3rd DIHAC policy review meeting analysis report
Digital Indexes of the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand
3rdDIHAC policy review meeting analysis report
By Nadila Mulati & Myo Nyein Aung
Nations’ ICT-based policies are the precondition to building up their digital capacity at macro and micro levels to adopt the “new digital era”. To have a better insight into the effectiveness of the established policies, and examine the current state of the countries in terms of digital transformation, it is necessary to look at the indicators across different areas. Therefore, on the 25th of June, 2021, we organized the third DIHAC virtual meeting to discuss the digitalization of Japan, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand. Three indexes were presented by Nadila Mulati, a Ph.D. candidate from Juntendo University.
The first index that was presented was Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Development Index (IDI), which is developed by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a composite index to examine and compare the developments in ICT between countries over time. It combined eleven indicators into one benchmark measure that grouped in three dimensions- ICT access, ICT use, and ICT skills. The Republic of Korea is the global leader in the ICT sector with the rank of second as the result of ever-higher levels of nationwide strategies towards informatization. In Asia and the Pacific Region, all four countries were in the top 10 rankings. The Republic of Korea is the leader, the 1st, followed by Japan the 3rd, Singapore, the 6th, and Thailand, the 10th. All these countries have achieved high levels of ICT development in these areas as a result of high levels of investment in ICT infrastructure, high-quality networks, and high levels of take-up of services by consumers, as well as the contribution of their strategic digital policy areas and in the coordination and implementation of their digital public services.
The second index presented was the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) developed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), which tracks the progress of e-government development at the national level. It is a composite index based on the weighted average of three normalized indices, Telecommunications Infrastructure Index (TII), Human Capital Index (HCI), and Online Service Index (OSI) to measure the readiness and capacity of national institutions to use ICTs to deliver public services. The Republic of Korea is the global leader in online services provision (OSI) and is the top EGDI performer in Asia, followed by Singapore and Japan. Thailand joined the very high EGDI group for the first time in 2020. The top performance indicated the consistency and progress in their strategic digital policy areas and the coordination and implementation of their digital public services. Moreover, it suggests strong political will, strategic leadership, and the commitment to expanding the provision of digital services. Thailand joined the very high EGDI group for the first time in 2020.
Table1. Digital Indexes Ranking of Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand
|Country||ICTs Development Index (IDI)||E-Government Development Index (EGDI)||IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR)|
|Global||Asia Pacific||Global||Asia Pacific|
Source: ITU, Measuring the Information Society Report 2017; 2020 United Nations E-Government Survey; IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2020.
Finally, the third index was the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR), which was developed by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) to measure the capacity and readiness of 63 economies to adopt and explore digital technologies for economic and social transformation. WDCR relies on three factors: Knowledge, which captures the intangible infrastructure necessary for the learning and discovery dimensions of technology; Technology, which quantifies the landscape of developing digital technologies; and Future Readiness, which examines the level of preparedness of an economy to assume its digital transformation. Singapore is ranked first, followed by the Republic of Korea (3rd), Japan (9th), and Thailand (10th). This indicates the effective regulation and infrastructure, combined with the well-generated knowledge and talent development of the countries.
In terms of the IDI and EGDI, ROK is leading whilst, in terms of WDCR Singapore is leading (Table). ICT indexes reflected the long history of countries’ digitalization and future-readiness, in addition to the current situation. The participants discussed the different ICT indexes as more specific indicators for the diffusion of digital technology in the population, reflecting that current internet use among the general population in ROK is (98%), Japan(95%), Singapore(92%), and Thailand (85%) and among the older people in ROK as 70%, in Japan 50%, in Singapore 55% and in Thailand 28%. DIHAC team scheduled the next meeting to invite researchers from four countries and discuss various interventions for digital inclusion, especially among the older population.
 Measuring the Information Society Report 2017. International Telecommunication Union; 2017. Available at: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/publications/misr2017/MISR2017_Volume1.pdf
United Nations E-Government Surveys: 2020 Digital Government in the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; 2020. Available at: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en us/Reports/UN-E-Government-Survey-2020
IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2020. Institute for Management Development (IMD); 2020.
Nadila Mulati is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Global Health Research, Graduate School of Medicine, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan.
Myo Nyein Aung is an Associate Professor at the Department of Global Health Research, Graduate School of Medicine, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan. He is also affiliated with the Advanced Research Institute for Health Sciences and Faculty of International Liberal Arts, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan.