UNESCO's Internet Universality Indicators

UNESCO releases final draft of the Internet Universality Indicators to be considered by the Intergovernmental Council of IPDC in November 2018

This document presents the final results of UNESCO’s project “Defining Internet Universality Indicators” for the consideration of the 31st session of the IPDC Council. The project describes the background and process to develop the indicators. The results contribute to reinforcing UNESCO’s priority program areas related to promote freedom of expression and media development in the digital age and universal access to information and knowledge, enriching UNESCO’s leadership contribution to global Internet governance and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Following the adoption of the Media Development Indicators (MDIs) as well as the Journalists’ Safety Indicators (JSIs), the project to define Internet Universality Indicators (IUIs) is part of UNESCO's ongoing response in support of decisions both by the IPDC and the Organization’s 38th session of the General Conference Resolution 56 “CONNECTing the Dots: Options for Future Action”: UNESCO’s role in Internet-related issues. The Outcome Document endorses UNESCO’s study “Keystones to foster inclusive knowledge societies” and the Internet Universality concept, and thus sets out a vision of the Internet which highlights the values and norms that underpin the Internet and supports achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

The project aims to build a framework of indicators through which to assess levels of achievement, in individual countries, of the four fundamental ROAM principles included in the concept of ‘Internet Universality’ which means that the Internet should be based on human Rights (R), should be Open (O), Accessible to all (A) and that it should be nurtured by Multistakeholder participation (M). Use of the indicators in any country is voluntary, and the indicators are not designed to rank countries nor make country comparisons.

In total, the final version of the ROAMX framework includes 303 indicators (including 110 core ones) developed under 6 categories, 25 themes, and 124 questions. On top of the ROAM categories, 79 cross-cutting Indicators (X category), were developed concerning gender and the needs of children and young people, sustainable development, trust and security, and legal and ethical aspects of the Internet. In addition, the framework includes 21 contextual indicators concerned with the demographic, social and economic characteristics of a country.

Sources for the indicators are also suggested in the final framework document. For each theme, this summarizes possible generic sources of quantitative and qualitative evidence, identifies relevant background documentation, and points to established international indices and other indicator frameworks that may be of value.

The final draft of the Internet Indicators released in October 2018 can be downloaded at the following address: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002658/265830e.pdf

Responses from the first online consultation are available here.

Responses from the second online consultation are available here.


General enquiries can be issued to UNESCO focal points, Ms Xianhong Hu (x.hu@unesco.org) and Mr. Josselyn Guillarmou (j.guillarmou@unesco.org).