The IDDLAC sets out its founding principles in a document that covers the region`s status in digital matters

IDD-LAC stands as a new and reliable space to nurture the design of public policies with the richness of the existing multistakeholder dialogue in the region as well as to build bridges towards Digital Cooperation and for regulations that promote an effective development of the ICT ecosystem.

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The digitization processes are modifying the production methods, the social relations, cultural expression and people’s participation in public life. Among the main benefits for society, its potential to increase productivity levels, improve communication between people, facilitate access to services and knowledge, and increase democratic participation and debate, can be highlighted.

 

Since they are as relevant as unavoidable, digital technologies carry important opportunities but also associated risks, such as respect for individual privacy or human rights.

 

At the same time, the adoption delay of this technology deepens the poverty gap for both individuals and countries. It is everyone’s duty to achieve full digital inclusion, joint development of our societies and a safe and conscious use of digital tools by citizens, without this implying an impairment of rights, but the exact opposite of this.

 

In recent years, Latin America and the Caribbean have made significant progress in raising awareness of the need to generate policies that contribute to digital development. Despite this and the remarkable impulse that has taken place, these regions still face important challenges in terms of connectivity, digitization of their economies and societies, policies for the creation of digital citizens, regional harmonization, among others.

 

Dialogue and integration processes, which require the effective involvement of more and more actors, not only those from the public sector, should aim to establish a robust and profitable regional public policy agenda that generates a real impact on each of the national agendas.

 

One year after COVID19 pandemic started, the role of the Internet as a factor for development and maintenance of essential activities has been highlighted even more than ever: from the productive sphere to the educational sphere. In this sense, those people who do not access the Internet or have less digitized economies are those who are suffering harmful effects of the pandemic, both in health and economic aspects.

 

Therefore, one of the main objectives in Latin America and the Caribbean should be to establish policies at the highest level, which tend to implement effective digitization plans and, to finally close the digital gap in the medium and long term.

 

At the same time, the increase of Internet use and access to information through the Internet during the pandemic have given way to a deep debate around data processing, personal data and human rights online, with many governments being tempted to regulate them, many times without the appropriate and necessary consensus and critical analysis.

 

For all these reasons, it seems essential to establish a space for serene but deep discussions on regulation, which aim not to stop the growth of the digital environment but at the same time protect the rights of citizens.

 

It is also necessary to continue generating mechanisms that are capable of studying the transformations that are taking place and those that may take place in the future. Thus, it will be possible to better understand its implications and the aspects that contribute to the disruptive process caused by the digitalization of our societies, aiming to maximize social well-being.

 

The possibility of making these reflections is critical, both from the perspective of business models, to the social sustainability of digitization, and in relation to the way in which it is translated in terms of human progress.

Currently, the region lacks momentum in the discussion of public policies that promote digital development and improve the quality of decisions that are being taken in each of the countries. If the Internet has become  essential for social functioning, the public policy decisions that are being taken, now more than ever, must be of the highest possible quality and be born from the maximum consensus. 

 

Today we are far from achieving that squaring of the circle. Short-term decisions prevail in the region, forced by immediate needs, many of which are not the most appropriate for a harmonious development over time.

 

In the same line, regional coordination, which could lead on an aggiornamento of public policies in digital matters, lacks the drive and dynamism needed. Many of the regional forums have lost their ability to influence national agendas, thus requiring a propulsion and coordination to transform these dynamics.

 

For all that has been said, we see the need for the constitution of the “Institute of Digital Development for Latin America and the Caribbean”, with the aim of promoting the transversal participation of all the actors of the Digital Ecosystem, with a view to generating and supporting reflection and debate on regional digital development and encouraging and promoting, from a neutral space, the discussion on public policies that favor economic and social progress, in order to maximize their positive impacts and mitigate latent risks and possible unwanted effects.

 

The IDD-LAC was born with the desire to jointly promote the development of public policies that contribute to improving the benefits of the digitization of Latin American society, through the establishment of a cross-sectional forum for discussion and diagnosis.

 

The Institute was created with the vocation to promote:

 

  • Open and inclusive dialogue, in all aspects of digital development, at local and regional levels, based on multi-stakeholder participation; An approach that includes Latin American governments in different areas of the executive branch as well as parliamentarians, regional organizations, the business sector, the technical community and civil society.

  • Digital Cooperation: To offer a coordination framework for regional and national digital agendas in Latin America  and the Caribbean, and promote synergies between them, especially supporting the objectives of the Global Internet Governance Forum  ( IGF), which is, among other things, promoting open development, multi-stakeholder evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people around the world.

     

  • Contribute to an effective regional incidence on aspects related to digital economy and development, capacity building, respect and promotion of human rights and freedom of expression, including exchanges and collaboration with other non-Latin American regional organizations.

  • To Promote synergies between national capacity development programs on Internet governance and digital literacy.

 

Access the full document here.