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Information Networks and Social Inclusion in Latin America

Rapid changes in information networks throughout Latin America may provide new opportunities to address inequalities in the region. This project will generate high-quality research to inform policymakers and practitioners about the development impact of new information and communication technologies (ICTs)-and how to make them more socially inclusive.

Despite favourable conditions for social and economic development, such as high commodity prices and more effective democratic governance, development challenges in Latin America remain. Perhaps most starkly, the region is home to countries with very high levels of structural inequality. To address these inequalities, we must better understand the benefits of broader connectivity in the region. This will allow us to gauge the extent to which government interventions, such as broadband adoption plans, benefit all segments of society.

The research team will evaluate how and how much poor and marginalized groups are participating and receiving the benefits of the new levels of connectivity across the region. These benefits may include increased employment and livelihood opportunities, for example.

More specifically, the project will include three research elements:
-how online labour and financing platforms create opportunities for gainful employment for women and youth;
-the Digital Poverty Survey 2.0; and,
-research on the affordability of mobile phones and the Internet, with a focus on the poor's spending patterns in Latin America.

The project will also:
-deepen knowledge on the relationship between ICT access and the poor in Latin America;
-establish a better understanding of meaningful use and participation in open development processes, such as open government and open education, with specific attention paid to women and youth in urban settings;
-provide recommendations to policymakers and practitioners on appropriate regulatory policies and ICT initiatives that maximize benefits for the poor; and,
-build young scholars' capacities to enter the field and carry out high-quality research projects.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
24 months
IDRC Officer
Matthew Smith
Total Funding
CA$ 735,100.00
South America
Networked Economies
Networked Economies
Institution Country
Project Leader
Roxana Barrantes
Instituto de Estudios Peruanos



How transformational mobile banking optimizes household expenditures : a case study from rural communities in Mexico


Age for learning, age for teaching : the role of intergenerational, intra-household learning in Internet use by older adults in Latin America


Discrimination in online contracting : evidence from Latin America


Digital divide in Latin America : broadband price, quality and affordability in the region