in Innovation, Policy, Research & Education

The Internet Monitor

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The Internet Monitor

The Internet Data Dashboard is a new research project supported by the Berkman center. It aims to evaluate, describe, and summarize the means, mechanisms, and extent of Internet content controls and Internet activity around the world. The project compiles and curates data from multiple sources, including primary data collected by the Berkman Center and partners, as well as relevant secondary data.

This tool has a real interest for anyone working in the ICT industry. Indeed, the Internet Monitor give the big picture and can be very useful and powerful to understand the Internet effects on a specific country or on a bench of countries. Most of the studies that I am working on consist to compare a specific nation to others economies in order to understand what can be improved. Some datasets are already available from ITU, the World Bank or the Web Index but it is still difficult to analyzed them. The Internet Monitor is an Open Source software where we can add functionalities to analyze deeply the different datasets.

It is also difficult to get data from most of developing countries and I am wondering if the Internet Monitor could become a crowdsourcing platform to get information from civil societies all over the world ? The World Bank already launched several Open Data Initiatives to have a better vision of the global economy and USAID has also it own Open Data Policy to collect Agency-funded data in a central repository. These two initiatives are linked to governments and I was wondering if the Internet Monitor could give more power to civil societies as the Ushahidi project and others ones collected information directly from the field. For example, it has been difficult for me to get data from countries like Comoros or Burkina-Faso while their governments don’t provide proper statistic data.  Thus, getting data directly from end-users could allow us to have sharper data and build adapted responses through policies, strategies and programs. This was said, it is not easy to get data from the field and we need to think about specific local branches to monitor Internet local usages.

Another usage of the Internet Monitor could be to link the existing datasets and provide an interface to crowd them. Indeed, several entities are providing Internet usage datasets but we still don’t have an easy tool to analyze data from different institutions. Thus, the Internet Monitor could be a platform to analyze several datasets from different partners in order to understand in depth a specific economy. We could start this improvement with most requested data and make it more complex on the go.

Anyway, the Internet Monitor is an exiting project and it could support policy makers to take the right decisions.

More on the Internet Monitor project here: https://thenetmonitor.org

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