Most adults in low and middle income countries do not have even basic computer skills. In 2014–2016, only 4% of adults in Sudan and Zimbabwe could copy and paste files, while 2% to 4% in Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamaica and Pakistan could use basic arithmetic formulas in a spreadsheet.
There are wide gender gaps even in simple ICT skills. About 75 women for every 100 men could use basic arithmetic formulas in a spreadsheet in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.Adult ICT and digital literacy skills can be assessed either indirectly, by self-reporting, or directly, by testing. Comparing the two shows that indirect assessments, the basis for the global indicator, capture only basic skills levels.Skills for work are commonly acquired outside formal education, e.g. in the community or workplace, and throughout life.
Governments need to ensure that provision is of good quality and that qualifications and certificates correspond to the skills workers have and employers need.Establishing regulations and accreditation processes for skills training providers, public and private, is important for accountability but requires resources and expertise many countries lack.
Many countries have introduced elements of a quality assurance system to strengthen accountability in skills development. A review of 20 low and middle income countries showed that 6 had no experience of any regulatory mechanism for non-government training provision and 9 had no experience of a functioning information system to improve system performance.