This Guide is an instrument that systematically organizes the assessment of numerous factors that determine the Networked Readiness of a community in the developing world. The Guide requires significant participation and interpretation on the part of its users. It examines 19 different categories of indicators, ranking each by levels of advancement in Stages One through Four. The Guide neither offers specific advice nor suggests that the only route from Stage Two to Stage Four be through Stage Three. Nor does it provide an overall score; it seeks only to offer a starting point in an ICT planning process.
The categories are linked, each driving the others, such that a community cannot concentrate solely in one area, but must pay attention to each, noting where it might be able to capitalize on synergies among the categories. The categories fall within five groups:
What are the availability, cost and quality of ICT networks, services and equipment?
Does the educational system integrate ICTs into its processes to improve learning? Are there technical training programs in the community that can train and prepare an ICT workforce?
To what extent are individuals using information and communication technologies at work and in their personal lives? Are there significant opportunities available for those with ICT skills?
How are businesses and governments using information and communication technologies to interact with the public and with each other?
To what extent does the policy environment promote or hinder the growth of ICT adoption and use?