“This second version of the draft Internet Universality Indicators has been revised and improved thanks to the contributions submitted during the six months of the consultation on the first draft,” said Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO.
“Since the beginning of the project, including the initial phase of canvassing key issues, over 2000 experts have been consulted, increasing the quality and legitimacy of the indicators,” he added.
During the recent online consultation on the draft indicators, UNESCO received more than 150 contributions from 54 countries. A total of 136 comments were also posted on a dedicated interactive document portal supported by the APC Consortium, which was contracted by UNESCO to help in developing the indicators.
All responses to the first version of the draft indicators can be found online at the following address: https://en.unesco.org/internetuniversality/second-consultation-results.
In parallel to the online feedback, eight consultation meetings and workshops on the draft indicators were convened for face-to-face discussion in 10 countries, including in Egypt, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, France, Canada, Brazil, USA, Tunisia, UK, and Ghana.
There have also been four regional consultation forums that UNESCO held alongside the North African and African Internet Governance Forum in Egypt; at the Global Voices Summit 2017 in Sri Lanka; the Regional Consultation Forum in Latin America in Brazil; and the Regional Consultation Forum in the Arab States in Tunisia.
The second version of the draft Internet Universality Indicators has drawn upon this comprehensive consultation process. The new version is currently being scientifically screened by experts in different countries, to consider the validity of the indicators in terms of whether there are indeed available data and methodologies to gather evidence at national level.
“The pre-test process now underway will identify challenges that may be faced by researchers, and will suggest further improvements to the indicators,” said Berger. “After this concludes, a third and penultimate version of the indicators will be developed for piloting in a number of countries.”
Based on the actual piloting experience, the indicators will be revised a final time, and then presented for consideration by the Intergovernmental Council of the UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) during November 2018.
The Internet Universality indicators are intended as a research tool for stakeholders to gather evidence to assess national Internet frameworks, particularly in UNESCO’s mandate areas, to increase understanding of the national Internet environment, and to provide an evidence base for policymaking by governments and other stakeholders.
They have been developed around five categories embedded in the concept of Internet Universality and the ROAM principles, which advocate for an Internet based on human Rights, that is Open, Accessible to all, and nurtured by Multistakeholder participation. Each category is divided into several themes dealing with different aspects of the Internet, including freedom of expression, privacy, open data, connectivity, affordability, Internet governance, gender, trust and security.
The second version of the Indicators can be found online at the following address: https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/unesco_internet_universality_indicators_second_version.pdf. All important information and updates regarding the project can be found online at the following address: https://en.unesco.org/internetuniversality.