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?



National and regional strategies

The digital revolution and the emergence of its information societies has impelled Latin American and Caribbean governments to develop initiatives and policy instruments to maximize the social and productive benefits of ICT. This process began in a number of the region’s countries in the 1990s, with attempts to increase the technologies’ impact on economic and social development through initiatives such as universal telecommunications programmes, school computers (and, later, Internet connections), policies regarding radio and television broadcasting, measures to encourage the development of software (and in the larger countries also hardware) industry, and computerization of administrative, financial and accounting processes in public administration at the central government level.


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