Vietnam, Ghana, Senegal Among Developing ICT Leaders

I recently reported on overall and regional leaders in our latest research at the Tau Institute (which has offices in Illinois and Manila, Philippines). Now here’s a look at leaders by income tier – this is a way to compare similarly developed nations with one another, regardless of location.

We’ve been able to include 91 countries into the mix. The mission is to produce a sophisticated ranking that takes into account relative progress of the nations of the world when it comes to ICT. We integrate several publicly available factors into our own algorithm. There is thus transparency in the data we input combined with a specialized weighting system that we believe reveals new insight into the statistics.

We’ve integrated the following factors into a single, weighted formula:

* Per capita income (from the World Bank)
* Local cost of living (ditto)
* Gini coefficient (income disparity as measured by the United Nations and CIA)
* Perception of corruption (from Transparency International)
* Human development (according to the United Nations)
* Data servers per capita (adjusted for local income, as measured by the World Bank)
* Average bandwidth speed (from Ookla, Inc.)
* % of population with access to the Internet (from the International Telecommunications Union)
* % population with broadband connections (ditto)

In the end, we’ve created a “pound-for-pound” analysis that reveals the countries that are doing the most with what they have. Our method goes far beyond the normal rankings one sees that simply show wealthy countries on top, developing nations on the bottom.

We can view the datas in several ways. For today, I’ll list the countries that have been most successful on a relative basis so far.

Tomorrow, I’ll list the countries with the most raw potential. The “raw” ranking hits a middle ground of opportunity and development. Countries that have lagged regardless of income level (such as Norway and Libya) do not fare as well in this index as countries that have shown good relative ICT commitments (such as Jordan), even if they’re still impoverished (such as Ethiopia).

As a reality check and benchmark, we’ve created a “Perfect Land” which has optimal statistics in all categories. The idea is that no country should beat Perfect Land in the overall index, although many countries will beat it in the raw index, which is weighted toward potential.

Here are the Overall leaders, sorted by income tier.

Tier 1 (>$30K in per capita income)
New Zealand (#3 in the world overall)
Netherlands (#4 in the world overall)
Finland (#5 in the world overall)

Tier 2 ($13K-$29K)
South Korea (#1 in the world overall)
Estonia (#2 in the world overall)

Tier 3 ($6K-$13K)

Tier 4 ($2K-$6K)

Tier 5 (<$2K) Vietnam Ghana Senegal Kenya India Each of these countries has a story to tell, as do all countries covered in our research. We are currently engaging with local resources in some of the places that emerge as leaders. We are also very interested in making new connections within any country – the Tau Index serves merely to start conversations about ICT and its role in increasing economic development and improving the lives of people. Follow me on Twitter

read more