Digital Opportunity Index

Definition of Digital Opportunity Index

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) is a metric developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that measures the overall level of access, use, and skills related to information and communication technology (ICT) in various countries. This index evaluates factors such as mobile and internet penetration rates, network infrastructure, and literacy levels to determine a country’s digital divide. By assessing a nation’s DOI, policymakers and stakeholders can identify areas in need of improvement and prioritize policies that promote digital inclusiveness and development.


Digital Opportunity Index: /ˈdɪdʒɪtəl ɒpərˈtjuːnɪti ˈɪndɛks/

Key Takeaways

  1. The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) is a globally recognized index that measures the digital divide and the accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in different countries.
  2. DOI takes into account four primary factors: mobile and fixed telecommunication coverage, affordability of ICT services, intensity of use, and its impact on socio-economic development.
  3. By providing data on digital accessibility, DOI helps countries identify gaps and inequalities in their ICT infrastructure, leading to more focused and effective policies to bridge the digital divide and promote digital inclusion.

Importance of Digital Opportunity Index

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) is an important technology term as it represents a comprehensive metric to assess the overall technological growth, accessibility, and digital divide within and among countries.

Developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the DOI measures key indicators covering infrastructure, affordability, and knowledge based on information and communication technology (ICT). By analyzing the DOI, policymakers, businesses, and organizations can evaluate a country’s digital progress, identify areas that require improvement, implement targeted steps for digital inclusion, and promote economic development.

Furthermore, the index serves as a crucial tool for global comparisons, fostering competitiveness and collaboration while empowering the global community to enhance digital opportunities worldwide.


The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) serves as a valuable tool in measuring the opportunities and advancements in information and communication technology (ICT) available to individuals, businesses, and administrations across different countries. Developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), its primary purpose is to analyze and evaluate the performance of countries in fostering digital inclusiveness and bridging the digital divide.

By examining key parameters such as internet usage, digital infrastructure, and affordability, the DOI provides insights for decision-makers and policymakers to implement strategies that promote wider access to digital services and tools, particularly in underdeveloped regions. Furthermore, the Digital Opportunity Index is utilized to track progress towards global goals such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) targets.

By quantifying digital access using a three-stage framework, including infrastructure, affordability, and knowledge, the DOI offers a comprehensive assessment of a country’s efforts to create a more inclusive digital landscape. Consequently, this information can be indispensable for governments, NGOs, and international organizations in devising targeted interventions to improve the availability of ICT services, promote socio-economic development, and ensure that no one is left behind in the rapidly evolving digital age.

Examples of Digital Opportunity Index

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) is an index created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that measures the relative development of digital opportunities in different countries. The index is based on three main factors: opportunity, infrastructure, and utilization. Here are three real-world examples illustrating the implementation and impact of the Digital Opportunity Index.

South Korea:South Korea is consistently ranked at or near the top of the Digital Opportunity Index, reflecting the country’s commitment to providing widespread access to digital opportunities for its citizens. The South Korean government has made significant investments in its telecommunications infrastructure, including widespread broadband access and robust mobile networks. This high level of digital opportunity, combined with advanced IT education, has propelled South Korea to become a global leader in technology and innovation. South Koreans enjoy high-speed broadband connectivity, advanced 5G networks, and a vibrant ecosystem of e-commerce and digital services.

India:India has made rapid strides in improving its digital infrastructure and access to digital opportunities in recent years. According to the ITU, India’s DOI score has gradually improved, thanks to the Digital India initiative launched by the government. This initiative aims to increase connectivity through the expansion of broadband infrastructure, the creation of thousands of rural internet centers, and the provision of low-cost smartphones and data plans. As a result, India has experienced a significant increase in digital adoption across the population, giving more people the chance to access e-commerce, online education, and digital health services. While there is still a substantial digital divide between urban and rural areas, the country’s upward trajectory in the DOI demonstrates the government’s commitment to increasing digital opportunities for all.

Malawi:In contrast to South Korea and India, Malawi is a country with a low Digital Opportunity Index score, indicating limited access to digital infrastructure and services for its citizens. Malawi’s DOI score is affected by factors such as inadequate telecommunications infrastructure, low Internet penetration rate, and less affordability of digital technologies. As a result, Malawians often face challenges in accessing digital services and opportunities, impacting education, healthcare, and economic growth. Efforts such as the National ICT Masterplan 2014-2030 initiated by the Malawian government seek to improve the country’s digital infrastructure, while international organizations and NGOs help address some of the existing digital gaps through initiatives focusing on education, healthcare, and digital skills development.

Digital Opportunity Index FAQ

1. What is the Digital Opportunity Index?

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) is an index that measures the digital opportunity and connectivity at a global level. It captures the key aspects of digital access, usage, and affordability. The DOI is calculated based on four main categories, which are infrastructure, affordability, knowledge, and quality. The higher the DOI, the better the digital opportunity in a country or region.

2. How is the Digital Opportunity Index calculated?

The DOI is calculated by considering various indicators within the four main categories: infrastructure, affordability, knowledge, and quality. These indicators include things like mobile and fixed broadband penetration, internet affordability, adult literacy rates, and the quality of telecommunications infrastructure. Each indicator is assigned a weight, and the DOI is calculated by averaging the weighted indicators for each country.

3. Why is the Digital Opportunity Index important?

The Digital Opportunity Index is important because it serves as a benchmark for policymakers and stakeholders to assess the progress of countries in terms of digital development. It helps identify areas where improvements can be made, monitor progress over time, and provide valuable insights for the development of effective policies and strategies to bridge digital divides and promote digital inclusion.

4. Who created the Digital Opportunity Index?

The Digital Opportunity Index was created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with information and communication technologies. The ITU launched the DOI in 2004 as part of its World Information Society Report.

5. How can I access data on the Digital Opportunity Index?

Data on the Digital Opportunity Index can be accessed through the International Telecommunication Union’s website. The ITU releases regular updates on the DOI, which can be found in relevant reports and publications, such as the Measuring the Information Society Report.

Related Technology Terms

  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Digital Divide
  • Internet Accessibility
  • ICT Infrastructure
  • Affordability of Digital Services

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