4. Indicators of Internet Impacts

This chapter begins by describing a framework, presented in terms of Internet supply and demand, in which a discussion of the impacts of the Internet can be understood. Indicators are then offered to-help analyze possible direct and indirect impacts of the Internet. The indicators are intended as tools, with different indicators useful for different analyses. Thus, a development agency, an investor, or a local policymaker likely would each use different sets of indicators. As noted in the Introduction, the indicators suggested in this report were developed in the African context and in particular based on the committee's field research in Senegal and Ghana and to a lesser extent Kenya. However, the indicators are intended to apply to other countries as well. All of the indicators are presented in tabular format in Appendix C.

FRAMEWORK OF INTERNET SUPPLY AND DEMAND

The supply side refers to the Internet service providers (ISPs) themselves and the services they offer. In Ghana and Senegal there are both commercial providers and nonprofit organizations providing Internet access to individuals and organizations. The supply side also refers to the environment in which ISPs operate. This environment includes governmental policies and regulations, the country's telecommunications infrastructure, and the general environment that affects the offer and use of Internet services, such as economic conditions, level of education and literacy, and population characteristics.

The demand side includes those who use Internet services—for example, individuals and organizations—and the way in which Internet services are used and the factors that affect their use. The demand side also refers to impacts on formal organizations such as schools, government agencies, and private enterprises. Each of these organizations serves other societal goals (e.g., improving the level and quality of education, governance, private-sector development), which in turn can be affected by Internet use by the organizations.



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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet 4. Indicators of Internet Impacts This chapter begins by describing a framework, presented in terms of Internet supply and demand, in which a discussion of the impacts of the Internet can be understood. Indicators are then offered to-help analyze possible direct and indirect impacts of the Internet. The indicators are intended as tools, with different indicators useful for different analyses. Thus, a development agency, an investor, or a local policymaker likely would each use different sets of indicators. As noted in the Introduction, the indicators suggested in this report were developed in the African context and in particular based on the committee's field research in Senegal and Ghana and to a lesser extent Kenya. However, the indicators are intended to apply to other countries as well. All of the indicators are presented in tabular format in Appendix C. FRAMEWORK OF INTERNET SUPPLY AND DEMAND The supply side refers to the Internet service providers (ISPs) themselves and the services they offer. In Ghana and Senegal there are both commercial providers and nonprofit organizations providing Internet access to individuals and organizations. The supply side also refers to the environment in which ISPs operate. This environment includes governmental policies and regulations, the country's telecommunications infrastructure, and the general environment that affects the offer and use of Internet services, such as economic conditions, level of education and literacy, and population characteristics. The demand side includes those who use Internet services—for example, individuals and organizations—and the way in which Internet services are used and the factors that affect their use. The demand side also refers to impacts on formal organizations such as schools, government agencies, and private enterprises. Each of these organizations serves other societal goals (e.g., improving the level and quality of education, governance, private-sector development), which in turn can be affected by Internet use by the organizations.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet In very simple terms, the relationship between the supply and demand factors can be shown as: Environment ↔ Internet ↔ Institutions ↔ Sector Impacts In this simple relationship, the environment influences the supply and demand of Internet services; those services are used by individuals and institutions, which in turn affect sector development. As more details are considered, the components of the categories noted above and the number of interactions between the categories will increase and become increasingly more complex. For example, Internet suppliers deliver content, which in turn influences the organizations and institutions using the Internet. But impacts also affect the institutions, which look for different content and service supply and then change their use, which in turn infers or requires changes in the environment. Thus, the interactions go in both directions. One suggested model that begins to illustrate the complexity of the components and interactions is shown in Figure 1. Figure 1. Model of the impacts of the Internet.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet The reader may only be interested in the impacts of the introduction of the Internet at some specific level in this model, such as the business organization or the education sector. This report, however, is suggesting that analytically the reader should consider all of the impacts in the model to the left of the one of interest. Thus, in Africa at this time, it may be helpful to understand the availability of Internet services–the way they are being used (or not used) by individuals, the-ways that organizations are adapting to the Internet, and their success in using the Internet–in order to adequately understand the larger sectoral impacts of the Internet. INDICATORS RELATED TO THE ENVIRONMENT FOR INTERNET USE The penetration, use, and impacts of the Internet depend on the environment into which it is introduced. At a minimum, in order to connect with and use the Internet, one needs a computer, a telephone line, and electricity to power them. Lack of access to these fundamentals limits Internet access in many African countries. Obviously, the ability to invest in computers, communications, electricity, and so forth depends in part on a country's wealth and the rate of generation of new wealth. Equally, the ability of a country to introduce and utilize the Internet will depend on the human resources available, including the availability of technically trained people to install, maintain, and manage the technology and the ability of managers and workers to adapt to and utilize the Internet. Similarly, introduction of the Internet and its impacts will depend on the institutions in a country and their capabilities to acquire and utilize the technology. Finally, the path of introduction for the Internet is contingent on the policy environment in the country involved. Such assertions are essentially truisms. The reality is that many factors combine in complex ways to influence the rate of introduction of the Internet, the rate of Internet use, the rate of adaptation to the opportunities and risks related to introduction of the Internet, and the ultimate impacts of the Internet. Over the past half century a literature has developed on technological innovations and their diffusion in developing countries that should be the basis for

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet analyzing the environmental factors. A summary of this literature is beyond the scope of this report. However, selection and utilization of the indices discussed below should be done in light of a plan of analysis, which in turn is based on a broad understanding of the theories of technological innovations and diffusion and the social impacts of new technologies. Supportive Economy and Infrastructure Conventional wisdom suggests that a correlation exists between Internet use and such variables as gross national product (GNP), GNP per capita, and teledensity, or the number of telephones per capita.11 In fact, preliminary research undertaken by the committee shows this to be the case in a set of African countries.12 In other words, the more phones and money a country has, the better and more likely its access to the Internet. It would be expected that there are minimum and maximum levels of GNP and GNP per capita at which that relationship holds. Moreover, a more complex picture is likely to emerge if one considers more variables, such as variations of Internet connectivity (full Internet protocol, or IP, dial-in access, store and forward only). However, for the purposes of this report, it is assumed that an individual's or a country's access to the Internet will be impacted by these and other variables. The relevant indicators for a supportive economy and infrastructure then include: GNP per capita number of telephones number of telephones per capita indicators of penetration of telephone service in rural areas indicators of penetration of electrical power in rural areas density of population in rural areas percentage of population in urban areas 11   Of course, telecommunications policies and other such country-specific conditions that impact Internet use directly must be taken into account. 12   The committee used data from Jensen on Internet connections, store and forward capability, and dial-in access and the CIA web site. http://www3.wn.apc.org/africa/

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet indicators of the strength of markets for personal computers, modems, and related technologies Policy and Regulatory Environment A supportive role for a country's government is to advocate and provide an open and competitive policy and market environment, ensuring that there are multiple connections to the international information highway as well as opportunities for intranets in the country.13 Taxes and tariffs on imported equipment and other goods and services can assist or be a significant disincentive to Internet use and growth. In the countries visited by the committee in Africa, the governments can be described as passive with regard to the Internet, only sometimes initiating reforms. While no formal barriers to market entry exist, some problems were cited by Senegalese ISPs with regard to laws and rules governing Internet supply and use. There is little aggressive leadership in the government to push liberalization of laws and regulations. A common view of the local Post, Telephone and Telegraph (PTT) administration seems to be that by controlling Internet service it will increase its control of the infrastructure and be able to control all of the profits. The Ghanaian government has liberalized telecommunications policy some, but more remains to be done for it to be considered truly supportive. In Ghana and Senegal, only now are a few government officials beginning to use the Internet themselves. Representatives from the Ghanaian government recognize the need for an overall policy framework for communications policies, but the ministries have done little to date in terms of developing or implementing any such framework, whether because of other priorities or lack of expertise. As noted above, the overall telecommunications infrastructure in Africa is relatively poor. In Ghana, problems include the absence of routing between ISPs and the resulting inefficiencies and lack of or poor-quality telephone lines. One ISP reported significant improvements in service 13   Government policy that ultimately will impact Internet use also extends to social and political issues, including the level of democracy and pluralism, interest for an international role, and commitment to education and research. Such complementary indicators, however, are not addressed in detail in this report.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet in the past year, with waiting time for phone lines having decreased noticeably. Some relevant indicators of a supportive policy and regulatory environment are: estimated cost, time, and rate of success in establishing an ISP estimated cost, time, and rate of success in establishing an ISP account nondiscriminatory access to Internet service modem and/or computer tariff waiting time for a telephone line cost for installation of a telephone line waiting time for a leased line cost per minute to access points of presence (POPs) commercial availability of modems and computers local service for modems and computers INDICATORS OF INTERNET SUPPLY ISPs connect individual users to a national backbone or multiple backbones, which in turn connect to other backbones globally. An ISP can be considered an “onramp” to the Internet. ISPs can be commercial profit-seeking organizations or organizations providing Internet access to a limited target constituency, such as universities that provide access to students, staff, and alumni or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that provide access to their members and member organizations. In some countries, universities or NGOs may start Internet access for the public on a nonprofit basis and then reduce their services as other, usually for-profit, ISPs come into the market. 14 As user sophistication and the availability of Internet applications increase, ISPs are offering more content-providing services, such as Web hosting, development and design, and electronic commerce. 14   Unless explicitly noted otherwise, the term ISP in this report refers to any organization providing Internet access and/or other Internet-related technologies and applications.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet ISPs in Senegal and Ghana range in size and operation from Telecom Plus and Africa Online, each with approximately 1,000 subscribers, to constituency-based providers such as ENDA, an NGO in Senegal that provides Internet access to other NGOs and has approximately 100 subscribers. As noted earlier, the total number of ISPs providing full access as of August 1997 in Senegal and Ghana was nine and three, respectively. Some are looking beyond electronic mail to offering-other Internet-based services. To date, Internet access in Senegal and Ghana is limited primarily to the capital cities, though several ISPs in each country reported plans to expand to other cities. Quantity of Internet Service The quantity of Internet service supplied within a country, and the area reached by ISPs, can be measured using basic indicators such as the: total number of ISPs total bandwidth to outside country (kilobytes/second) total number of modems connected to ISP servers for dial-up access total number of leased lines to customers total number of points of presence (POPs) total number of secondary-city POPs percentage of population within local calling area of POP Quality of Internet Service The quality of Internet service that is offered can be measured by such indicators as the15: percentage of send failures (messages that fail to reach their destination) 15   Adapted from the Inverse Corporation e-mail site: http://www.inversenet.com/products/email.html.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet average delivery time of e-mail/data transfer from each ISP to every ISP average delivery time of messages average time to check an empty mailbox mean connect speed of subscribers call failure rates for ISPs (the percentage of calls that fail to connect to the Web) Indicators can of course include further derivatives of these indicators, such as the rate of change of the number of modems connected to ISP servers or acceleration (second derivative) of the average time to check an empty mailbox. The number of ISPs in a country and the degree of competitiveness in the ISP market are important indicators of the likelihood of fair pricing and quality service.16 In Senegal, for example, there are few formal barriers to new ISPs entering the market, and competition has helped reduce monthly access prices for simple telephone call-up service to 10,000 Francs (approximately $20) from twice that or more.17 But at the same time, small ISPs complain about policies that they think limit true competition. ISPs and related organizations may benefit from working together to influence government policies and regulations. The potential impact of such organizations suggests another indicator: number of members in an information industry association or ISP association A related issue is the profitability of ISPs and the degree to which they are able and willing to invest earnings in expansion. With a few exceptions, the provision of Internet services in Africa, as in the United States, is not yet profitable or financially viable. In the United States this is largely due to the unusual expansion of Internet use and a rush for market share, which results 16   Jensen also uses the number of ISPs competing with each other as an important indicator of the maturity of the ISP sector and notes that most African capitals with Internet access have more than one ISP, and 11 countries have particularly active and mature markets (Jensen, op.cit.) 17   According to Souleymane Sall, Sonatel was forced to lower its prices after he and other ISPs reduced theirs to 10,000 Francs.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet in high expenses for ISPs. In a more “normal” or developed industry not expanding so rapidly, many companies would likely be posting profits. In Ghana and Senegal, relatively high telecommunications costs and small markets have resulted in high access charges (relative to GNP per capita or to average monthly salaries) compared to Western countries. In this situation, ISPs reported financing their Internet operations through other business activities, such as computer hardware or other telecommunications services. As one individual noted to the committee, “It's a losing business. ” But clearly the organizations and businesses that are providing Internet services are doing so in the expectation of future profitability. It is clear that any analysis of the competitiveness of an ISP market should reflect the unique situation in African countries. An analysis is nonetheless important, and suggested indicators include the: number of ISPs offering full Internet service percentage of nonprofit ISPs number and percentage of profitable ISPs prices charged by ISPs for Internet access total funds invested by ISPs in expansion total ISP revenue Sustainability In addition to financial indicators, such as the cost of Internet service to providers and consumers or the profits to providers, there are more general economic considerations. It seems likely that the cost per user to provide services in Africa may be reduced as networks become more densely populated. Similarly, the benefits per consumer will likely increase as the number of users in the network increases. One may also suggest that the Internet will result in positive and negative externalities—benefits and costs that will not be appropriated by, or fall on, Internet

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet providers or users. Firms obtaining new business through the Internet may create jobs in suppliers, and competing communications technologies may lose business. Thus, there is a need for economic indicators that go beyond those directly associated with costs and profits for providers and users. For example, analysts may wish to look at the subsidy flow that will be required to sustainably institutionalize the Internet in African countries. Unfortunately, the complexity of the system makes it very unlikely that models providing such indicators will be affordable or accurate. Still, it may be useful to record the estimates of experts on the amounts needed and the duration required for such subsidies. Related to the issue of having a supportive environment for Internet use is the notion that merely importing a technology without developing the skills to sustain, tailor, and expand it, particularly when the technology is changing rapidly globally, is of limited benefit to a country. Therefore, the degree of indigenous skill and competency in all aspects of the Internet is one of many indicators for sustainability of the Internet and thus for its potential to affect a particular country. One limiting factor on ISP expansion in Africa is the lack of technical capacity and human resources. Most ISPs in Ghana and Senegal reported to the committee that finding and retaining qualified technical staff is a significant problem. In Kenya this is a particular problem for the public sector because it cannot compete with private-sector salaries. This situation, too, complicates measures of competition because companies that might otherwise be making a profit, investing that profit, expanding and growing, and thereby contributing to the industry 's expansion and growth, are instead not seeking to expand. For ISPs in Ghana and Senegal the primary source of technical skills, to date, has been the West. In Ghana one of the largest commercial ISPs is Africa Online, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Prodigy, Inc. In Senegal many of the small ISPs operating alongside Telecom-Plus, the Internet arm of the national PTT, are owned by expatriates or recent immigrants. The number of

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet foreign-owned or -operated ISPs is not intrinsically good or bad. The issue is whether skills are being transferred to the local population, a more difficult measurement to make. It is reflected in part in the sophistication of Internet use and the degree to which the Internet is used for increasingly advanced applications. Relevant indicators include the: number of foreign- and domestic-owned ISPs number of local technical staff number of ISPs offering user training number of institutions that monitor their own traffic, use, and number of hits on pages average number of years of schooling of adult population literacy rate number of information technology courses offered in universities average salary of Web designers and other ISP employees Related to the issue of development of indigenous skills is the development of indigenous information sources in the form of Web pages, databases, news sources, electronic commerce hosting, and others. These more sophisticated applications generally involve two-way transfers of information and content and thus allow an individual or organization to be a provider, not just a consumer, of information, goods, and services. Measurements of participation and skills in specific applications will show the extent to which an individual, organization, or country participates or hopes to participate in the target activity of that application, an example being the: percentage of ISPs offering Web hosting, Web design, and other services The amount of indigenous content developed in a developing country, and the degree to which that indigenous content is used domestically, regionally, and internationally, can be shown by the:

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet sector development; and democratization and civil society development –are also discussed. The report contains no judgment on the appropriateness of the developmental goals themselves. That is, the potential impacts of the Internet on the development goals are considered but not the development goals themselves. Education Sectoral Goals With the proper skills, technical support, and financial resources, the Internet can become a catalyst for important changes at schools and universities. In terms of sectoral goals, one would want to measure the impacts on students, schools, and educators and the extent to which the Internet improves the learning environment, enriches curricula, and expands access to education. For example, a major contribution of the Internet is the availability of learning and teaching material through digital libraries and networked learner support services. Relevant indicators would include the: number of schools/universities with Internet access number of students with Internet access average time of student access number of teachers with Internet access number of training courses on the Internet offered to teachers quality of training courses on the Internet offered to teachers (accreditation) number of new courses offered since the Internet was introduced number of schools/universities utilizing distance education via the Internet number of courses that supplement conventional teaching methods with distance education or other Internet-dependent technologies number of students enrolled in distance education number of nonuniversity institutions offering distance education

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet It is also possible to ask what the impacts of the Internet are on functions, such as classroom teaching, distance teaching, curriculum development and maintenance, preparation and dissemination of teaching materials and texts, educational finance, teacher training, supervision and continuing education, and design and maintenance of school facilities, etc. Other indirect impacts of the Internet in education include the career experiences of students who have had access to the Internet in primary or secondary school. For example, are students who had access to distance learning or other advanced teaching techniques that utilize communications technologies able to secure better and higher-paying jobs than their peers who had no access to the Internet or other communications technologies? Such information could likely be obtained by monitoring job advertisements that mention Internet skills. Some relevant indicators in this regard include the: ratio of job placement of students with Internet experience/training in school to overall placement ratio of average starting salaries of individuals with Internet experience/training in school to overall starting salaries Inasmuch as universities are also centers of research, they strive not only to attract and educate the best students but also to attract the best scholars and researchers, often on a temporary basis. And as researchers increasingly are communicating, publishing, and conducting research via the Internet, they are attracted to research at institutions that have Internet services. Universities in developing countries will likely find that Internet access is key to attracting scholars and researchers from abroad. A relevant indicator would be the: number of scholars/researchers attracted to a university/country (in part) because of Internet access

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet Development Goals The development goals associated with education in Africa clearly depend on the specific context but include literacy, the ability to work competitively in a global marketplace, preparation to work in today's workplace and adapt to that of the next century, knowledge and understanding necessary for effective citizenship in a participatory government system, social competence to safeguard the health of families and communities and to evaluate and implement alternatives for family planning, and the ability to live and participate peacefully in a multiethnic community. Each such global educational objective can be seen as inducing the development of indicators as to whether changes are occurring, their desirability, and the degree to which those changes are impacts of the changing information and communications environment typified by introduction of the Internet. The keystone institution in the education sector is clearly the school: primary, secondary, and tertiary (or higher). This sector also includes distance education and nonformal education programs and institutions. It includes other formal organizations such as government agencies that regulate education, research organizations that conduct educational research, and financial organizations involved in school financing or in administering fellowships and scholarships. It includes other institutions, such as community institutions that relate to the schools (e.g. parent-teacher organizations), professional associations among teachers, and institutions that mediate the selection of schools by students and teachers by schools. Thus, the impacts of the introduction of the Internet on the education sector may be many and varied. Private Sector Sectoral Goals Businesses and foreign investors increasingly see Internet access as a necessity for doing business. In Ghana various chambers of commerce and business organizations are recognizing

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet that, as one organization representative noted to the committee, “you need to get connected in this competitive world.” Other organizations, such as the West African Enterprise Network, are able to get information on domestic and foreign markets with which to help their members. But many other businesses, small and large, do not yet have Internet access. The impacts of the Internet on the private sector can be measured by seeking to understand the impacts on firms, especially firms engaged in manufacturing and trade; on markets for raw materials, intermediate goods and services, and final products; on such associations as trade associations and chambers of commerce that participate in the sector; on community institutions that relate to the industrial and trade sectors; and on the government agencies that serve and regulate the sector. Communications technologies would appear to be especially important in market institutions that depend heavily on information on supply and demand and on the capacity to analyze changes in a situation rapidly and accurately. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the private sector can benefit, and already is benefiting, from increased information about suppliers, products, and markets; from communications with customers or clients and with other firms; and from increased product differentiation. As one example, the Kenyan automobile market, which imports approximately 90 percent of its vehicles used from the Gulf region, has experienced a decline in per-unit cost to the consumer. In committee interviews in Nairobi, one observer attributed this to use of the Internet by both consumers and competing dealers to compare prices from suppliers, thereby driving prices down. The availability of the Internet should thus reduce some transaction costs, increase the speed with which information is transmitted through a market, and increase the quality of some of the information used. Unequal access to the Internet would seem likely to create market advantages for some and disadvantages for others. The Internet seems likely to increase the size of many markets, insofar as it serves to reduce geographical barriers to obtaining and providing market information. Indeed, some have credited the developments of comparable

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet communications technologies with the explosive growth of international financial markets in recent decades. Market processes may be modified to take advantage of new potentials and to avert new risks created by the Internet. Stock market procedures have been modified to reduce the risk that very rapid changes in market value created by computerized stock trading might result in market instability. Particular interest in Africa will probably be directed at such indicators as the: rates of participation of African firms in international markets rates of participation of foreign firms in African markets numbers of Web pages providing information on a market numbers of persons communicating about a market on the Internet volume of transactions in a market using the Internet Comparable indicators can be derived to measure the impacts of the Internet on other African institutions. Increased information for buyers and sellers, in turn, has the potential to level the international playing field for developing countries by helping them to increase regional trade and their exports to Western countries. Thus, at the sector level, concern is with the quantity and quality of goods and services produced, their relevance to the needs of the consumer, the affordability of the goods and services to the consumer as well as the employment created, the return on capital invested, and the externalities such as pollution or benefits to the community. One should be concerned with changes in indicators as to whether societal objectives of these kinds are being met. Appropriately selected individuals can make reasoned judgments as to whether the impacts of introduction of the Internet have been supportive or destructive to these objectives. Modest information should be possible on the magnitude of the sectoral impacts observed or inferred through such indicators as the:

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet number (percentage) of chambers of commerce with Internet access number (percentage) of other business organizations with Internet access number of small and medium-sized enterprises with Internet access number of small and medium-sized enterprises posting products and prices on the Internet rate of change in the value of an enterprise's exports (imports) since acquiring Internet access rate of change in the value of a country's exports (imports) since acquiring Internet access rate of change in the value of a firm's exports since acquiring Internet access number of companies reporting growth since availability of the Internet number of firms engaged in electronic commerce value of sales via the Internet funds allocated by private companies to Internet-related training growth rates of private telecenters that provide Internet services Development Goals The development goals related to private-sector expansion are like those discussed above: goods and services relevant to the needs of the population that are of good quality and equitably available at reasonable prices, with the creation of good employment opportunities, a good return on capital, and a minimum of negative externalities. The goals might well involve improvement of performance in terms of the rule of law (such as when one seeks to substitute legal activities for those involved in the manufacture and distribution of narcotics) or improved affiliation of workers and customers with a national culture. Again, such macro socioeconomic objectives can, in theory, indicate Internet impacts.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet Africa is faced with a scarcity of financial and human resources needed to take advantage of this potential and has an unfortunate recent history of lack of economic progress. Maximizing the beneficial economic impacts of the Internet there will require not only introduction of the technology in millions of enterprises but also the training of millions of users and institutional reforms. Neither “parachute drops” of computers and software or showpiece computers in executive offices will do much good. To maximize benefits, the scarce resources will have to be used to introduce the Internet to reduce key bottlenecks to economic progress. Connectivity will have to focus on key enterprises and regulatory agencies, on key market constraints, and on key trade and commercial organizations, and the evolving pattern will have to create synergies among applications. Some of this orchestration can be planned by governments. Governments in other developing countries such as Malaysia and India have recently taken steps to meet long-term development needs through information technologies by joining with private sector interests to design incentives and regulations to support investment in the sector. But to achieve the full potential of the Internet, decentralized decisionmaking on its acquisition and use will have to be encouraged and done well and in ways that benefit the enterprises as well as the total economy. Data on the impacts of introduction of the Internet will have to be available then not only to government decisionmakers, but also to the large numbers of people making these decentralized decisions. Ideally, data should be sufficient to inform decisions on the priority for allocation of resources among alternative applications of the Internet. To achieve this, top government officials must be much more proactive in extolling the economic benefit of, for example, electronic commerce, to their populations. Negative economic impacts of the Internet are a real possibility and must be monitored carefully. The Industrial Revolution brought not only great benefits to the world but also great suffering to millions, and it is increasingly clear that the impacts were not intrinsic to the inventions per se but contingent on the way in which they were disseminated and used. The impacts were contingent on the policies of governments and economies. Certainly, most of Africa has fallen behind in other technologically based revolutions, and history suggests that one must consider the possibility that African countries will lose even more market share in international

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet markets to countries that overcome distance or resource constraints by using the Internet more effectively. Indeed, one must consider the degree to which foreign enterprises and governments may utilize their greater mastery of the Internet to put Africa at a further disadvantage. The Economic Commission for Africa recognizes these risks and benefits in its Africa Information Society Initiative, which urges governments to get actively involved so as not to be left further behind.31 Moreover, the transfer of the Internet from the United States, Europe, and Japan will entail transfer of parts of developed countries' economic culture to Africa. These cultural aspects may be all but invisible as they occur, but the impacts on African economies and cultures may be important. It seems likely that the economic impacts of the Internet in Africa will be powerful and will fall unevenly on the continent's population. Those impacts will be contingent on the policies adopted by African institutions in each country. It seems important therefore to monitor the economic impacts of introduction of the Internet in real time, using the information provided by these indicators analytically to guide policy and to monitor the functioning of institutions. While it will be easier to monitor expected and quantifiable economic impacts at the level of the firm or enterprise, one must not miss the forest for the trees. Government and Civil Society Sectoral Goals Governments, political parties, and other political entities can use the Internet to disseminate information, facilitate government responsiveness to citizens, and increase (or hinder) access to information by the entire electorate. Citizens and interest groups can use the Internet to facilitate open debate and discussion and increase their participation in governance. Relevant indicators include the: 31   http://www.bellanet.org/partners/aisi.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet number of ministries/departments with a presence on the Web number of ministries/departments with e-mail reply addresses on the Web quality of Web site content in the above-described classes of Web sites percentage of ministries/departments who use it for dissemination of information about governmental actions or policies number of political parties with a presence on the Web Internet access to government policy papers and pending and existing legislation and regulations number of organizations using Internet networks, user groups, etc., to influence government number of list servers, news groups and conferences holding on-line discussions of public policy issues number of NGOs with Internet access number of publicly-available sites with free or low-cost Internet access, such as kiosks, post offices, community centers, or libraries The Internet can also increase (or decrease) the transparency of an electoral process. For example, in Ghana, Network Computer Services monitored its Internet traffic into and out of the country during the recent elections. NCS reported that, whereas the normal ratio of incoming to outgoing traffic is 4:1 or 5:1, it was 2:1 or 3:1 during the elections. NCS attributed this increase in incoming traffic to people in other countries seeking information about the elections. The indicators above generally are intended to measure actions by governments that are considered “positive” in terms of democratization and civil society building. But it is also probable that some governments, particularly authoritarian ones, will take actions that would be considered negative by Western democratic standards, such as imposing sanctions on Internet access for political reasons. Indicators specifically designed to measure such negative actions might be developed.

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet Related to government and citizen use of the Internet is the mass media. Effective media, independent from government and lobby pressures, can contribute to effective governance and civil society. Relevant indicators are the: number of independent sources of information and news provided via the Internet number of newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations using the Internet to collect news number of newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, and other media with Web sites percentage of domestic and foreign readers Development Goals When considering the government sector, development goals center around democratization and civil society building in addition to the services governments typically provide, such as health services, law enforcement, and so forth. Democratization implies a transparent political process and the participation of informed citizens in the process of governance, especially in the election of governmental leaders, development of government policy, and oversight of governmental executive and judiciary functions. Clearly, it is possible to conduct sample surveys to ascertain if people believe that participation is increasing or decreasing because of Internet diffusion, whether it is more or less informed, and whether these functions are better or more poorly conducted now than in the past and, further, to discover the degree to which introduction of the Internet is believed by the public to be responsible for changes or for maintaining the status quo. According to the criteria used for selection of persons to be included in the survey, different indicators would be developed. Thus, a survey of government bureaucrats might result in different opinions than a survey of social scientists, politicians, or citizens at large. Inasmuch as the Internet has the potential to help a government exercise legitimate authority, it can also help illegitimate forces undermine authority. Also, what information is

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Internet Counts: Measuring the Impacts of the Internet provided or used and to or by whom is important. Whereas a government offering information on a proposed law and providing a venue for citizen input is seen as a positive impact on democratization, an authoritarian government providing or “bombarding” the public with false information or propaganda designed to further its own aims would be considered a negative impact. Comparably, the development of civil society involves the development of a network of noncommercial, nongovernmental organizations, with memberships of informed and active people, that are able to articulate the positions of their members to the public at large, to elites, and to the various branches of government. Surveys of informed persons could be used to obtain data on whether the Internet's impacts are perceived as beneficial or detrimental and on the magnitude of the impacts of the Internet on direct communication between government and citizens, media-intermediated contact between citizens and government, and on the role of civil society organizations in promoting public awareness and participation in government decisionmaking.32 The Internet is a critical element of an information and communications revolution that is likely to prompt profound changes in interpersonal, intergroup, and interinstitutional relationships in Africa. Whether the overall impacts of the Internet are to stabilize or destabilize governance, to increase participation or to support coercive efforts, will be crucially important. Yet the complexity of the network of effects of the Internet on society and the ramifications of these effects through policies and institutions are extraordinarily complex. Ultimate judgments may have to be made about the impacts of the Internet, and these without doubt will be made by the population, using qualitative techniques. Such would be the ultimate indicator of the impacts of the Internet on democratization and civil society. 32   One such survey that the committee is aware of is being carried out by the University of California, Santa Barbara, under its Government and Politics on the Net Project.