IGF 2021 WS #86 A Toolkit to Measure and Shape an Inclusive Digital Economy

Time
Wednesday, 8th December, 2021 (10:15 UTC) - Wednesday, 8th December, 2021 (11:45 UTC)
Room
Conference Room 1+2

Organizer 1: Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Speaker 1: Dominik Rozkrut, Government, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: Mark Uhrbach, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Nagwa El Shenawy, Government, African Group
Speaker 4: Alexandre Barbosa, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5: Igor Perisic, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 6: Molly Lesher, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Format

Round Table - Circle - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Economic and social inclusion and sustainable development: What is the relationship between digital policy and development and the established international frameworks for social and economic inclusion set out in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in treaties such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Conventions on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, on the Rights of the Child, and on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? How do policy makers and other stakeholders effectively connect these global instruments and interpretations to national contexts?
Promoting equitable development and preventing harm: How can we make use of digital technologies to promote more equitable and peaceful societies that are inclusive, resilient and sustainable? How can we make sure that digital technologies are not developed and used for harmful purposes? What values and norms should guide the development and use of technologies to enable this?

A solid evidence base grounded in statistics is essential to assessing the degree of economic and social inclusion in a country and formulating policies in response. The Going Digital Toolkit (“the Toolkit” - https://goingdigital.oecd.org/) is an online tool that helps to provide this evidence base as well as innovative policy practices and advice. Data exploration and visualisation are key features of the Toolkit.

The Toolkit is structured along the lines of the OECD Going Digital Integrated Policy Framework. This framework includes seven policy dimensions – Access, Use, Innovation, Jobs, Society, Trust and Market Openness – that need to be co-ordinated to shape an inclusive digital economy and society. The Toolkit maps a core set of indicators to each of these policy dimensions as well as to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and allows users to explore these data interactively to assess and compare countries’ digital development.

This workshop would discuss measuring economic and social inclusion from a digital perspective, which is in many cases still uncharted territory. In addition to informing stakeholders about the indicators already on the Toolkit, this event will explore ways to further enrich the indicators going forward – in particular with respect to trust (especially privacy and security) and societal inclusion (such as misinformation, which can contribute to social instability). This is crucial because the societal effects of digital technologies are complex and involve both opportunities and challenges for overall well-being.

SDGs

4. Quality Education
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Production and Consumption
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: The Going Digital Toolkit explicitly maps its indicators to the UN SDGs: https://goingdigital.oecd.org/theme/9. Thus, one can see at a glance country progress toward attaining these goals.

Description:

Co-sponsored workshop by Statistics Poland and the OECD

Measuring digital transformation - including its impact on economic and social inclusion - is in many cases still uncharted territory. This workshop will explore ways to further enrich existing indicators on economic and social inclusion from a digital perspective – in particular with respect to trust (especially privacy and security) and societal inclusion (such as misinformation, which can contribute to social instability). This is crucial because the societal effects of digital technologies are complex and involve both opportunities and challenges for overall well-being. The online and interactive Going Digital Toolkit ("the Toolkit") will be a point of departure for the discussions.

This event would explicitly address the following IGF 2021 themes:

• Trust, security, and stability. The Toolkit includes indicators related to Trust, including metrics on security, privacy and consumer protection in online environments. A forward-looking discussion of misinformation – including how to define and measure it – would contribute to the social stability theme. • Environmental sustainability and climate change. The Toolkit includes indicators of the air pollution from digital-intensive sectors as well as e-waste, allowing countries to benchmark progress in this area. • Universal access and meaningful connectivity. The Toolkit includes indicators of Access, including metrics that not only assess access to connectivity itself for different groups in society, but also the disparity in broadband uptake between rural and urban households.

More broadly, the Toolkit includes indicators on the effects of digital transformation on growth and well-being, including indicators of digital-intensive sectors’ contribution to growth and the link between digital technologies on mental health. There are also Toolkit resources aimed at better measuring well-being from a digital perspective. Further, the workshop would examine the potential to develop new and better indicators across the IGF themes and other areas.

The workshop would ideally take place in two main parts:

• Part 1, which would focus on scene setting, presenting the Toolkit, and strategic measurement priorities for the global digital policy community. • Part 2, which would focus on concrete areas where the measurement community can advance the Toolkit and the digital measurement agenda more broadly, including the development of new and robust metrics of the societal impact of digital transformation using non-traditional data collection methods.

Keynote • Mr. Dominik Rozkrut, President of Statistics Poland

Participants • Mr. Igor Perisic, Chief Data Officer, LinkedIn • Ms. Molly Lesher, Senior Digital Economist and Going Digital Toolkit co-creator, OECD • Mr. Mark Uhrbach, Chief – Digital Economy Metrics, Statistics Canada and Chair of the OECD Working Party on Measuring and Analysing the Digital Economy • Mr. Alexandre Barbosa, Head of the Regional Centre of Studies on Information and Communication Technologies (Cetic.br) • Ms. Nagwa El Shenawy, Undersecretary for Information and Decision Support, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Egypt • Ms. Arpitha Desai, Masters candidate at the Fletcher School

Expected Outcomes

Expected outcomes include an indentification of concrete areas in which the measurement community can advance the Toolkit and the digital measurement agenda more broadly, including the development of new and robust metrics of the societal impact of digital transformation using non-traditional data collection methods. Ultimately, such new metrics would contribute to better policymaking.

The event aims to be interactive. To encourage interactivity with the audience, a Doodle poll will be sent in advance to participants to: 1) prioritise specific measurement areas, and 2) crowdsource concrete ways in which collaboration can happen on new indicators. The Toolkit itself is a live and interactive platform which could be used during the event to spur discussion and interaction with the audience. With respect to the speakers, Igor Perisic (Chief Data Officer from LinkedIn) will be asked to respond to the key note speech by Dominik Rozkrut (President of Statistics Poland). Hearing these two different perspectives (Head of a national statistical Office which is responsible for official statistics and a private company which uses non-traditional methods for data collection) will be very interesting and create a good dynamic in the group.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: The Going Digital Toolkit is accessible on mobile devices. We may ask the audience to open the Toolkit on their phones and react to specific questions about the indicators. For example, an interesting question to the audience could be: If you look at the "Growth and Well-being" indicators on the Toolkit, which one is most important and why? What is missing? https://goingdigital.oecd.org/theme/9

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Measuring the societal impacts of digital transformation is very challenging, but innovative data collection techniques (e.g. apps) and surveys traditionally not used to measure digital transformation (e.g. the Census) can be used to complement existing ICT use surveys to provide new insights. Mis- and disinformation emerged as a key area that needs better measurement.

Policymakers increasingly require more disaggregated data, particularly related to gender, age, income and firm size. Keeping up with this demand and still producing quality and comparable data is a major challenge going forward.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

The multistakeholder community must work together to provide “data stewardship”. That is, private companies, governments and civil society all have a role in helping ensure that data on the societal impacts of digital transformation are shared responsibly.

Countries are making innovative strides in measuring various societal impacts of the digital transformation (e.g. social cohesion and targeted “quick response” surveys), but they are often incompatible with each other. International organisations like the OECD should produce definitions and tools such as model surveys to help countries produce harmonised and cross-country comparable statistics.

Session Report (* deadline Monday 20 December) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

Ms. Molly Lesher, OECD Senior Digital Economist, opened the workshop and gave scene-setting remarks. She suggested that understanding the impacts of digital technologies on people’s overall well-being is one of the most important issues of our time and, while difficult to assess, something that the multi-stakeholder community needs to get right so that nobody is left behind as digital transformation progresses. She highlighted the purpose of the workshop – that is, to brainstorm on the key priority issues the international statistical community should focus on with respect to bridging digital divides of all kinds so that our economies and societies become more inclusive.

In this context, she invited all participants to contribute in the zoom chat their views on what – from a digital perspective – is the single most important issue we face today in terms of making our economies and societies more inclusive. The following issues were identified: Disinformation, the digital gender divide, access to affordable broadband, measurement frameworks, media competence and sovereignty in using digital technologies, digital divides, measurement of artificial intelligence (AI), and digital skills.

Ms. Lesher introduced the OECD Going Digital Toolkit, which includes a core set of indicators to help country’s assess their state of digital development and is structured along the lines of the OECD Going Digital Integrated Policy Framework. The Framework) includes seven dimensions:

  • Access to data, communications infrastructure and services,
  • Effective Use of digital technologies and data by people, firms and governments,
  • Innovation, which pushes out the frontier of what is possible in the digital age, driving job creation, productivity and sustainable growth,
  • Jobs, which highlights that as labour markets evolve, we must ensure that digital transformation leads to more and better jobs and to facilitate just transitions from one job to the next.
  • Society, which reflects the fact that digital technologies affect society in complex and interrelated ways, and all stakeholders must work together to balance benefits and risks.
  • Trust in digital environments, because without trust nobody will use digital technologies.
  • Market Openness, which creates an enabling environment for digital transformation to flourish.

Mr. Dominik Rozkrut, President of Statistics Poland, then gave keynote remarks on Poland’s efforts to measure the “inclusive” aspects of digital transformation. Mr. Rozkrut underscored the importance of ICT use surveys in producing cross-country comparable statistics. He also highlighted complementary domestic approaches, including a recent social cohesion survey in Poland that addressed some aspects of trust and subjective well-being from a digital perspective. He suggested that linking different surveys could yield important insights. He also noted that Poland implemented a census during the pandemic which interestingly also yielded insights about the Polish population’s use of digital technologies and their impacts. He further highlighted the need to work together to facilitate access to new data sources, particularly with respect to privately held data and the need for “data stewardship” at the European level. He responded to a question about how international co-operation can push forward the digital measurement agenda (e.g. through the development of model surveys and related tools).

The workshop then moved into the panel discussion, which was kicked off by Ms. Nagwa El Shenawy, Undersecretary for Information and Decision Support in the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Egypt. Ms. El Shenawy informed the participants about work in Egypt to measure digital gender gaps and develop policies to support the inclusion of women and girls in the technology sector. In particular, she highlighted Egypt’s “ICT for Women and Girls” programme that offers education and training resources as well as hackathons to encourage female entrepreneurship. Ms. El Shenawy also highlighted three priority sectors for Egypt: 1) agriculture, 2) manufacturing and 3) the ICT sector, with artificial intelligence being a particular technology of interest. She also underscored the importance of connectivity in rural areas, which is a challenge Egypt is making strides to address. She responded to a participant question about the digital maturity of small and medium enterprises by highlighting the efforts Egypt is making to prepare tertiary graduates with AI-related skills, which will help entrepreneurs in the ICT sector.

Mr. Mark Uhrbach, Chief – Digital Economy Metrics, Statistics Canada, informed participants about Canada’s efforts to measure well-being, both domestically and internationally. He highlighted the recent results from Canada’s Internet use survey, which attempts to measure victimisation online as well as other subjective measures of well-being in the digital age. He noted that Canada used the results from the survey to conduct correlational analysis, and that a new app-based survey tool has been deployed to try to measure disinformation. He underscored that data collection approaches need to evolve beyond traditional survey techniques, and that he hopes the app-based tool will be useful in this regard. Mr. Uhrbach responded to a question about the policy impact of subjective well-being measures in Canada (e.g. by describing how the measurement results feed into policy analysis and development).

Mr. Alexandre Barbosa, Head of the Regional Centre of Studies on Information and Communication Technologies (Cetic.br), provided the last intervention of the panel. He discussed Brazil’s efforts to measure the societal impacts of digital transformation. He noted that Cetic.br has been producing regular ICT statistics since 2005, covering a wide range of areas such as households, enterprises, government, education, health, culture, among others. He underscored that Brazil is facing an increasing demand for high quality, timely and disaggregated data to support policymaking, but that data gaps may hamper evidence-based policies, particularly for new and emerging technologies, such as AI, or on new issues such as trust on the online environment, privacy and data protection. He responded to a question about innovative data collection approaches (i.e. the use of electronic questionnaires).

Ms. Lesher noted that the OECD is undertaking work to understand better misinformation, disinformation and other forms of untruths that circulate online, and that this work includes a new typology of untruths online, in part with a view to try to measure this phenomenon. This issue was of great interest to the panellists and audience, who all intervened to mention efforts underway to measure this (Canada) and important issue to consider (Poland, Brazil, Egypt and online participants). The discussion was active and robust, and the workshop had to close for lack of time.