Development and Access to Information

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1 Development and Access to Information 2017 Fact Sheet IFLA in partnership with the Technology & Social Change Group

2 Fact Sheet: The State of Access to Information in 2017 Access to information: The right and capacity to use, create, and share information in ways that are meaningful to each individual, community, or organization. Between 2010 and 2015, the share of the world s population using the Internet rose from 30 percent to almost half over 3 billion people. A majority of the nearly 1.3 billion new users were connected via mobile devices. All regions experienced some growth; however, in Southern Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, more than 70 percent of the population still remains offline. In Oceania, that number rises to 87 percent offline the highest percentage among all the regions. Figure 1.1: Overall state of A2I infrastructure availability in 2015 worldwide Percent of individuals using the internet Percentage of the population covered by at least a 3G mobile network Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants Fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants Percent of households with internet access at home Estimated proportion of households with a computer Developed regions Developing regions World Source: ITU Note: Data from Percentage of individuals using the internet (187 countries); fixed broadband subscriptions (196 countries); number of mobile subscriptions (189 countries); active mobile-broadband subscriptions (184 countries); percentage of population covered by at least 3G (166 countries); estimated proportion of households with a computer (185 countries); percentage of households with internet access at home (181 countries). By 2016, over 80 percent of people lived in areas covered with at least a 3G network. Affordability of mobile services and devices remain a challenge. Despite the network coverage, far fewer mobile broadband subscriptions were active in less-developed countries (36 per 100 inhabitants) than in more-developed countries (88 per 100 inhabitants).in Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile broadband costs almost 13 percent of monthly Gross National Income per capita, and in Oceania at 8.5 percent. 2

3 Figure 1.5: Mobile broadband costs as a percentage of monthly GNI. GNI per capita per month, USD Mobile broadband cost, handset prepaid 500MB, USD Mobile broadband, handset prepaid 500MB, as percent of GNI per month World $1216 $11,81 4,8% Developing regions $11,34 6,3% $678 Developed regions $2704 $13,09 0,6% Caucasus and Central Asia $412 $6,54 3,5% Western Asia $2143 $12,68 1,9% Eastern Asia $2589 $9,47 0,6% Northern Africa $394 $10,98 2,3% South-eastern Asia $1022 $6,13 1,6% Oceania $276 $19,21 8,5% Sub-Saharan Africa $196 $10,37 12,9% Latin America and the Caribbean $15,5 $736 3,2% Southern Asia $229 $3,77 3,5% Source: ITU. Note: 177 countries, data from

4 Almost 40% of women in less-developed regions are now online compared to 80% in more developed regions. The internet user gender gap is the widest in Africa (23%) followed by Arab States (20%) Figure 1.12: Countries at the highest risk of not achieving the Connect 2020 target 15% 14.4% 13.4% 13% 12.4% 12.2% 11.9% Turkmenistan Bangladesh Timor-Leste Kiribati Angola Haiti Djibouti 11.6% 11.4% 10.3% 10% 9.3% 9% 8.3% Ethiopia Burkina Faso Mali Solomon Islands Malawi Mozambique Afghanistan 7.9% 7.6% 7.5% 7.1% 6.8% 5.9% 5.4% Papua New Guinea Congo, Rep. Comoros Togo Benin Liberia Tanzania 4.9% 4.7% 4.6% 4.2% 3.8% 3.5% 2.7% Burundi Guinea Central African Republic Madagascar Congo, Dem. Rep. Guinea-Bissau Chad 2.5% 2.2% 1.8% 1.1% Sierra Leone Niger Somalia Eritrea Percent of individuals using the internet Low income Lower middle income Upper middle income Source: ITU. Note: 32 countries shown, data from 2015 People in less-developed countries are using social networking sites more actively than people in developed ones (71 percent compared to 67 percent). People in less-developed countries use the internet for online courses more actively than people in more-developed countries. Twenty percent of people in less-developed countries reported taking an online course compared to only 7 percent in more-developed ones. Only 39 percent of people in less-developed countries use the internet to access blogs, forums, or discussion sites and to read or download news or books, compared with 75 percent in more-developed countries. 4

5 Figure 1.14: ICT activities by type of activity Participating in social networks 71% 67% 68% Sending or receiving e mail 53% 81% 70% Getting information about goods or services 43% 75% 63% Accessing chat sites, blogs, newsgroups or online discussions 39% 75% Reading or downloading on line newspapers or magazines, electronic books 36% 46% 57% 71% Telephoning over the Internet VoIP 28% 44% 39% Seeking health information, on injury, disease, nutrition, etc 27% 30% 28% Getting information from general government organizations 24% 56% 44% Doing a formal online course 7% 11% 20% Using services related to travel or travel related accommodation 15% 22% 17% Interacting with general government organizations 14% 57% 42% Making an appointment with a health practitioner via a website 7% 14% 13% Internet banking 13% 54% 38% Purchasing or ordering goods or services 12% 45% 32% Selling goods or services 9% 20% 18% Developing regions Developed regions World Source: ITU. Note: 61 countries. Regional averages not representative of the world, but illustrate that large gaps exist. 5

6 Poverty and economic standing significantly affect people s ability to use information meaningfully. At the same time, access does offer an avenue for reducing poverty and creating economic opportunity, though what people can do with this access is still bounded by structural inequalities. Figure 1.16: Percentage of people using the internet vs. percentage living below the national poverty line. 80 Connect2020 Target for LDCs (20%) Connect2020 Target (60%) Percent of population living below the national poverty line Equatorial Guinea Madagascar Zimbabwe Guinea-Bissau Eritrea Burundi Honduras Swaziland Congo, Dem. Rep. Liberia 60 Central African Republic Haiti São Tomé and Principe Zambia Guatemala Guinea Togo Lesotho South Africa Sierra Leone Mozambique Malawi Timor-Leste Mexico Niger Congo, Rep. Gambia, The Senegal Nigeria Chad Côte d Ivoire Kenya Sudan Comoros Rwanda Mali Dominican Republic Mauritania 40 Bolivia Papua New Guinea Burkina Faso Cameroon Benin Yemen, Rep. Syrian Arab Republic Angola Afghanistan Tajikistan El Salvador Fiji Gabon Venezuela, RB Kyrgyz Republic Bangladesh Nicaragua Armenia Ethiopia Pakistan Micronesia, Fed. Sts. Colombia Namibia Tuvalu Tanzania Nepal Samoa Egypt, Arab Rep. Panama Romania Lebanon Solomon Islands Ghana Philippines Paraguay Ecuador Lao PDR Mongolia Bulgaria Serbia Macedonia, FYR Peru Tonga 20 Kiribati Uganda India Costa Rica Jamaica Bosnia and Herzegovina Iraq Botswana Uzbekistan Tunisia Maldives Cambodia Jordan Vanuatu Russian Federation Bhutan Georgia Vietnam Albania Thailand Indonesia Moldova Morocco Montenegro Ukraine Azerbaijan Sri Lanka Brazil Belarus Kazakhstan 0 Turkey Malaysia Percent of individuals using the internet Low income Lower middle income Upper middle income Sources: ITU (percentage using the internet), UN (percentage living below the national poverty line), World Bank (income groups). Note: 113 countries (graph excludes high-income countries); data from 2015 for percentage using the internet, data from for the percentage living below the national poverty line. Women need access to the internet and the resources that information and communication provide. Access promotes economic self-sufficiency for women. It allows them to make informed decisions about their bodies, their health, and their families. Gender inequality and low internet usage among women are most prevalent in the poorest countries. 6

7 Figure 1.18: Percentage of females using the internet vs. the Gender Inequality Index Sudan Zimbabwe Gender inequality index (0 is best, higher values indicate increased inequality) Burundi Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia El Salvador Bolivia Qatar Iran, Islamic Rep. Morocco Venezuela, RB Paraguay Panama Jamaica Brazil Ecuador Peru Mauritius Colombia Thailand Georgia Mexico Turkey Romania Costa Rica Cuba Ukraine Armenia Malaysia Oman Uruguay Russian Federation Saudi Arabia Hungary United Arab Emirates Bahrain Bulgaria Malta United States Kazakhstan Latvia Macedonia, FYR Slovak Republic Montenegro New Zealand Belarus Czech Republic United Kingdom Croatia Poland Estonia Lithuania Ireland Japan Greece Cyprus Israel Australia France Austria Italy Portugal Spain Belgium Korea, Rep. Luxembourg Singapore Germany Finland Sweden Norway Slovenia Iceland Switzerland Netherlands Denmark Percent of female population using the internet Low income Lower middle income Upper middle income High income Sources: UN (Gender Inequality Index), ITU (percentage using the internet by gender) Note: 78 countries, data from , depending on country. According to Freedom House (2016), internet freedoms have been declining for six years, with Freedom of the Net scores falling in at least half of the countries monitored each year. The implications are significant: Freedom House estimates that, in the previous 12 months, 60 percent of internet users lived in countries where people were arrested or imprisoned for posting content on political, social, and religious issues; while 49 percent of users live in countries where people have been attacked or killed for their online activities. 7

8 Figure 1.25: Freedom on the Net in the world in 2015 Freedom on the Net Most free Least free Source: Freedom House Note: 65 countries, data from 2015 Access to information can transform lives. It can help lift people out of poverty, promote gender equality, and create opportunities for youth. However, its transformative potential is bounded by local, social, political, and economic forces. While ICT infrastructure is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the physical tools that provide access to information are not enough. To help create more just and equal societies, the access must be meaningful. About the DA2I Development and Access to Information (DA2I) is a joint project between the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School. It demonstrates how access to information and libraries contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the Technology and Social Change Group, University of Washington. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License: 8 IFLA P.O. Box CH Den Haag Netherlands Contact: Website: DA2I.ifla.org

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