In order for the Web to reach its full potential as "a tool that can improve living standards, reduce conflict and improve governance and well-being, it is important to understand how the Web impacts social, developmental, economic and political dimensions (1)." The Web Index attempts to measure this.
The tool is set-up and maintained by the World Wide Web Foundation, covers 61 developed and developing countries and measures and ranks:
- Web Readiness: The quality and extent of Communications Infrastructure and Institutional Infrastructure.
- Web Use: Web usage within countries and the content available to the Web users.
- The Impact of the Web: the impact of the Web on social, economic and political dimensions.
Web Index 2012
The Index will be published on an annual basis, allowing eventually the comparison of trends over time. The first editition of the Web Index for 2012 is now available - you may read the full report at: WebIndex 2012.
To get a quick idea of which countries are currently the best at putting the Web to work, take a look at the 2012 Rankings.
One of the main conclusions of the report is that "the Web remains a largely untapped resource in much of the world, with only 1 in 3 people using it globally and fewer than 1 in 6 in Africa."
(1) "About the Web Index," Web Index