Information and Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean

Development of Technologies and Technologies for Development

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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?




The concept of electronic government (e-government) relates to the functions and objectives of the executive branch in a State (as a complement to the judicial and legislative branches) and, therefore, to the use of ICT in public administration. This chapter is based on an analytical framework that considers semantic, organizational, technical and governance aspects of e-government policies, so as to assess their level of development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Some significant results are also highlighted, such as increased government transparency and efficiency through the use of electronic public procurement systems. The evidence presented indicates that the use of ICT in public administration produces major benefits for society at large, be it indirectly or directly.


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