, hospitals and libraries, and to ensure that over half of the world’s
population has access to ICTs by 2015. In order to achieve this, it is essential
to identify policies that have successfully promoted access to ICTs, policies
that are less effective, and to track progress towards these goals. To this end,
WSIS Plan of Action
prioritizes evaluation and tracking of countries’
progress in adopting ICTs by establish a composite “Digital Opportunity Index”
to track each country’s evolution towards the Information Society.
The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) was endorsed
Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted during the Tunis Phase of
WSIS. Accordingly to para 117 of the Agenda, which encourages the further
development of indicators in a “collaborative, cost-effective and
non-duplicative fashion”, the
Opportunity Platform mobilized and coordinated efforts for further
developing the DOI as a tool for better measurement of the digital divide, as a
part of the ongoing work on the WSIS implementation. The Index was developed in
close collaboration with the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion
(KADO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).