indicators Archives — Page 3 of 3


The World Summit on the Information Society set several targets to be achieved by 2015 without specifying how they could be measured. The International Telecommunication Union has proposed four specific indicators that could measure progress made by countries toward the foundational Target 10, that of bringing ICTs within the reach of a majority of the world’s inhabitants. Two indicators are for mobile subscriptions and use, and two for Internet use by individuals and by households. Of the four, Indicators 1 and 3 currently exist, albeit with significant shortcomings. This paper proposes a modest improvement to the method of measuring Indicator 3, Internet users, which combines the existing supply-side data with available but incomplete demand-side data.
The ITU dataset is the mother lode, mined by all. But sometimes, it is good to interrogate the quality of what the ITU produces. The most recent instance of ITU data being subject to sophisticated analysis without any attention being paid to the quality of the data is by noted ICT4D scholar, Richard Heeks. In a previous essay, Heeks interrogated the numbers emanating from the ITU on “mobile subscriptions.” It is a pity the same was not done in the recent piece on Internet and broadband.

Mobile broadband definition fixed

Posted on August 4, 2010  /  0 Comments

We have long complained about the absurdity of some of the definitions used in the collection of ICT indicators. One of our favorite targets was the definition of mobile broadband subscribers in the 2007 Handbook, which was defined as terminal devices capable of accessing broadband networks, irrespective of how they were actually used. But now that dog is no longer available for kicking. The expert group appointed by the ITU has recently revised the definition. The 2010 handbook now defines the mobile broadband indicator as actual subscriptions.
Rohan Samarajiva, Ph.D. CEO of LIRNEasia will speak at the International Seminar on Information and Communication Technology Statistics , to be held from 19 – 21 July 2010 in Seoul, Korea, at the session ‘Enhancing ICT Data Availability.’ He will be speaking on ICT indicators: LIRNEasia’s perspective. An online version of the agenda can be viewed here.
I was invited to conduct a discussion at the Cabinet Office in Brasilia with senior government officials driving the Brazilian Broadband Policy that will shortly be announced. Representatives of the relevant ministries, ANATEL the regulatory agency, the public telecom operator and a local think tank participated in what proved to be a lively discussion. Given the policy was almost fully formulated, I decided to focus on performance indicators, a subject I was working on for both UNCTAD and one which had preoccupied me since the time I was a regulator. It is also a subject that LIRNEasia has developed considerable expertise in. My guess was correct.
e Sri Lanka, when designed in 2002-03, broke new ground. Now six years later, it seems opportune to assess whether it delivered on its promise. This assessment was triggered by discussions on how best to respond to the Brazilian government’s invitation to Helani Galpaya to share the learnings of e Sri Lanka. It also builds on our work on indicators and indices and discussions on this site. What did it achieve in its originally allotted five years?

Pakistan numbers come crashing down

Posted on October 15, 2008  /  0 Comments

It appears that we were all fooled by the PTA’s data collecting and reporting practices. It now appears that the overcount of mobile SIMs may be over 10 million! Mea culpa for having believed PTA numbers. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.