What is it about?

In this paper, we devote attention to the Network Readiness Index, one of the most significant reports to support policymaking in leveraging digital technologies for economic development and social progress. Here, we identify critical indicators influencing the index's Economic and Social Impact categories. Moreover, we briefly analyze how the index addresses the ever-growing digital divide concerns.

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Why is it important?

By identifying impactful indicators, we build knowledge on the patterns within the NRI and support policymakers in prioritizing efforts for socio-economic development accruing from ICTs. Furthermore, we discuss important gaps within the NRI as improvement opportunities to increase the index's reliability and reach regarding recent debates around the digital divide.

Perspectives

Some of the concerns we raised are not exclusive to the NRI, though. For instance, our discussion on the overlook for race/ethnicity in the report could be also targeted to other major reports used for policy and research, as the case of, for instance, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. This is also not to say that we don't acknowledge the challenging task all teams face in the construction of all these indices. I hope this study does contribute to further debates, reflections, and analyses on how to build reliable and comprehensive instruments to guide policies that promote even access to opportunities presented by digitalization.

Diego S. Silva

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Are we ready to assess digital readiness? Exploring digital implications for social progress from the Network Readiness Index, Technology in Society, February 2022, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2022.101875.
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