A report on the Indicators Workshop held in New Delhi by LIRNEasia in collaboration with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is available here [PDF]. The report provides a review of international initiatives and best practices, examines some of the difficulties regarding standardising indicators across the region, the challenges of measurement and collection of indicator data and the process of developing an indicators manual for the South Asian region.
The process of developing a representative set of standardized ICT indicators for South Asia was started through a participatory process involving national regulatory agencies (NRAs), national statistical offices (NSOs), operator associations and operators who attended the Indicators Workshop between March 1-3 in New Delhi.
The workshop participants included representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka along with the foremost authorities on the subject from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) from the USA. With more than 60 participants from 16 countries, the Workshop was also attended by telecom researchers from the Asian region.
The overall objective of the indicator workshop was to initiate the first steps in collecting and reporting high quality indicator’s data from the telecom and ICT sectors in the South Asian region. The longer term objective was to develop a sustainable system whereby data being collected and reported by the various NRAs in the region would be updated in real-time in an online database accessible to data reporters from South Asia.
Through intensive discussions at the New Delhi workshop as well as in Gurgaon at a research planning meeting, a basic framework for developing a supply-side sector performance indicators manual was decided on, with input from international experts. In developing the framework, international best practices and regional requirements were considered. In the first instance, the manual would frame the methodology, concepts, definitions and standards for the indicators that will be collected for a six-country, multi-component study that LIRNEasia will conduct in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Subsequently, the draft manual will be presented at the second indicators workshop to be conducted in late 2006, for review and adoption by the South Asian NRAs (and possibly by the national data collectors).