On 25 November 2021, UNESCO convened an event showcasing the national assessment initiatives and relevance of Internet Universality and ROAM-X principles and indicators for shaping the digital transformation in Central Asia and the Russian Federation.
Member States praised the Internet Universality R.O.A.M. framework and Indicators as a value-adding instrument, which both facilitates a dialogue on regulatory and policy decisions and provides solid evidence upon which to base digital transformation processes in line with international human-rights standards.
Krista Pikkat, Director of the UNESCO Almaty Office, highlighted the importance of conducting these discussions at the regional level so as to share the best practices of national assessments and consider ways to promote reforms of internet policy in Central Asia and beyond.
UNESCO’s Director of Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE), Tao Zhan, highlighted the Internet’s crucial role in the digital transformation in education and re-affirmed IITE’s commitment to promoting Internet Universality ROAM-X principles and indicators through cross-sector collaboration.
Marielza Oliveira, UNESCO CI’s Director for Partnerships and Operational Programme Monitoring, stressed the importance of digital inclusion for vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples and people with disabilities in the digital transformation process and pointed out: “Digital transformation can be the root to foster the right to education and human rights through innovation”.
Every single one of IFAP’s (Information for All Programme) six priority areas: information literacy, information access, information preservation, information ethics, information for development and multilingualism online resonates with ROAM.
Shavkat Sabirov informed the Multistakeholder Advisory Board (MAB) about the ongoing assessment of ROAM-X in Kazakhstan. The Ministry of Digital Development and Ministry of Information and Public Development, as well as academia, and civil society organizations participated too. Sanjarbek Allarov updated the ongoing process of assessing ROAM-X indicators in Uzbekistan, including on the process of involving governmental bodies in composing the Multistakeholder Advisory Board (MAB).
Elira Turdubaeva presented the ongoing process of assessing the Media Development Indicators (MDIs) in Kyrgyzstan during 2021- 2022. Matthias Kettemann shared updates and lessons learned from conducting the newly launched national assessment of ROAM-X indicators in Germany.
Sergey Karpov underlined the high pertinence of assessing ROAM-X indicators in all Central Asian countries and the strong linkage between Journalism Safety Indicators, Media Development Indicators and the Internet Universality ROAM-X indicators. He called for implementing the assessment using national languages Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Russian.
Xianhong Hu, the focal point for the ROAM-X work at UNESCO pointed out the transversal nature of Internet Universality and how the ROAM-X Indicators project is serving as a unique tool, while being complementary with all existing ICTs and media related indicators. IUI is also instrumental in renewing the Internet governance model while IUI processes facilitate multistakeholder and human rights-based approaches.
UNESCO invites all stakeholders to attend UNESCO' sessions at the 16th Internet Governance Forum 2021 where a DAY-0 pre-event dedicated to the ongoing national assessment of IUIs conducted across five continents and a session focused on the Dynamic Coalition on IUIs, will be held respectively on 6 and 9 December 2021.