This is a cross-post from the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI).
In Mozambique, just under 5% of the population uses the Internet. A major obstacle the country faces as it works to develop policies to increase access to affordable Internet is a lack of relevant data on how Mozambicans use ICTs.
Vital statistics on household ICT use in Mozambique — from the percentage of the population that is using mobile services, to the percentage of the population covered by a 3G network — at present are limited, or unavailable entirely. On July 7 and 8, A4AI (in partnership with Cetic.br and SIITRI) convened its second workshop on ICT research and methodology to tackle this issue.
Members of the A4AI-Mozambique coalition joined representatives from the country’s statistical agencies to develop new and improved questions on ICT use for inclusion in the 2017 national census and household surveys — the census is administered every 10 years, and household surveys are administered annually or with a frequency established by the statistical offices. Discussion and debate was informed by presentations on international best practices in ICT research and methodology, given by experts from A4AI member organisation Cetic.br and the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) Africa office.
Workshop participants reached consensus on a handful of key questions that need to be updated or developed for use in the 2017 census and national household surveys, including questions intended to measure how many households have access to ICTs and broadband, and how frequently they use them — for example, “Does your household have access to the Internet?” and “Have you used a computer in the last three months?”. The group submitted their official recommendations to the national statistical office (Instituto Nacional de Estatistica – INE) last week.
The A4AI-Mozambique Coalition is also working with A4AI local partner Science, Innovation, Information and Communication Technology Research Institute (SIITRI) and other research and government institutions, such as the Centro de Informatica da Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (CIUEM), the Instituto Nacional das Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação (INTIC), and the INE, on a draft of what will be the first ICT household survey in Mozambique, to be implemented by the national statistical office in coordination with partner organisations.
The inclusion of ICT usage questions in the 2017 census and other surveys in Mozambique will enable overall research in the ICT sector to improve and contribute to the development of evidence-based policies that support economic growth across other sectors in the country. Additionally, the data will enable the effective monitoring and evaluation of developments in the sector. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to share our ideas and contribute to this important process, and hope that Mozambique’s national statistical office will accept the coalition’s recommendations. Stay tuned for updates.
Image: Participants in A4AI’s workshop narrow down the most important ICT questions to include in Mozambique’s national census and household surveys. (A4AI)