Database Methodology

Database Methodology


The objective of the mapping exercise was to take stock of ongoing activities in the field of digital capacity development offered by different types of providers at the global and regional level, with a view to creating a searchable self-serve database of training activities. Training activities listed in the database do not refer to a specific course but rather directs the user to a website where she/he will find several different course offerings. Also, the database has a narrow definition of course formats from which formats like reports, podcasts or one-off webinars have been excluded. This database will be made available publicly to stakeholders in particular form developing countries to quickly find and access the type of digital capacity development and training activity they need.

How to access and use the self-serve database

The database is accessible through the database for digital capacity. A filtering pane allows users to filter on the relevant fields such as focus area, audience, language, or format of training. Under each training activity the user will find a hyperlink that leads to the training provider’s respective webpage where further information (including course registration) can be found.

Scope of the database

Content/type of service provided:

the following criteria determined inclusion in the database, with the aim to provide consistency and clarity regarding the content of the database and maintain the relevance and usefulness to users.:

Delivery format:

in-person or online training courses. The database also includes toolkits that provide step-by-step instructions and material to run in-person courses. It excludes other products and services, such as reports, guides, podcasts, conferences, one-off webinars and learning communities.

Timeliness of the product offered:

The database includes courses that are offered on a continuing basis. One-off courses with a fixed delivery date were not included. In such cases, the user is navigated to the provider’s webpage for further information on the specific dates of course delivery. Previous capacity development projects have been included if some of the content built for the project is currently reusable for other audiences (e.g., toolkit to run introductory coding classes for children).


Training activities offered in one of the six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish) were prioritized for inclusion. Training activities offered in other languages are not included in this review.


The following audiences were considered for inclusion in the database: Government entities or policy makers, civil society, companies, or individuals. The target audience is specified for each training activity.


The following criteria determined provider inclusion in the database:

  • Provider type: the mapping exercise captured training activities from multiple stakeholders, including intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations, private sector companies, industry organizations and technical and academic communities.
  • Geographic source and target: The mapping exercise captured providers from a variety of geographic regions. It is noteworthy that most of the providers offer courses in at least two countries. Training activities only offered in one country were included in the database if their content was applicable to the needs of other geographies, or not well represented in the database.

Data Collection Methods

The data aggregated in the database reflects 1) submissions collected through a UNDP-ITU survey launched in 2020 to capture information on existing digital capacity development activities, and 2) desk research review. Data which fulfilled the scope requirements outlined above were included in the digital capacity database.

Classification of training activities and fields of the database

Required proficiency:  

This field indicates the level of proficiency users need to have in order to benefit from the training. The proficiency refers to the specific focus area of the training. Possible values for the required proficiency are beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Focus area:

Training activities are classified into 9 different focus areas. The classification was adapted from the classification created by the Digital Watch Observatory which can be found here. The classification has been adapted to either simplify, aggregate or add dimensions that were needed for certain training activities. The classification used is listed below:

Focus AreaDetails
InfrastructureICT infrastructure
Critical Infrastructure resources
Digital standards
Net neutrality and zero rating
Critical Infrastructure
Cyber conflict and warfare
Violent extremism
Child safety online
Network security
Rights and FreedomsPrivacy and data protection
Right to be forgotten
Freedom of expression
Rights of persons with disabilities
Gender rights online
Freedom of the press
Children’s rights
Human rights principles
Legal and RegulatoryJurisdiction
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Data governance
Intellectual Property Rights
Liability of intermediaries
Convergence and OTT
Digital legacies
Internet content policies
EconomicE-commerce and trade
Digital business models
Consumer protection
Future of work
Inclusion and Digital SocietyDigital literacy
Digital for health
Digital for education
Inclusion finance
Digital identities
Cultural diversity
EnvironmentClimate change
Resources and waste
Environment management plans
Information TechnologiesData science
Database management
Mobile development
Software development
Network and system administration
We development
IT help desk
Emerging technologiesArtificial intelligence
Internet of Things (IoT)
Cloud computing
Big data
List of focus areas, adapted from the Geneva Internet Platform’s Digital Watch observatory

Depth of training:

Refers to the expected proficiency users achieve after attending the training. Possible values for this field are foundation, intermediate, advanced, and highly specialized. This field has been filled qualitatively by browsing the content of the training activities and the duration of their offerings.


Refers to the format of the training. It can be face-to-face when the training is delivered in person, online – instructor led when the training is delivered online but has a component that is led in real time by an instructor.  It can also be online – self paced, in which case all of the content is pre-recorded and can be consulted at any time. Workshop or other refers to categories of training activities that do not fit the categories previously mentioned, for example, research seminars, hackathons, or toolkits on how to run courses on digital literacy workshops. Podcasts and one-off webinars have been excluded from the mapping exercise.


Gives an indication of the duration of courses that are part of a training activity. When courses are made of independent modules, the duration of the modules is the one indicated.


Frequency at which the courses are delivered. The most frequent courses are delivered monthly or more frequently, the least frequent ones are delivered annually or less. Online-self paced courses and some other types within the training activities are delivered on-demand.


This field indicates in which of the six UN languages the training activities are available.


Indicates whether the training activities are available for free or for a fee. The field also indicates if the training activities require sponsoring.


This field indicates if the offerings of the training activities lead to a certification. This information is reported from the provider’s training directly. There is no verification to the quality of the certificate provided or the type of certificate.

Focal point:

This field refers to the focal person that can be contacted to update / verify the details of the training. This field has been filled for training activities that have been either directly filled by the training provider or for training activities that have been listed by respondents to the UNDP survey. For training activities that were found through desk research, this field was filled with the general contact email that was provided on the website. These are not meant to be made publicly available.