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The ICT Development Index (IDI), which has been published annually since 2009, is a composite index that combines 11 indicators into one benchmark measure. It is used to monitor and compare developments in information and communication technology (ICT) between countries and over time.

The main objectives of the IDI are to measure:

  • the level and evolution over time of ICT developments within countries and the experience of those countries relative to others;
  • progress in ICT development in both developed and developing countries;
  • the digital divide, i.e. differences between countries in terms of their levels of ICT development; and
  • the development potential of ICTs and the extent to which countries can make use of them to enhance growth and development in the context of available capabilities and skills.

The Index is designed to be global and reflect changes taking place in countries at different levels of ICT development. It therefore relies on a limited set of data which can be established with reasonable confidence in countries at all levels of development.

Recognizing that ICTs can be development enablers is central to the IDI’s conceptual framework. The ICT development process, and a country’s evolution towards becoming an information society, can be depicted using the three-stage model illustrated in Figure 1:

  • Stage 1: ICT readiness – reflecting the level of networked infrastructure and access to ICTs;
  • Stage 2: ICT intensity – reflecting the level of use of ICTs in the society; and
  • Stage 3: ICT impact – reflecting the results/outcomes of more efficient and effective ICT use.

Figure 1: Three stages in the evolution towards an information society


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