Public policies for the development of information societies in Latin America and the Caribbean
ECLAC - Division of Production, Productivity and Management
This document analyses the challenges facing Governments of Latin America and the Caribbean in terms of the policies they will need to adopt in order to transform their countries into information societies. The State is concerned by the change in paradigm caused by the introduction and massive use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for two reasons. On the one hand, the public sector can be an important actor in orienting the society towards a new model of social and productive organization based on processes and intensive digital information and communication flows. In order to seize the opportunities for economic growth arising from ICTs, reduce new forms of inequality and achieve greater social inclusion, public intervention strategies that complement or correct market performance must be developed, implemented and assessed. On the other hand, the public sector, in digitizing its processes, changes its mode of functioning and the way it fulfils its mission, at the same time as it encourages the rest of society to adopt new forms of interaction. Thus, the State can use ICTs as a tool to effect efficient and transparent change and do so in the service of democracy.
These two dimensions of the relationship between the State and ICTs -the promotion of information societies based on an approach that combines economic growth with equity and the transformation of the State, itself, in the quest for greater transparency and efficiency- give rise to political agendas that can be integrated into a regional agenda. Given that the vast majority of countries in the region are already implementing some type of action in this regard, this document demonstrates how the regional integration of agendas for information societies can be a powerful instrument for promoting economic growth with equity.
This document presents the challenges of a public policy agenda, that is, it approaches the issue from the point of view of State action. Thus, it does not take into account other dimensions, such as the business and investment strategies of private enterprises and civil society initiatives, which will have a substantial impact on the path leading to the information societies.