This report on the information policy indicators reflects the key requirements for assessing national information policies, the telecommunication networks, the public- private partnerships and legislation and regulatory mechanisms that support information creation and dissemination, and the means by which they can be verified in building epistemic societies.
The scope of information policy is broad. For the purposes of this report, information policy can be defined as the collection of policies and strategies that are designed to promote the development of a better-managed information society. These policies include, but extend beyond, those that are concerned with processes, management, promotion and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The need for building a knowledge-based society requires significant contributions from its stakeholders – governments, communities, businesses, civil society and international organizations among others. The role of policy makers is critical because it involves an ability to assess the demands of the stakeholders objectively, equitably and cost-effectively, and, above all, create systems of governance that ensure stability, predictability, rule of law, and fair competition that open up avenues for investments from the private sector and international organizations
Across the Asia-Pacific region there has been a steady development in the information policies that support the information sector. This sector is expected to grow – incrementally in those countries that have been early starters, and exponentially among those who started later – if policies keep abreast of needs. As such, government initiatives are seen in the establishment of information/ICT ministries at the apex level and/or departments in others. In most of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, the acquisition of technology, creation of infrastructure and improving the quality of human resources are significant engagements, but a lot has yet to be achieved. Lesser-developed countries like Bhutan, Lao PDR, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan, among others, appear to be putting together blueprints for the development of information sectors.
It may be noted that despite low levels of socio-economic development and grappling with problems of widespread poverty, social unrest, political instability and economic distress, there appears to be a desire to build and expand information systems/networks in a majority of countries through concerted government policies, infrastructure development and international support.
This report focuses on assessing country information policies on seven broad dimensions in the context of achieving the goals of information-based societies. These cover (a) overall national policies; (b) telecommunications infrastructure and networks; (c) the content and delivery of information; (d) the information industries in the public and private sectors; (e) legal and regulatory frameworks; and (f) the skills and competencies of human resources – providers and consumers.