Developing internet universality indicators

UNESCO’s project to define Internet Universality indicators aims to build a framework of indicators through which to assess levels of achievement, in individual countries and internationally, of the four fundamental principles included in the Internet Universality concept:

R – that the internet is based on human Rights
O – that it is Open
A – that it should be Accessible to all
M – that it is nurtured by Multistakeholder participation.

The indicators project draws on UNESCO’s experience with the Media Development Indicators (MDIs) which were adopted as part of the Organisation’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) in 2008. The MDIs have enabled a variety of stakeholders to undertake comprehensive assessments of national media environments against quantitative and qualitative indicators, monitoring different aspects of media development.

The indicators resulting from this project will not address every aspect of the internet, but will focus on the four R-O-A-M principles and cross-cutting issues including the impact of the internet on gender issues and on children and young people. They will help governments and other stakeholders assess their internet environments against those principles.

They will include both quantitative and qualitative indicators, enabling a comprehensive view to be taken of developments in countries with different experiences and different characteristics. Special attention will be paid in their development to gender issues and the impact of the internet on children and young people.

The indicators will be developed through an extensive programme of desk research and consultation.