Experts, statisticians, and researchers in the field of measurement of information society met in the Jordanian capital last month to review the progress made in measuring the information society, particularly in the region. Organized by UN-ESCWA in collaboration with the Arab Regional Office of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistics (AITRS), the “Regional Workshop on Capacity-Building for Measurement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Indicators” was hosted by the Jordanian Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
The workshop covered areas that have shown significant progress in gathering statistics on the information society and collecting data relevant to ICT indicators and the digital divide. Discussions covered the best methods for creating a list of core indicators that is both appropriate to the Arab region and in accordance with global indicators developed by the “Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development”, ITU and other organizations. The workshop also addressed the need for Arab countries to develop their human and technical resources in indicators data collection, and discussed the necessary projects required to accomplish that.
For its part, UN-ESCWA reviewed the initiative it had launched to add core ICT indicators to the second revision of the Principles and Recommendations for Population and Household Censuses published by the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. It also discussed global trends in the measurement of information society indicators- based on the outputs of the WSIS meetings in Tunis and Geneva. The main features of the UN-ESCWA plan for capacity-building in information society statistics were outlined as well as the procedures undertaken so far and the resulting achievements on both a regional and international level.