Policy Tools


Business & Economics




Region-Specific Projects

Special Initiatives

The Guide

Readiness for the Networked World: A Guide for Developing Countries is a tool designed to assist leaders in the developing world to assess their preparedness for participating in the global information economy.

The Guide incorporates a systematic approach that looks at both qualitative and quantitative indicators in a community (town, city, province, nation), and provides a robust picture of the opportunities and challenges that the community will face in preparing itself for the New Economy.

The Guide considers five broad areas (network access, networked learning, networked society, networked economy, and network policy) which include nineteen specific categories with indicators that suggest the community's Readiness.

The Guide was initially unveiled February 23rd, 2000 in Budapest, and was formally released to the public April 19, 2000 in Washington, DC. If you did not have a chance to pick it up there, you may request it in printed form from ITG. You may also read the guide online or download a copy at readinessguide.org.

In conjunction with developing world communities, we have been using the Guide since the spring of 2000. Many other communities will use it without our direct involvement, as have many businesses, international organizations, governments, NGOs and others around the world.

Assessments using the Guide's methodology have begun in communities around the world, some with ITG participation and others completely independently. We have developed a Library of Readiness Assessments that catalog the ICT readiness situations in a number of countries.

Both at Harvard and with partners around the world, we are striving to translate the Guide into as many languages as possible. Thus far, we have Bangla, Chinese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Thai versions completed or in process. It is essential to get this information into the hands of hands of non-English speakers, and anyone interested in either translating the Guide or adapting it for the www.readinessguide.org website should contact us.

Global Information Technology Report (GITR)

The Global Information Technology Readiness Report 2001 is a major collaboration between ITG at CID and the World Economic Forum (WEF). The report assesses and analyze the adoption and use of information technology in 75 countries. For the past five years, the CID and the WEF have been publishing the Global Competitiveness Report - an internationally acclaimed publication analyzing competitiveness of nations across the globe. This year, these organizations continue their commitment to providing high quality analysis of globally important issues relating to economic competitiveness and participation in the global economy by introducing the GITR.

The GITR addresses issues of IT Readiness of nations through:

  • Essays written by internationally renowned experts on IT and development
  • IT profiles of countries 
  • An IT Readiness Index of countries - overall and sectoral rankings

The GITR is edited by Geoffrey Kirkman and will be published in the spring of 2002 by Oxford University Press.

Guide to ICT Planning in Education

With the support and collaboration of the World Links for Development Program (WorLD), ITG is developing a Guide to ICT Planning in Education, an assessment tool that will benchmark the progress that national Ministries of Education, education decision-makers, and communities in the developing world have made toward integrating information and communication technologies (ICT) into their education systems. It will also serve as a tool in the planning process for decisions related to ICTs and education.

Upon examination of best practices in some of the most effective educational systems around the globe, effective use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in both the classroom and in teacher's professional development appears to be an essential part of a good educational system. It is with this conviction that WorLD and ITG have identified the need for this assessment tool.

This guide would be a useful tool for many organizations - whether they be Ministries of Education, community leaders, NGOs or donor agencies - interested in preparing youth around the globe to effectively participate in the Networked World. While there are studies that draw into question the overall effectiveness of the use of technology in education, there are equally compelling cases to be made supporting its effectiveness.

The tool will be used to:

  • Assist policymakers and education decision-makers in understanding the importance of the role of ICT at all stages of education (primary through tertiary) by outlining best practices from around the globe; 
  • Assist policymakers and school officials in planning for the effective incorporation of teachers (through ongoing professional development) in programs that integrate ICT into the classrooms; 
  • Assist policymakers, school officials and communities in analyzing the scope of issues that need to be addressed in order to develop a successful ICT in education program; 
  • Assist national Ministries of Education in identifying the gaps that exist in their system for national deployment of ICTs;
  • Assist policymakers, school officials and community decision-makers in benchmarking their systems across a number of categories to reflect their readiness for developing an ICT and education program; and
  • Allow decision-makers to compare their education systems to other systems of similar size across the various categories, keeping in mind issues that include financial requirements, managerial issues, and administration.

ITG and WorLD are currently looking for further collaborators and sponsors of this ambitious project. Interested parties are encouraged to contact us.


Information Technologies Group Center for International Development at Harvard University eDevelop@ksg.harvard.edu
79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Copyright 2002 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

Home | About Us | Research | Resources | Events | Teaching and Training | Site Map