Internet Universality Indicators

Internet Universality Indicators

The concept of Internet Universality summarizes UNESCO’s updated positions in the digital age, pointing to the four fundamental R.O.A.M principles, according to which the Internet should be human Rights-based, Open, Accessible to all and nurtured by Multi-stakeholder participation. 

UNESCO works to encouraged interested Member States and all stakeholders to support and conduct national assessments of Internet development, on a voluntary basis, with the Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators”.

The conduct of these assessments aim to:

  • Develop a clear and substantive understanding of the national Internet environment and of Internet policies contributing to sustainable development;
  • Assess such environment and policies in relation to the implementation of UNESCO’s R.O.A.M. principles;
  • Formulate policy recommendations that can help improve Internet development in the country.
UNESCO’s Internet universality indicators: a framework for assessing Internet development
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How is the Internet in Germany? New findings of national Internet Universality assessment

Facts and Figures


Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multistakeholder Participation

ROAM-X indicators

including 109 identified as “core” indicators

completed assessments of IUIs:

Benin, Brazil, Germany, Kenya, Senegal and Thailand

countries where the assessment is progressing


Because AI and other new technologies have been evolving within the ecosystem of the Internet, UNESCO believes that Internet Universality ROAM principles of Rights, Openness, Accessibility, and Multi-stakeholder participation can serve as a well-grounded and holistic framework for UNESCO and stakeholders to help shape the design, application, and governance of AI. UNESCO thus recommended states to implement Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators to measure human Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation and to thereby map and improve the ecosystem in which AI is developed, applied, and governed.

This report is a contribution to the wider debate about the ethics and governance of AI. It is an attempt to ‘steer’ clear of both technological utopianism, and dystopian thinking. Instead of technological determinism and its implication of inevitability, UNESCO gives attention to the role of human agency and human-centred values in the development of AI and other advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs).

This study frames its assessment of AI through UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM framework agreed by our Member States in 2015.
Steering AI and advanced ICTs for knowledge societies: a Rights, Openness, Access, and Multi-stakeholder Perspective
Steering AI and advanced ICTs for knowledge societies: a Rights, Openness, Access, and Multi-stakeholder perspective

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Episode 1: This episode gives a general introduction to AI and UNESCO’s ROAM-X principles.

The animation series were created based on the UNESCO publication Steering AI and Advanced ICTs for Knowledge Societies – a Rights, Openness, Access, and Multi-stakeholder Perspective to promote a better understanding of guiding human-centred and ethical principles underpinning any development of AI. Each episode contains a key message illustrated from the publication.

Read more on the series

Our publications

Threats that silence: trends in the safety of journalists; insights discussion paper; World trends in freedom of expression and media development: Global report 2021/2022
With the support of the UNESCO Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists (MDP)
Letting the sun shine in: transparency and accountability in the digital age
Youth and violent extremism on social media: mapping the research
Pub. with the support of IFAP
What if we all governed the Internet? Advancing multistakeholder participation in Internet governance