Government officials and ICT experts recognized the progress made by countries in ICT development and discussed the future of ICT measurement at the ITU indicators symposium (WTIS), held in Tbilisi, Georgia, from November 24 – 26, 2014.
The symposium was opened by Prime Minister of Georgia Mr Irakli Garibashvili in the presence of the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development and Vice-Prime Minister of Georgia Mr George Kvirikashvili, Chairman of the Georgian National Communication Commission Mr Vakhtang Abashidze, ITU Deputy Secretary-General Mr Houlin Zhao, and Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Mr Brahima Sanou.
“ITU is committed to accompanying countries on their journey to universal access,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré. “ICT statistics provide clear indicators on progress in the sector and the Broadband Commission for Digital Development has helped countries set specific targets to establish a truly global information society.”
For the first time, ITU’s flagship statistics report, ‘Measuring the Information Society Report’ was launched at WTIS. The ICT Development Index country rankings were also announced at an award ceremony. Denmark ranked Number One in ITU’s ICT Development Index (IDI), a composite measurement that ranks 166 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills.
The IDI top 30-rankings include economies from Europe and from other regions including Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Japan, Macao (China), New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. Almost all countries surveyed improved their IDI ranking this year.
The Report was launched simultaneously on 24 November in Tbilisi, Georgia; Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia; Bangkok, Thailand; Brasilia, Brazil; and Cairo, Egypt.
Three days of discussions featured debates on the post-2015 development agenda and future priorities for ICT for development; big data and the future of ICT measurement; measuring competition, regulation and affordability of ICT services; and data quality assurance.
Participants stressed the critical role that ICTs play in achieving sustainable development goals. They discussed the new post-2015 priorities for ICT policy and the overall role of ICTs in the post-2015 development agenda.
Panellists also focused on the role of big data for future ICT measurement and stressed the huge possibilities offered by big data for new ICT indicators.
“Year after year, this event is getting bigger and better,” said Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “This shows the increasing importance of measuring the information society and the role of ICTs in the post-2015 development agenda.”
At a ceremony held on 26 November, the Government of Japan offered to host WTIS 2015.
The three-day symposium is the main international forum to discuss ICT statistics. Organized by ITU, and hosted this year by the Government of Georgia, the event welcomed around 250 participants, including Ministers, Vice-Ministers and Directors-General and leaders from business, academia and the United Nations.