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Measuring the Information Society: An Explorative Study of Existing Tools
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, 2007, 275-286 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The information society (IS) is a concept (sometimes controversial) whose existence has been championed as a development enabler. This has resulted in several initiatives geared towards policy making, strategy, and implementation of information and Communication Technologies (ICT) both in the developing and developed countries. These initiatives led to the formulation of various information society assessment tools at different levels as assessment is accepted as an important guide to more effective policy, strategy and further implementation of ICT. While the overall concept of measurement as a basis of evaluating and modifying policy and strategy is correct, the objectivity, relevance, and sufficiency of the tools as applied in different contexts is often questionable. In this paper, an explorative study of the information society theories and some of the existing assessment tools at both macro and micro-levels is given. The analysis involved identifying the motivation - the purpose for which the tool was developed; assessment features - what the tool measures; temporal concept - stage of ICT diffusion the tool measures; the approach to tool development; and the approach to measurement - how is it measured. According to our findings, a typical assessment exercise focuses on the technology/infrastructure, its increase in terms of availability, adoption, and use, and is descriptive in nature. Information society assessment is further challenged by the dynamic and complex nature of the field, data and change measure constraints. We propose that policy making and further implementation would benefit from and be better advised by measures that focus on the phenomenon (society) to which ICT is relevantly applied (i.e. within context); identifying change attributed to the ICT and depending on theory as their basis of development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. 275-286 p.
Keyword [en]
information society, assessment, development, policy, ICT, ICT4D
National Category
Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-12162ISBN: 9781905305544OAI: diva2:178682
ECIME 2007
Available from: 2008-01-17 Created: 2008-01-17 Last updated: 2011-07-05Bibliographically approved

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