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Information and Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean

Development of Technologies and Technologies for Development

image of Information and Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean

The countries of the region have substantially progressed with large-scale application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to varied aspects of economic and social development: the installation of digital infrastructure, modernization of public administration, digitalization of economic processes to enhance productivity as well as the quality of education and health care, and natural disaster management. Rapid evolution turned ICTs into a real solution for the development agenda. In the effort to use ICT efficiently for development, it is important to bear in mind that these technologies are not an end in thsemselves. Should ICTs be the essential element in the approach applied by information societies to development, or should the different aspects of development rather guide the way this technological revolution is harnessed?

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ECLAC recommendations

The new technological paradigm implies massive capacity for storage, as well as for rapid capture, communication and processing of information. This leads to a profound economic and social reorganization, known under the catch-word of “information society” development. It is a “long wave” of technological change that creates new possibilities for economic and social integration. However, the wide range of opportunities this offers also carries risks, especially for developing countries. In view of this situation, the international community has devoted attention to defining strategies for advancing towards the creation of information societies. The major initiative in this regard was the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Geneva in 2003 and in Tunis in 2005.

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