LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Measuring ICT Sector & Regulatory Performance

The rapid development of ICTs and the pervasive impacts of their deployment in many different aspects of society have brought to the foreground the need for new, improved and standardized indicators to measure performance of the ICT sector.

In order to make comparison between countries and regions meaningful, it is necessary to agree on and develop standardized ICT indicators. International partnership in developing ICT indicators is largely a product of the first phase of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). It is important to prioritize indicators that are appropriate for emerging Asia and to develop them with the participation of key stakeholders. Stakeholders have to weigh the relevance, cost and benefits of collecting data for individual indicators.

This project is a multi-component multi-country study which seeks to develop such indicators, that are relevant to the Asian context, through a participatory process involving national regulatory agencies (NRAs), national statistical offices (NSOs), operator associations and operators to ensure a representative set of indicators for the current ICT sector setting. Specifically, this project seeks to:

  • Develop a draft indicators manual with concepts, definitions and methodologies relevant for developing Asia;
  • Develop an accompanying report to address the more abstract conceptual framework within which the manual is embedded;
  • Apply the output from the indicators work in three South Asian and three South East Asian countries to improve both the indicators manual and report;
  • Conduct country studies in three in South Asian countries: India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and three South East Asian countries: Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, that include:
  • Telecom regulatory environment scorecard to assess regulatory performance
  • Analytical descriptions of reforms that have been implemented in the respective countries
  • Measurement of changes in sector performance, using the indicators being developed, with emphasis on effects on the poor
  • Input to and use of the results of the Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid research that will be conducted in parallel
  • Conduct a multi-country study that builds on the Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid 1(Teleuse@BOP1) project undertaken in 2005 and which emphasizes teleuse by the poor and by women.
  • Project Team: Harsha de Silva is developing the theoretical framework and is the lead consultant economist for the six country study. Divakar Goswami is the project coordinator. The Indicators Manual is being developed by Helani Galpaya. The country studies are being undertaken by two-person research teams that include one person from the study country and one from outside:
    India: Payal Malik & Lorraine Salazar
    Indonesia: Divakar Goswami
    Pakistan: Joseph Wilson Divakar Goswami
    Philippines: Lorraine Salazar & Joseph Wilson
    Sri Lanka: Malathy Knight-John & Payal Malik
    Thailand: Deunden Nikomborirak & Harsha de Silva

    The Teleuse on a Shoestring research is being led by Harsha de Silva, and coordinated by Ayesha Zainudeen.

    This project consists of four components:

    • Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Survey
    • Analytic Description of the Telecom Reform Process specific to the individual countries
    • Telecom and ICT Indicators (primarily supply side) collection
    • Teleuse on a Shoestring (demand side data collection) research

    The first three components are to be conducted in all six countries. Depending on the availability of resources, the demand-side Shoestring research (focusing on the poor and on women) will be conducted in 4-6 countries. This project will yield comparative data based on a common methodology. The findings from the study are expected to highlight the major differences and similarities between the six Asian countries.

    Six country study components

    Figure 1: Components of the study

    Useful insights will also be gained in comparing the findings from the different components within individual countries.

    It is envisaged that the conceptual work on indicators, the comparative analysis of regulatory performance and demand-side results will be developed into additional publications, presentations.

    Country reports available for download:

    Pakistan country report – Joseph Wilson
    India country report – Payal Malik
    Philippines country report – Lorraine Carlos Salazar
    Thailand country report – Deunden Nikomborirak
    Sri Lanka country report – Malathy Knight-John
    The Indonesia findings can be found in the following paper: Regulatory reforms and improved sector performance: A comparative analysis of Indonesia and India – Payal Malik and Divakar Goswami

    The analytical framework can be found in the following paper: Competition in whichever way drives growth: An analytical framework of ICT sector performance in emerging Asia – Harsha de Silva


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