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This chapter presents possible indicators for the framework. Each indicator is described in the context of the dimension and characteristic for which it is intended to be a measure.
For some characteristics, the most appropriate indicators will change over time. For example, in Australia, access to mobile phones is currently of interest as an indicator of household use of ICTs. However, mobile phone penetration is increasing fairly rapidly and within a relatively short time this indicator could show that the proportion of households with mobile phone access has stabilised. At that point, the mobile phone indicator will become less relevant in terms of providing useful information. However, by then we might expect that new ICTs will be emerging so it would be logical to replace it with other indicators to track the change in household use of ICTs.
Equally, for some indicators a long time series will prove useful in telling a meaningful story about a KBE/S. For example, an important indicator of innovation is expenditure on basic research by sector of performance as a percentage of GDP. Given that basic research is a key means of generating new knowledge, and this is unlikely to change in the near future, it is likely that this indicator would remain in the framework for much longer than an indicator of mobile phone coverage.
ABS has included indicators based on a judgment of their performance against the criteria listed above. A framework indicator should comply with most or all of the criteria for a good indicator. Ideally, therefore, it should be relevant, reliable, timely, sensitive, intelligible, available for several time periods and available for other countries as well as Australia. There are a number of possible indicators which have not been included in the framework. Some of these have been rejected on the basis that they will generally not satisfy most of the above criteria. In other cases, indicators have been rejected because there are several better indicators of a particular characteristic.
Where possible, the indicator figure or data set will be considered in the context of a historical or international data series.