Information policies in Asia: a review of information and communication policies in the Asian Region

The overall aim of this study is to review critically the pattern of information policies that have developed within Asian countries. More particularly, the study aims to identify existing information policies, points of similarity, gaps and innovative practices; and to provide an overall assessment of the state of information policy in the Region.

The scope of information policy is broad. For the purposes of this study information policy can be defined as the collection of policies and strategies that are designed to promote the development of an information-based society. These policies include, but extend beyond, those that are concerned with the promotion and use of information and communication technology (ICT).

The countries that have made most progress in the transition to information societies are those that have produced overall policy documents, providing a vision, setting up a framework of policies and specifying measures to be employed to achieve the policy goals.

The critical issue is the extent to which information and communication technology is seen as an end in itself or as an enabler of economic and social development. Most of the policies tend to focus on ICT; overall information society polices are rare. There is, therefore, a general need to emphasise the ‘I’ in ICT. The development of information literacy should be universal. This implies provision of education and training within and outside the school system.

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