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 Thursday, May 29, 2008

 

The report can be found at http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/LCW190_en.pdf.

 

MEETING TO GUIDE COUNTRIES IN GATHERING STATISTICS ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

Report on "Global Information Society: a Statistical View" to be launched at three-day conference

Developing countries will review standards for collecting statistics on computer, phone, and Internet use at a 27-29 May conference in Geneva designed to help them gather and use data on information and communication technology (ICT) to spur social and economic development.

The meeting, titled the 2008 Global Event on Measuring the Information Society, will take place at the Palais des Nations under the direction of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, whose members include UNCTAD.

During the conference, an important outcome will be the endorsement of a new core list of statistical indicators for measuring ICT use in education. In addition, the Partnership will launch its publication The Global Information Society: a Statistical View, which provides a summary of the current status of ICT measurement worldwide.

The Partnership´s report indicates, among other things, that there has been an increase in the collection of ICT data by developing countries but that more such nations need to incorporate ICT statistics into their regular statistical surveys -- that such information is vital for making effective decisions on linking national economies into global information networks and for taking advantage of the opportunities such technologies as the Internet offer for development.

The report notes that a major challenge to such progress is that while the per capita cost of joining ICT networks is low in industrialized nations, it is very high for the world´s least developed countries (LDCs)

Even a relative ICT success story in the developing world -- mobile phone use -- lags behind rates of use in developed nations, the report says. Mobile phone penetration increased dramatically in LDC economies, for example, between 1995 and 2006 -- from 0% to 10%. But these numbers are far below the level of 92% penetration in 2006 among developed countries.

Data on household access to and use of ICT is relatively scant, the report notes, but indicates a broad pattern of much higher connectivity in the developed world. Among the exceptions are the wealthier Asian economies, which have very high levels of broadband access by households.

In addition to UNCTAD, members of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development include the Institute for Statistics of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat); the World Bank; the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and the United Nations regional commissions for Africa (UNECA), Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Western Asia (UNESCWA), and Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC).

Source: UNCTAD Press Release PR/2008/010