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Expert Group Meeting on
Information and Communications Technology Indicators
Adoption and Data Collection

ICT Indicators in Education & E-Government
The Cabinet -- Information and Decision Support Center, Cairo 13-15 February 2007ı

Information Note | Click here to download the PDF version


The lack of a comprehensive comparable set of information and communications technology ıı(ICT) indicators poses a major obstacle to strategic decision-making, for instance in identifying ıpriority areas of policy action, assessing and revising ICT strategies, allocating resources, monitoring ıprogress, evaluating impacts, and benchmarking national/regional/global development of the ıinformation society. In recognition of that, the “Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development” ıdeveloped a list of core ICT indicators through an intensive global stocktaking process.ı ı The ıPartnership list is comprised of forty-two core ICT indicators under four categories: (a) ICT ıinfrastructure and access, (b) access to, and use of, ICT by households and individuals, (c) use of ICT ıby businesses, and (d) ICT sector and trade in ICT goods.ı ı The agreed-upon list was recognized at the ıı36th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission, held in New York, during 1-4 March 2005. ıHowever, the list was not intended to be a final list, as it does not cover all vital sectors of the ıinformation society;ı ı hence, the focus of the EGM on core indicators for use of ICT in education and ıliteracy and e-government readiness, as well as fostering the adoption and collection of data for these ıindicators in Western Asia and the Arab region.ı

This expert group meeting (EGM) follows-up on the outcomes of the Geneva and Tunis ıphases of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS),ı ı and on previous efforts by the ıUnited Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), the UNESCO ıInstitute for Statistics (UIS), and other members of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for ıDevelopment in the area of capacity building for measuring the information society.ı

In particular, the “Capacity-building Workshop on Information Society ııMeasurement: Core ıIndicators, Statistics, and Data ııCollection,” held in Beirut, during 7-10 June 2005, called for UIS to ıdevelop indicators on the use of ICT in education and literacy.ı ı Furthermore, UIS and UNESCWA ıorganized a session on core ICT indicators in education and e-government during the Partnership ıworkshop on “Measuring the Information Society” at the WSIS in Tunis. The EGM builds on the ıoutcomes of these two workshops.ı

Use of ICT in Education

This track is devoted to the measurement of use and impact of ICT in education. UIS will be ıpresenting a proposal for a core list of indicators for measuring the use of ICT in education. The ıproposal of UIS is based on a number of international projects with well-elaborated methodologies, ıapproaches, and definitions. In this sense, there are readily available data on the use of ICT in ıeducation, although some areas could still benefit from further discussion. These areas include the ımethodologies appropriate to different circumstances in different countries and/or regions, and the ıintermediate definitions so that school assessments and administrative data may be better targeted ıtowards measuring the usage of ICT in education. Specifically, the EGM will address the availability ıof data on the use of ICT in education, and country experience in collecting ICT and education data ıwith specific focus on issues such as sampling, design, etc, as well as the implementation of UNESCO ıhousehold-based literacy assessment survey LAMP, including its ICT module NOW, in particular with ıregards to the data it provides on household use of ICT, and the importance of its relationship to ıliteracy as a whole, e.g., computer literacy

As the proposal aims at determining a core set of international indicators, all countries may ıstill require a nationally, or regionally, determined broader set of indicators. The EGM will consider ıthe proposal of UIS for possible endorsement and adoption into the Partnership list of core ICT ıindicators. The proposed list will also be considered for harmonization with other national lists to ıestablish a preliminary regional list on the use of ICT in education. ı

True assessment of the impact of use of ICT in education is still unavailable. Lack of ıeducation has been recognized as one of the ten largest challenges facing the world.ı ı As the objective ıof education is to “equip people with the range of competencies – which includes both cognitive and ınon-cognitive skills, knowledge, and attitudes -- necessary to lead productive, fulfilling lives fully ıintegrated into their societies and communities,” the scope of the challenge of the lack of basic ıeducation may then be conceived as the failure of children to achieve mastery of the basic ıcompetencies necessary to strive in a modern knowledge-based economy. It is within this framework ıthat perhaps the impact of the use of ICT in education should be assessed and measured. Of particular ıinterest is the interplay between the proposed set of ICT indicators and those recommended by UIS for ıassessing the education characteristics for individuals in population censuses,ı ı and how they can be ıutilized to provide evidence needed for evaluating the feasibility and impact of education policies.ı

E-Government Readiness

This track will consider two interlinking activities aimed at the development of e-government ıin the region. On the one hand, the meeting will present a forum for disseminating case studies and ıpresenting proposals for indicators on the use of ICT in e-government and its readiness in the region, ıthus paving the way for establishing a preliminary regional list to start collecting data for these ıindicators. On the other hand, the meeting will provide a venue to involve interested stakeholders in a ıpreparatory meeting to debate the challenges and opportunities for progress of e-government in the ıregion, and discuss the compatibility of the concept of the e-government’s global model – connectivity ıto readiness to inclusion – in the region. The ideas and suggestions considered in this brainstorming ısession could be considered as an input to the conceptual framework of a regional report on e-ıgovernment readiness in the Arab States.


The EGM is organized by UNESCWA, UIS, Knowledge Management Branch, Division for ıPublic Administration and Development Management, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of ıthe United Nations (KMB/DPADM/UNDESA), and the Cabinet – Information and Decision Support ıCenter (IDSC), and will be held in Cairo from 13 to15 February 2007.ı


The EGM will be attended by decision makers, ICT experts, statisticians, and researchers in ıthe field of measurement of indicators in education and e-government, from UNESCWA and other ıArab countries, regional and international organizations, including members of the Partnership, and ıacademic and research institutions.


The working languages for the EGM are English and Arabic. Simultaneous translation from ıEnglish to Arabic and vice-versa will be provided.

Additional Information

Any inquiries or requests for ıadditional information regarding participation and substantive matters should be addressed to:

UNESCWA:ı Mr. Hesham A. Auda
ICT Applications Team Leader
ICT Division
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
PO Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon
Email: auda@un.org
Tel: +961-1-978554ı
Fax: +961-1-981510

UIS:ı Mr. Simon Ellis
Head of Special Projects
UNESCO Institute for Statistics
CP6128 Succursale centreville
Montreal H3C 3J7ı
Email: s.ellis@uis.unesco.org
Tel: +1-514-343-7757ı
Fax: +1-514-343-6872ı

UNDPADM:ı Ms. Elida Reci
Economic Affairs Officer
Knowledge Management Branch
Division for Public Administration and Development Management
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations
Two UN Plaza, Room DC2-1734ı
New York, NY 10017ı
Email: reci@un.org
Tel: +1-917-367-4082ı
Fax: +1-212-962-0522ı

Inquiries regarding logistics, including travel and accommodation, should be directed to:ı

UNESCWA: Ms. Sukaina Al-Nasrawi
Research Assistant
ICT Division
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
PO Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon
Email: al-nasrawi@un.org
Tel: +961-1-978546ı
Fax: +961-1-981510ı

IDSC: Ms. Naayem Saad Zhaghloul
Public Relations Department Manager
The Cabinet – Information and Decision Support Centerı
1, Magless El Shaab St., Cairo, Egypt
Email: nsaad@idsc.net.eg
Tel: +20-2-792-9292ı
Fax: +20-2-792-9222ı