UNESCO conducts four country-level pre-tests of the Internet Universality Indicators

02/07/2018

“The pre-test processes that took place in Brazil, Ecuador, Nigeria and Pakistan have helped UNESCO to identify challenges that may be faced by researchers using the Internet Indicators at country level, and have led to a revised version that is ready for piloting in coming months,” said Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO.

According to the pre-testing report submitted by the Regional Center for the Development of the Information Society (Cetic.br) and the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br): “The preliminary analysis of these indicators points to a positive perspective of application of the ROAM framework in Brazil, in terms of data availability, diversity and credibility of available data sources.”

The Brazilian report also provides recommendations on some of the indicators which could be redefined, excluded or further analyzed.

Based on the second draft of Internet Universality Indicators that were revised in light of the first and second of global consultations, UNESCO has now conducted scientific screening of the viability of the indicators in Brazil, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

The feedback has been synthesized into a new version of the indicators, in terms of methodology, data collection and indicators selection. A core set of the indicators will be piloted in several countries in July-August, after which a final revision will be carried out.

For the scientific screening of UNESCO’s Internet Universality Indicators, research teams followed a process of desk research, interviews and focus group discussions with government representatives, civil society groups, Internet specialists, telecom industries, academia, think tanks, and the media.

“In general, all contextual indicators are available. Most of them with directly produced national sources. In some cases, especially when specific indexes have been developed by international organizations, these indexes have been considered, since they have their own methodology,” says the preliminary report from Ecuador. Regarding diversity, the report suggests that “indicators on people with disabilities should be included and a broader perspective on gender diversity be incorporated”.

The scientific screening of the Indicators framework conducted in Pakistan demonstrates that “a complete investigation of the indicators could be extremely complex to undertake without important resources and without all interested actors involved. An assessment against the core indicators would be more feasible, especially as the issue related to data availability remains one of the biggest challenges for conducting national assessments in developing countries”.

Comments raised from these country-level pre-tests stress the importance of examining the indicators under different contexts before putting the framework into practical use. A pretest in Nigeria is still ongoing and more national feedbacks will follow and be incorporated into the final revision process.

The final indicators will be presented for consideration by the Intergovernmental Council of the UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) in November 2018.

More information regarding the project can be found at the following address: https://en.unesco.org/internetuniversality