The profiling exercise aims at assessing the status of the information society in the ESCWA member countries and monitoring the progress made in the region towards the development of the information society. It provides information needed by policy makers in the region to develop strategies and national plans of action for building the information society.
In an information society and knowledge-based economy context, the profiling exercise for the ESCWA region can be a powerful tool, allowing the decision-makers and stakeholders in the member countries to have a comprehensive view of the existing state of ICT sector and progress achieved towards development of the information society, the needs and obstacles to be tackled and the perspectives and opportunities available in the region and among member countries.
The purpose of profiling exercise is firstly to help countries in monitoring their own progress in ICT use and applications, and in comparing their status with other countries and region. The second goal of the profile is to share experiences and information that are mainly related to the implementation of ICT strategies and initiatives. The third purpose is to serve as an institutional memory to track and record national and regional actions undertaken to implement previous agendas.
The Profile of the information society in the ESCWA region addresses major issues related to the developing the information society such as:
National and sectoral strategy formulation in the ESCWA member countries and the implementation of plans of action;
Infrastructure, ICT sector building and capacity building, with special attention to:
- ICT availability, affordability and quality of services;
- ICT dissemination in rural and urban areas;
- Strategic partnerships, particularly public-private partnerships;
Enabling environment, at the legal and regulatory levels, for ICT use and promotion of an ICT productive sector;
Main applications influencing the socioeconomic development in ESCWA region such as e-government, e-business, e-learning and e-health.
Expansion of digital Arabic content should receive particular attention.