There is so much wrong with the IDI. It gives a higher ICT development rank to Cuba (106) and Zimbabwe (115) well ahead of India (119). I ridiculed the predecessor of the IDI in the past, but they keep churning it out unfazed and people keep paying attention, which then causes me to pay attention too. There was even a fuss in the Bangladesh media about how that esteemed country managed to get itself excluded from IDI coverage in 2012. Few months back I promised to analyze the S Asian IDI rankings in more detail, so here goes.
The e-readiness rankings are relatively well regarded and do not contain absurdities such as Zimbabwe being ahead of India. The latest rankings are out and show India and the Philippines tied for 54th place (a one-place drop for India); Sri Lanka at 61 (dropping two places); and Pakistan at 63 (up four places and likely to catch up with Sri Lanka soon). Indonesia, another country of focus for LIRNEasia, has slipped 5 places to 67. Zimbabwe, the country that leads all of South Asia according to the ITU, is not in the top- 70 that is provided. Nigeria, on the other hand, is just behind Sri Lanka, at 62.
The ITU has just released Measuring the Information Society 2007: ICT Opportunity Index and World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators. This report includes the annual data on basic telecom indicators, which many rely on for research, writing and policy formulation. Contrary to the title, the data are from 2005, but still, this is one of the few sources of comprehensive data where all countries are represented. This particular report also ranks countries by something called the ICT Opportunity Index. According to this ranking, Zimbabwe (Rank = 127) has greater ICT opportunities than Pakistan (139), India (133) and Sri Lanka (128).