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Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America

Case study by ECLAC Division of Production, Productivity and Management, 2002

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What: Both a conceptual analysis of what is the information society (knowledge and information, the development of ICTs, etc.) and a concrete presentation of how (through different steps) an information society could be built in Latin American countries. The latter chapter uses the concepts introduced in the former. Who: Students or teachers in ICT theory or ICT policies or in economics (especially interested in Latin America). How: A sound introduction to ICTs, following both a theoretical approach, and an applied one (a case study on policy-making on ICTs in Latin America).

oward a Conceptual
Framework and Public Policy
agenda for the Information
Society in Latin America and the

Martin R. Hilbert
Jorge Katz







Desarrollo productivo

Santiago, Chile, October 2002

Division of Production, Productivity and
Restructuring and Competitiviness Network


This document was written by Martin R. Hilbert from the Division of
Production, Productivity and Management of the Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations (ECLAC). It is part of a
research project related to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
and Information Society issues at ECLAC, carried out under the coordination
and supervision of Jorge Katz, Director DDPE, ECLAC.

The views expressed in this document, which has been reproduced without
formal editing, are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of
the Organization.

The list of contributors to this book is large enough as to make it difficult to
enumerate them all. The author would like to express gratitude especially to all
the researchers and contributors involved in the various studies which have been
carried out for the book “Building an Information Society: A perspective from
Latin America and the Caribbean” (who are listed at page 35 of this document).
The author is also very grateful for the countless comments and suggestions that
he received during the many seminars and workshops that accompanied his work
during the period of research 2000-2002. We can only hope that each one of the
contributors that we could not name personally, feels at this point as if we would
be personally mentioning and thanking his or her individual endeavor.

United Nations Publication
ISSN:online version: 1680-8754
ISSN:printed version 1020-5179
Copyright © United Nations, October, 2002. All rights reserved.
Sales N° E.02.II.G.114
Printed in United Nations, Santiago, Chile
Applications for the right to reproduce this work are welcomed and should be sent to the
Secretary of the Publications Board, United Nations headquarters, New York, N.Y.
10017, U.S.A. Member States and their governmental institutions may reproduce this
work without prior authorization, but are requested to mention the source and inform the
United Nations of such reproduction.

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133



Abstract ........................................................................................ 5
I. Introduction................................................................................ 7
II. Toward a theory on the information society ..................... 9

Information and knowledge......................................................... 10
Information and communication technologies (ICT) .................. 12
The four layers of digital conduct ............................................... 16
ICT for development ................................................................... 23
Conclusions ................................................................................. 26

III. Policy Agenda for the Information Society in Latin
America and the Caribbean ................................................. 33
Building the infrastructure layer ................................................. 36
Building the generic service layer ............................................... 37
Strategies for an information society .......................................... 38
Regulatory framework for an information society ...................... 40
Financing an information society................................................ 41
Human capital for an information society................................... 43
Digitizing the business sector (e-business) ................................. 44
Digitizing government (e-government) ....................................... 45
Digitizing the health sector (e-health) ......................................... 46
Digitizing culture (e-culture)....................................................... 47
Digitizing education (e-learning) ................................................ 48
Digitizing the media (e-media).................................................... 49
Final consideration ...................................................................... 50

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Bibliography............................................................................................................................... 53
Declaration of Florianapolis, June 2002 ............................................................................. 57
Serie desarrollo productivo: issued published ................................................................ 61

Text boxes

Box 1 The knowledge process .............................................................................................. 10
Box 2 The internet ................................................................................................................ 15
Box 3 Digital service tools in a digital economy.................................................................. 20
Box 4 Digitizing market mechanisms ................................................................................... 24
Box 5 What steps should be taken in developing countries to address the challenge of

"building and information society": Executive summary .......................................... 35
Box 6 Open standards for digital TV.................................................................................... 37
Box 7 Working group on mobile and wireless...................................................................... 37
Box 8 Digitizing inner-and inter-organizational communication and coordination

Processes .................................................................................................................... 38
Box 9 Reducing costs and improving quality through application service provider ............ 38
Box 10 Reducing uncertainty in the telecom industry through strong institutions................. 40
Box 11 Enabling digital transaction across the region............................................................ 41
Box 12 Financing in a time of crisis ....................................................................................... 42
Box 13 Using ICT requires training........................................................................................ 43
Box 14 The information society competes through tacit knowledge...................................... 44
Box 15 Special focus on SMEs............................................................................................... 45
Box 16 Participative leadership for a new form of government ............................................. 46
Box 17 Standardization, quality assurance and privacy for a digitized health sector ............ 47
Box 18 Technology, training and adoption have to go together ............................................. 49


Figure 1 ICT-Convergence ....................................................................................................... 14
Figure 2 The four layers of digital conduct .............................................................................. 17
Figure 3 Widespread and cheap access to information ............................................................ 25
Figure 4 Long waves: technology-based paradigms................................................................. 28
Figure 5 Horizontal layers, vertical sectors and diagonal areas of the information society..... 30
Figure 6 Horizontal layers, vertical sectors and diagonal areas building upon each other ...... 32

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133



The advent of modern Information and Communication
Technologies (ICT) and the establishment of a global “Information
Society” are forcing countries of all shapes and sizes to take a fresh
look on their development agendas. In order to tackle the challenging
task of integrating the Information Society paradigm appropriately in
to the development agenda, this paper proposes a conceptual
framework to discuss and analyze the complex issues and challenges
related to subject. Basing on an extensive study about the actual
situation of the emerging Information Society in Latin America and
the Caribbean that ECLAC carried out during 2000-2002, the second
part of this paper aims at creating an adequate policy agenda,
considering the various particularities that the region confronts on its
path into the digital age.

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


I. Introduction

The concept of the "Information Society" and a "knowledge-
based Digital Economy" refers to a paradigm, which is profoundly
transforming the world at the beginning of this new millenium. New
forms of creating and diffusing information through digital
technologies mainly drive this transformation. Information flows,
communication processes, and coordination mechanisms are being
digitized in many different sectors of society, eventually introducing a
new form of social and productive organization. This form of “digital
conduct” is an increasingly global phenomenon, emerging –on the
main-from mature industrial societies. The adoption of this
technology-based paradigm stays in a highly positive relation with the
degree of development of a society. However, technology is not only
the child of development (as it stems from development), but to a large
extent, it is also its father (it is a tool for development).

From the perspective of developing countries, the question of
how to employ this emerging paradigm to achieve broader
development goals and better integrate them into the global
Information Society imposes itself on the development agenda. While
Latin America and the Caribbean already came “late” to the
assimilation of the “industrial age” paradigm, the role the region will
play in the global Information Society and its “digital age” is still to be

In order to tackle the challenging task of integrating the
Information Society paradigm into the development agenda, this paper
proposes to address two essential questions:

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


(1) What constitutes an “Information Society”?

An analytical framework must be developed in order to discuss the complex issues related to
the construction and functioning of an “Information Society”. Several initiatives, specialized
programs and Task Forces on a local, regional and global level are trying to identify the “building
blocks of an Information Society”. Recognizing the efforts of many of them, the model that is
presented in this paper proposes a three-dimensional conceptual framework, structured along
horizontal, vertical and diagonal fields of interest.

(2) What are the adequate policies that can support the transition of a specific region towards
an Information Society, considering regional particularities?

The Information Society does not build on a vacuum. The path towards the “digital age”
depends heavily on the particular heritage from the “industrial age” setting. In order to understand
current and potential future paths that can be taken in the transition toward an Information Society,
regional peculiarities (such as the general degree of development in all its dimensions, markets,
institutions, educational standards, public policies, culture, etc.) demand careful consideration. In
order to obtain a clearer picture about the actual situation in Latin America and the Caribbean,
ECLAC carried out an extensive study during 2000-20021. Basing on the information and
knowledge gathered during this process, the second part of these paper aims at creating an adequate
policy agenda for the region.

1 In June 2000 representatives of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean gathered at the “Regional Meeting on Information

Technology for development”, convened by the Government of the Federal Republic of Brazil in the City of Florianopolis, in
collaboration with ECLAC in its capacity as secretariat. In what has become known as the “Declaration of Florianopolis” (2000), the
countries of Latin America and the Caribbean expressed their “shared aspirations to become full-fledged members of the
Information Society”. The declaration presents the starting point of a research project related to Information and Communication
Technologies (ICT), the concepts of the Digital Economy and the Information Society, which ECLAC carried out thereafter under
the coordination and supervision of JORGE KATZ, Director DDPE, ECLAC. After the completion of two preparatory studies
(Hilbert, 2001a; 2001b), ECLAC invited a group of experts from the public sector, private sector and civil society in November
2001, to reflect about existing visions in the process of building an Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean. As a
result of this meeting, 24 different studies have been carried out by 19 authors from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador,
Mexico, Spain and the US and Europe, which aim at presenting a clearer and more complete picture about current developments.
The final outcome (a book that covers 14 Chapters in almost 400 pages) is being prepared for publication at this moment (Aug,
2002). (see: Hilbert Martin and Jorge Katz:
“Building an Information Society: a perspective form Latin America and the Caribbean”).

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II. Toward a theory on the
information society

All human conduct is based on the exchange of information and
communication. Communication can take place through many
different channels. Voice, text, gestures, movements, expressions,
affection and even non-attention transmit some kind of information.
After all, in human conduct it is impossible not to communicate
(Watzlawick and Beavin and Jackson, 1990). A constantly growing
part of human communication can be and is being digitized. This
process started few decades ago and is accelerating as technological
solutions evolve. Such technological systems are commonly referred
to as modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The deployment of ICT has a significant impact on how information
and codified knowledge are handled and disseminated throughout the
world. The “Information Society” and the “knowledge-based Digital
Economy” are direct results of this information and communication

The concept of the “Information Society” is very complex.
Intellectual thought will need to reduce this complexity through a
process of abstraction, whereby ‘reality’ is expressed in terms of
specific entities and their relationships to each other. Words and
schemata need to be found in order to discuss the concept of an
“Information Society”. This chapter sets up a theoretical framework,
which helps to structure and untangle the concept of the Information
Society. Based on the fundamental characteristics of ICT, a way to
structure digital conduct is presented. This then facilitates the
identification of both the potential and limits of the technology

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


particularly with regard to its use for development. The rest of the book analyzes specific fields
along this theoretical framework. Such an analysis will enable the proper integration of this
paradigm into modern development theory and help to effectively direct policies (see the last
Chapter of the book) that support the complex process of “building an Information Society”.

Information and knowledge

Concepts of the Information Society (sometimes also “Knowledge Society”) and the
“knowledge-based Digital Economy” need to make the distinction between information and
knowledge very clearly. Even though both may be interrelated, information is not equal to

It is not possible to “transfer knowledge” over the digital infrastructure of ICT. To be
precise, it is not even possible to “transfer information”. All that can be transferred is data. Data is
information that has been translated into a form that is more convenient to move or process.
Numbers and letters are data that are codified by language and which can be transferred with the
help of a book. In terms of today's computer and transmission media, data are information
converted into binary digits2. The process that leads from “data”, to “information” to “knowledge”,
is a dynamic process of codification and de-codification and a process of learning.

In literature, two forms of knowledge are distinguished: tacit knowledge and codified (or
explicit) knowledge (Polanyi, 1962). The distinction refers to the degree to which pieces of
knowledge can be written down (codified) and transferred (Lundvall, 1997) (see Box “The
Knowledge Process”).

Box 1

2 A bit (binary digit) is the smallest indivisible unit of digital information- either a one or a zero. Although computers usually provide

instructions that can test and manipulate bits, they generally are designed to store data and execute instructions in bit multiples
called bytes. In most computer systems, eight bits form a byte.

Knowledge can be a skill. Playing football, reading a foreign language or using a machine is
knowledge. It is a tacit, habitual process or custom, which is intangible and “carried inside” an
individual or a community. Secondly, knowledge can also be codified in order to transmit it. A
manual about how to use the machine or a textbook about how to speak a foreign language can
be written down. In its natural form, knowledge is tacit and internalized so it can be used. However
to transmit knowledge from one to the other, it needs to be codified, that meas it needs to be made
tangible and static.

Codification of knowledge implies that knowledge is transformed into information. It is a
process of reduction and conversion, whereas it is aimed at expressing knowledge in a format that
is compact and standardized. There are many ways of codification. For example, smoke signals,
wall-paintings in caves, writing or Morse codes are all ways of codification, the same as language
itself is a very common way to codify and transmit ideas and thoughts. Codifying knowledge
enables to store information or to transmit it from one to another, directly or through “information
infrastructures”. This infrastructure might function “manually” –like through the pony express, the
pigeon mail, the traditional mailman, etc.— or by further codifying information with another
technical language (e.g. Morse codes or TCP/IP) and transmitting it through a communication

Different techniques and languages are used to codify information into data (words are codified
into letters and letteers are codified into bits through IP). Making use of previously learned --or
programmed-- techniques or languages, data can be de-codified and information in return re-
obtained. When receiving an email, an informatic program is decoding and organizing the data,
converting them into letters. The subsequent process of “reading” would be an example, whereby
a human being decodes data (letters) in order to obtain information in the form of words and
sentences. Learning these languages enables the decodification of the transmitted data and their
convertion into information.

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Box 1 (continuation)

Tacit knowledge can be carried by an individual or by a community. The tacit knowledge of
an individual worker is often referred to as “human capital”. The tacit knowledge in a community is
habitual. It is an “ontology”, which constitutes a set of concepts definitions that allow predictable
interactions. Customs, common forms of interpretation and accepted mechanisms of understanding
reduce uncertainty, minimize potential for conflicts and assure that the entire community interacts
productively. It is sometimes termed “institutional-” or “organizational knowledge”, or “social
capital” (Cox and Putnam, 2002). Both forms of tacit knowledge (individual and community) are
the outcome of a learning process (see Box “The Knowledge Process”).

ICT provide great support for the codification of knowledge and the transmission and
storage of codified knowledge. Through these two features, ICT has a decisive impact on
the knowledge process.

First of all, there is an increasing trend of knowledge codification and digitization.
Throughout history people have tried to store and to transmit information through many
different technological systems. People have also always tried to codify as much knowledge
as possible and to implement it through technological systems, in order to make it widely

However, the derivation of information is not equal to obtaining knowledge. Only when
information is set in context, means once it can be understood, associated, and made use of, then
this creative application of the obtained and internalized information is recognized as knowledge.
By frequently consuming codified knowledge, a learning process facilitates the creation and use of
tacit knowledge.








Routine/ learning by doing

Tacit knowledge is the result of an apprenticeship (Arrow, 1962). “Learning by doing” is the
result of repeated interaction (Nelson and Winter, 1982). Through this interaction, codified
knowledge is internalized and tacit knowledge gets created, which then once again supports the
exploitation of data, and the application of new information. This virtuous circle brings about a high
degree of interdependency between these two forms of knowledge, which characterize the
“knowledge process”.

While different language supporting technologies and programs can assist in the first step of
decoding data, the second step of setting information into context, is a completely subjective one,
and heavily depends on the tacit knowledge that gets applied. Spontaneous creativity and
association mechanisms, which are based on prior training, get involved. Through this process of
codification and de-codification, part of the knowledge might get “lost” or misinterpreted. However
codification is indispensable for knowledge transmission, since it is not possible to connect two
brains directly.


Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


available and to commercialize it3. Both, the embodiment of knowledge (for example
through informatic applications) and the storage and transmission of information is
happening through digitization in the Information Society. It is an ongoing and increasing
process. In a recent study, IBM estimates that the number of “bytes” which “exist” in the
world’s networks and microprocessors, will increase a million-fold over the period between
2001 and 2010 (from 1 beta-byte to 1,000,000 beta-bytes) (IBM, 2001). While the
methodology and the explicit numbers of this study can surely be questioned, it illustrates
the explosive trend of digitization.

The second way, in which ICT has an impact on the knowledge process, is that they
communicate and transfer large amounts of data with an ever-increasing reach, speed and
scale. In this way, ICT can help to accelerate the knowledge process and therefore tacit
knowledge creation. The underlying process accounts for institutional and organizational
knowledge (social capital), as well as individual knowledge. The exchange of all different
kinds of codified information, through the open-architectural and global channels of the
network of networks in real time, affects the speed of progress and development, due to the
interdependence of information-flow and knowledge creation (see Box “The Knowledge
Process”). This leads to the often drawn conclusion that the world seems to spin faster now,
due to a “digital nervous system” that spans it (Gates, 1999). The following two sections
take a closer look at the characteristics and the dynamics of this digital nervous system,
before focusing on the interesting question of what this technological system can contribute
to the process of development.

Information and communication technologies (ICT)

Before World War II, engineering and scientific research and inventions were focused on
extending man's physical powers, rather than the powers of the mind. After the war, the focus of
scientific research and development turned to the “massive task of making our bewildering store of
knowledge more accessible”4 (Bush, 1945). This led to an intellectual revolution –initially
concentrated in the United States-which has been inaugurated by a growing sense (firstly restricted
to a segment of the scientific community), that existing paradigms had ceased to adequately meet
the problems posed by an environment that they had in part created. A new paradigm emerged5

(Kuhn, 1962). Paradigms set the basic conditions for how things are perceived. Paradigms are like
wearing “red glasses”. The entire world appears in red for the person who is wearing these glasses.
Changes in paradigms are as if the color of these glasses is changing. The focus on knowledge and
information systems and processes vis-à-vis other mechanic and motorized systems and processes,
seem to be one of the major trends in scientific development in this period of paradigm shift. Based
on the established paradigm of an industrial age, the new emerging paradigm created awareness
and extensive discussions about the “Coming of Post-Industrial Society” (Bell, 1973), and
eventually led to what is nowadays referred to as the “Information Society”. In the early 1950s it
has numerously been argued that instruments would be at hand which-if properly developed- would

3 For example “calculating” was once seen as pure tacit knowledge. Later on, mechanic and electronic calculators codified a large part

of this formerly tacit knowledge and embodied it into technological systems.
4 “Just as the steam engine and electricity enhanced physical power to make possible the industrial revolution, digital …

breakthroughs are enhancing brain power.” (UNDP, 2001)
5 “Close historical investigation of a given specialty at a given time discloses a set of recurrent and quasi-standard illustrations of

various theories in their conceptual, observational, and instrumental applications. These are the community’s paradigms, revealed in
its textbooks, lectures, and laboratory exercises.” (Kuhn, 1962).

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


give man access to and “command over the inherited knowledge of the ages” (Bush, 1945). The
new paradigm has been established and it called for solid research. The stage that Kuhn –in his
“Structure of Scientific Revolutions” (1962)- condescendingly calls “puzzle solving” began. Using
science to work on solving this problem created new technological solutions, so-called Information
and Communication Technologies (ICT). The basic characteristic of this technological system is
that it brings together three different technological evolutionary paths in a process that is often
referred to as “ICT-convergence”.

One of these three technological systems traditionally focuses on transmitting and storing
information. The importance of information, its storage and spread has long been recognized and a
broad variety of supporting technologies has had a tremendous impact on human development. For
example, a very traditional and popular system to support the flow of information is books, which
started with the Chinese invention of paper (usually cited 105 A.D.) and got innovated with
Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press6 (mid-1450s).

Second, there is the evolutionary path of systems that focus on communication processes.
Different from the first one, communication systems are not as focused on transmitting vast
amounts of information, but rather transmits small messages fast, over a large distance. Since the
beginning of the 19th century, they have been increasingly characterized by adding the prefix
“tele—”, which is Greek for “far away” (e.g. Tele-communication). The line between information
systems and communication systems might in some cases be very thin and is often even neglected
in literature. There are various technical solutions, which can be used for both means,
communication and information services. This comes per definition of the word “communication”
and “information”, since “exchange of information” can broadly speaking be defined as
“communication”. Communication is paramount, since it keeps the knowledge process in motion
(see Box above “The Knowledge Process”).

A third evolutionary path is informatic service tools and computers. For centuries
technological solutions have been pursued which help to process information and which embody
formerly tacit knowledge and skills. In the middle of the last century this evolution accelerated
tremendously. Basic tools, which have been used for centuries to support “brain work” and skills
(such as the abacus, the geometric triangle or compasses), have suddenly been replaced by
electronic solutions that substituted their purpose. The invention of the transistor and the
microprocessor enabled new dimensions of information working through informatic tools.

6 By many considered the “most important invention of the past millenium”.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Figure 1

Note: Dates in this graph as well as the inventions selected may be subject to historical discussion

The convergence of (1) informatic and computer systems, (2) content carrying information
systems and (3) communication systems, is generally is referred to as Information and
Communication Technologies (ICT) (sometimes also referred to 3C: Computers, Content and
Communication (Tapscott, 1996)). Their usage brings about a new paradigm with regard to the way
information is processed, the way communication takes place and the way knowledge is passed on.

In contrast to the example of the book and Gutenberg’s printing press cited above, ICT not
only enables the storage and diffusion of information, but also its exchange in “real time”
(communication). A very illustrative example of this process of convergence is television.
Although traditionally a tool for information dissemination (one way information flow), its
convergence with the “communication evolution path”, then allows data exchange in both ways by
digitizing the network (digital television, ICT). Adding informatics to this process of convergence
(for example translation software), now enables a person to read a book (information) in a foreign
language (informatics) and to comment on it in “real time” (communication), through an ICT
infrastructure. The process of ICT-convergence has a tremendous impact on the nature of human
conduct and on the dynamic of knowledge.

It is interesting to observe that both information supporting systems and communication
systems are built on a similar architecture. First there is the (1) physical infrastructure. It serves as
the “hardware” which enables to carry information (the physical paper-based book or letter, for
example). Second (2) a language that enables the standardized exchange of information is required
(in forms of letters or drawings or Morse-codes for example). Third (3) a certain structure is
needed, which enables the efficient use of the content (in a dictionary it would be an alphabetical
list of contents, a Newspaper would be structured by headlines, etc.). Finally there is the (4) final
content which is transmitted (for example a textbook, a dictionary, a children’s book, a comic, a
love-letter or a declaration of war, etc.).

Smoke &
Fire Signals,
Drums, etc.


& horns
J. Caesar
100 B.C.


1937 Transistor





3000 B.C. Mechanical Calculator

1500 A.D.

59 B.C.

1940 Micro-processor

1971 PC




105 A.D.






CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


Also ICT can be characterized by such four different layers (see Box “The Internet”). It
consists of (1) “the Net” (the infrastructure). (2) A language which enables communication, i.e. the
transformation and re-transformation of information into data in order to enable transmission
(binary digits over Internet Protocol, IP). (3) “The Web”, which structures communication and
coordination mechanisms in some way and (4) the final content, which is the information to be

Box 2

Once computers matured, it became obvious that digitizing data and storing it in its digitized
form was a high potential solution for gathering and processing information. Different groups
started to work on how and if knowledge –which is obviously more dynamic than data-- could
be managed through a similar codification. Once codified, it could be stored, and also
transmitted and interchanged, which would create such a knowledge-dynamic. The focus then
shifted to finding ways of interchanging information (communication) in order to reach
efficiency. The U.S. Defense Department Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
supported the creation of what became known as the “Arpanet”. The idea was to provide
mechanisms to access as much information as possible, by connecting many different kinds
of databases and computers, without having a central point of the communication system.
This would also enable the system to keep on functioning if part of the network would be
destroyed (as a result of war for example –a powerful argument in times of the cold war). A
decentralized computer network evolved, creating an impressive dynamic through the
interconnection of Information Technologies and Communication Technologies. DARPA was
responsible for much of the network’s growth in that period. In the early 1960s it was shown
that digitizing data, and transmitting it through a packet switched system was a lot more
effective than traditional systems, like end-to-end circuits (Baran, 1961, 1964; Kleinrock,
1961). Making use of this innovation, the "Arpanet" was considered the first form of what
became known as the “Internet” in the 1970s and 80s (Roberts, 1967). However this network
was only used by the U.S. government and some universities until 1972. In 1972 a very
successful initial public demonstration of the system brought the idea of an “open-architecture
network” to public awareness (in the ‘70s called “Internetting”) (Kahn, 1972). In an
“Internetworking Architecture”, each network could be designed in accordance with the
specific environment and user requirements of that network, and can be made to interwork
with the other networks through a meta-level. There are generally neither constraints on the
types of network that can be included, nor on their geographic scope. The first type of
electronic mail was also introduced in 1972 and sent through this network. At this point
Arpanet supported communication between 40 geographically dispersed computers. A year
later the UK became part of this network as well.

Basing on these ideas the development of a new open-architecture network environment,
which would eventually be called Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP),
was governed by the idea that there would be no global control at the operations level (Cerf
and Kahn, 1974). By 1990 when the Arpanet itself was finally decommissioned, TCP/IP had
supplanted or marginalized most other wide-area computer network protocols worldwide, and
Internet Protocol (IP) has become the bearer standard for the Global Information
Infrastructure, referred to as the “network of networks”, or “the Net” for short. Internet Protocol
(IP) transmits single datapackets from the sender to the recipient. However, IP does not
coordinate the sequence of the packets, nor does it control the eventual loss of data. TCP
guarantees for those two tasks.

This system of computers and cables, which sends around small “packets” using a common
language (protocol), was enhanced by a global hypertext system, generally referred to as “the
Web”. In order to structure this “abstract space of data” –the so-called “cyberspace”-- a
browser named “World Wide Web” (www) got developed around 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee
(Berners-Lee, 1990). It structures cyberspace through hypertext links. “The dream behind the
Web is of a common information space in which we communicate by sharing information. Its
universality is essential: the fact that a hypertext link can point to anything, be it personal, local
or global, be it draft or highly polished.” (Berners-Lee, 2001). Nowadays there are additional
“Webs” to the www (such as “WAP” for example), but they are all based on the basic thoughts
of Berners-Lee.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


The often mentioned “paradigm shift”, which is introduced by the usage of modern
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), is based on impacts on all four layers:

1. The infrastructure: All kind of electronic equipment gets connected to fixed, wireline,
wireless or mobile networks. This equipment has an immense and ever increasing
capacity of information storage. The resulting network builds on constantly increasing
bandwidth, maximizing communication capacity. The decentralized network of networks
reaches “worldwide” in “real time”.

2. The language of information codification is modified: besides spoken and written
language, digital service tools and software also enable the transmission of images,
sounds, moves, entire videos, codified smells, holographs, etc.;

3. The structure of communication and coordination mechanisms—as the way information
is structured, organized and handled (through dynamic, non-liner networks)—-brings
about organizational changes.

4. The content transmitted: storage, diffusion and real-time exchange of information are part
of many activities in a society. Therefore modern ICT can be deployed generically for
many different means and in many different sectors: commerce, health, government and
public administration, education, military, civil society activities, etc.

The four layers of digital conduct
As a direct result from this architecture of modern ICT, different Layers7 can be derived,

which will help to structure the concepts of an “Information Society” and a “knowledge-based
digital economy”. Each one of these Layers is characterized by specific structures, institutions and
actors, which determine its functionality. Some of the particularities of the different Layers will be
discussed in this section.

The first Layer is referred to as the “INFRASTRUCTURE LAYER”. The build-out of a
computer network, telephone lines, fiber-optic networks, as well as wireless networks and all kinds
of hardware and telecommunications make up this Layer. On the one hand it is the physical
embodiment of “the Net” and on the other hand it is data traffic and the governance of the digital
infrastructure. Actors in this layer include telecom operators, such as Telefonica, Telecom Italia or
AT&T; electronic companies such as Ericsson, Lucent or Sony; equipment producers, such as
Nokia, Palm, IBM or Compaq; as well as generic service providers such as AOL and UOL. In Latin
America, for example, the infrastructure network with the highest diffusion is mobile telephony. At
the end of 2001, the region counted 69.7 million digital cell phone subscribers8.

The second Layer is referred to as the “GENERIC SERVICE LAYER”. Products and
services in this layer build on the Infrastructure Layer network and make it technologically feasible
to create value. All kind of software producers, such as Microsoft, Oracle, SAP; Webhosting and
Webdesigner such as Qwest and Latin-Host; as well as browser and multimedia tools, such as
Netscape and RealPlayer, fall into this category.

The third Layer, the “INTERMEDIARY LAYER”, increases the efficiency of electronic
markets by structuring communication in a certain way. It is the facilitation of meetings and

7 See also “The Internet Economy Indicators”; from Center for Research in Electronic Commerce, Graduate School of Business,

University of Texas at Austin.
8 2G: GSM: 4.3 million; CDMA: 17.1 million; TDMA: 48.3 million; additionally 17.6 million analogue 1G user. 2G (second

generation) is a term, which refers to mobile telecommunication, which is allowing voice and data transmission through a mobile
network. Data transmission is slow and generally between 9.6 Kbit/s and 14.4 Kbit/s. 2G networks are getting gradually evolved
over 2.5G (GRPS, EDGE) to 3G (UMTS, cdma200, etc.), which is then promising data transmission speeds between 400 and 2000

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interactions of online activities. Horizontal and vertical portals, such as Yahoo or Google, and
electronic market places, such as Ariba or Mercado Electronico are considered intermediaries.

Governmental or civil society sites and international organizations often act as intermediaries
as well9.

The forth Layer is the “FULFILLMENT LAYER”. It makes use of digitizing part of the
final performance –if not all of it. The fulfillment could take place in the health sector, in education
and training, entertainment, for military means, for public administration, for civil society
activities, etc. In the business sector, participants of this Layer are differentiated by user segments:
B2B, B2C, B2G, etc.

Figure 2

9 See for example http://www.unsystem.org for a vertical portal. ECLAC set up a horizontal portal to connect social institutions in

Latin America and the Caribbean in 2002: http://www.eclac.cl/dds/noticias/proyectos/6/7796/index.asp.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


While the Infrastructure and the Generic Service Layers have the characteristics of
traditional production industries, the Intermediary and Fulfillment Layers are more generic and
penetrate existing sectors of society by “digitizing them”. The fact that part of the information
flows and communication processes take place through electronic networks in the different sectors,
is usually delineated in literature through the addition of an “e-“ as a prefix (e.g. e-business, e-
government, e-learning, e-health, etc.).

Taking a second look at the different Layers, it becomes clear that they are not static.
Specific markets institutions and actors characterize every one of these Layers. This creates
dynamic and competitive systems, which reflect the technological, historical and organizational
characteristics of each Layer and determine its behavior. Similar to the long-standing model of
“industrial organization” in the different industries of an economy (which discusses pricing and
cost structures, entry barriers, economies of scale and scope, market concentration, horizontal and
vertical integration, products differentiation, firm behavior and forms of cooperation, hierarchical
and matrix organizations, institutions, uncertainty, innovation and market equilibrium, etc.), each of
the Layer of Digital Conduct is set up by rules, structures and laws, which govern the functionality
of the Layer. Each Layer is searching for its own equilibrium, while the interdependency of the
Layers mutually reinforces progress. Some of the particularities that constitute the complex and
vital regimes of each Layer will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

The Infrastructure Layer is certainly comprised of very dynamic and fast growing
industries. Some Asia-Pacific countries achieved impressive growth rates by producing and
exporting in these exploding industries. However, it needs to be remembered that hardware
production does not directly nor automatically lead to advancement towards an Information Society
or a Digital Economy.10 It is for example interesting to observe that countries with a very high
production of ICT, like Korea, lag far behind in electronic commerce, whereas countries with
virtually no domestic ICT production sector, like Australia, are on the forefront of electronic
business conduct (OECD, 2001).

A decisive factor in information and communication networks is so-called network
externalities (also network effects). They play a fundamental role in digital market behavior,
whereby the value of a product or service of a network increases by (X²-X) with each new user
connected to the network11. The existence of network externalities in the Infrastructure Layer
distorts rational market mechanisms in other Layers. For example, they usually lead to a classic
“chicken and egg” scenario between content provision and number of users in digital networks.
With a small amount of users in a digital network, there is little incentive to create a lot of content
(sophisticated WebSites, etc), while the lack of content does not favor an increase of users, etc.
Once a “critical mass” of users or content is reached the vicious circle between usage and benefit is
often explosively expanding into a virtuous circle of massive extension, accelerated by the powers
of network externalities.

The process of ICT-convergence is most visible in the Infrastructure Layer. While the
convergence in the Generic Service Layer is rather “invisible”, the convergence of end-user
equipment is far more apparent. The most plastic example may be the current mobile telephony

10 Obviously the knowledge component of the hardware industry is very large and decisive. Experience shows that all successful

hardware producers work with the help of highly sophisticated electronic networks themselves, keeping up a high information flow,
through modern information processing technology. But this is similar to every knowledge intensive industry and R&D (e.g.
pharma), and should analytically not be confused.

11 Often “networks externalities” are described with “Metcalfe’s Law“, which states that “the value of a network increases
exponentially by the number of users connected to it”. However, stochastically this equation (value of network=X²) does not make
sense, since it would not create value to connect with yourself. Therefore it should be (value of network= X²-X).

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market and its fusion with PDAs and Laptops. But also the traditional television set is changing its
appearance, while converging with the traditional Internet. Terminals become increasingly
discriminated not by the type of service for which they are destined, but by attributes such as
“portable” or “fix”, of “individual” or “collective” use, with a certain level of “resolution” and
“audio quality” or “memory”. The forces that Schumpeter (1934) coined as “creative destruction”
are very strong in the Infrastructure Layer. Some of the products become substitutes of each other,
while others remain complementary. People have even tried to express the pace of the creative
destruction in the Infrastructure Layer through specific “laws”. The often cited “Moore’s law” (the
power of a microprocessor doubles every 18 month; valid since 1971) or “Cooper’s law” (the
efficiency of radio spectrum usage doubles every 2 ½ years; valid since 1895) give expression to
the speed of innovation in the Infrastructure Layer. The rates of obsolescence and the degree of
uncertainty with regard to technical progress are high in the markets of this Layer.

The Generic Service Layer goes more in the direction of making use of “Inter-networking”
and the idea of managing knowledge digitally. This is not a very new idea. The software-industry
survived its first three decades with a limited number of business models. The first digital service
tools were designed for military use and later for economic use at the firm level.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Box 3

Nowadays, digital service tools are found in all shapes and sizes. They invade the
entertainment industry, public administration, the health sector and educational organizations.
Technological advancements, such as voice-to-data and data-to-voice programs, or sufficient
bandwidth for videoconferences, open up a whole new spectrum for development of digital service

The first complete solutions for economic use were software programs that focused on the
necessities of the production process per se, with a very limited scope. These so-called MRP
(Material Resource Planning) systems evolved in the late 1960s. With the advent of digital networks,
more advanced programs emerged, based on the idea of making all the important units within a
company communicate by sharing the same data in real time. While systems of this typ were
credited with important increases in administrative efficiency, these so-called MRPII were still
prohibitively expensive and run on a limited set of mainframe computers only (1970s). With the
advent of the PC and the server-client system of the emerging Internet (1980s), so-called ERP
(Enterprise Resource Planning) software was introduced, representing a complete information
management system inside a company. Since then, ERP programs are evolving a networking
business model around itself, which are based on connectedness to information and communication
technologies, transforming into an expansive and pervasive framework that touches every aspect of
business administration. In the incoming value chain SCM (Supply Chain Management) software is
creating and controlling vast procurement networks, while in the outgoing value chain every
customer receives special attention through CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Business
Intelligence (BI) is gathering, managing and evaluating all the information related to a company’s
electronic network, aiming on ensuring maximum benefit of every data and information flowing inside
the company, by bringing it to the right place, at the right time. By interconnecting these programs
inside the company and integrating them into an inter-firm “real-time” network, demand and supply
get networked, digitizing Walras’s Law of Markets (Walras, 1874). This is happening through
“closed” electronic networks (like EDI) or open ones (the Internet). The following Graph shows how
digital service tools build the central nodes in a networked Digital Economy.






















SCM: Supply Chain Management; BI: Business Intelligence; ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning;

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

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Technical standards, which are systems, configurations, interfaces, methodologies or
procedures that act as a tool to enable and ensure access to services, and their portability,
interoperability and compatibility, are fundamental to the Generic Service Layer. Interoperability
between the different technological solutions is paramount, in order to defend the open idea behind
the “Inter-net”, and not to create closed and separate information and communication circles.

Based on this model of electronic connectivity through the Infrastructure and the Generic
Service Layer, the Intermediary and the Fulfillment Layers evoke a change in the organizational
structure of a given sector. They refer to “digital processes”, rather than “digital products”. The
Intermediary Layer provides coordination mechanisms. It creates a certain order and enables
structured behavior. Its activity is also referred to as “info-mediation” (Hagel and Singer, 1999).
For its part, the importance of the Intermediary Layer is growing with the complexity of
interconnectivity. For an unconnected Information Technology (like an individual computer), the
Intermediary Layer would not exist. However it is paramount for efficiency in interconnected
digital networks. Such bi-directional real time networks also create entirely new scenarios of
interactivity and participation. Dynamic pricing mechanisms may be one of the most impressive
examples of iterative interconnection through an intermediary12. In the Fulfillment Layer,
communication and coordination mechanisms of human conduct –which could be of economic or
social nature for example—are carried out digitally. Trading stocks online, interacting through
digital TV, telemedicine distance treatment, email protest letters, online tutoring or online tax
paying all fall into this Layer.

Many different sectors in society (such as the business and commerce sector, public
administration, the health sector, educational mechanisms, civil society organizations, etc.)
constitute their own Intermediary and Fulfillment Layer. Even though both Layers play different
roles and pursue different goals, the particular intermediary greatly depends on the specific sector
of fulfillment. An intermediary in the educational sector (e-learning) differs significantly from an
intermediary in the commerce sector (e-commerce), for example. For this reason, the
Intermediary and Fulfillment Layers are not treated separately in this analysis, but are
subject to an integrated (sector-specific) analysis. For reasons of development policies, it is more
important to examine the behavior of the different sectors that are subject to the process of
digitization (e.g. e-business, e-government, e-health, etc.), rather than focusing on theoretical
aspects of digital intermediation and digital fulfillment. Therefore, it seems preferable to present
the process of digitization along sectors that cover both, sector-specific intermediation and sector—
specific fulfillment.

Digital conduct in such sectors brings special characteristics with it. In order to analyze these
characteristics better, a concept of digitally –regarding goods and services—has emerged. This
approach distinguishes between “digital goods” (also “digitized goods”) and “non-digital goods”
(U.S. Department of Commerce, 1998; 1999; Hilbert, 2001a). Mainly driven by the low distribution
costs of digital goods, the trend goes toward digitizing everything that can possibly be digitized.
This is basically everything consisting of what is referred to as “codified knowledge” or
“information”. It is impressive how many “things” can be digitized. Music, software, magazines
and books, airline and entrance tickets, stocks and movies are the beginning. Even such an old and
familiar thing as “money” has long started to enter the process of digitization (stocks and plastic
money). The trend is expected to continue until every “coin” will be represented by digital data,

12 In contrary to fixed mass pricing, dynamic pricing mechanisms enable individualized, or at least real time supply and demand

adjusted product prices (Hilbert, 2001a).

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


transmitted over wireless, mobile networks between portable electronic wallets in real time (e-

Digital goods and services have many special characteristics. Both of them can be
transmitted through a packet-switched system around the world in real time. The difference
between digital goods and digital services, is the rivalry of digital services. The concept of rivalry
and non-rivalry distinguishes between products that can be used up, and products that cannot be
used up, respectively. Non-rival products can be duplicated at zero cost, while a service (which is
rival) requires new “input” to perform again. Given that the cost of duplicating a digital good is
almost zero (non-rival), they diffuse extremely fast on a global scale. The music file-sharing
software Napster reached more than 38 million users worldwide (10/2000) in less than a year. This
was the fastest growing “global invasion” of a tool, ever documented. Sticking to the example of
digital music file-sharing systems, it becomes obvious that the non-rivalry of digital goods also
present a major challenge for defenders of intellectual property rights regimes.

Furthermore, digital data packets that are exchanged over the global information
infrastructure do not recognize geographic borders. The “death of distance” (Cairncross, 1997)14
with regard to digital goods, has the potential to better integrate geographically disadvantaged
countries15. However, it also is breaking down every form of informal industrial protection, which
until now sheltered local industry in the developing world. Superior provider from the developed
world can reach all the way until the individual doorsteps inside developing countries through
digital infrastructure. This direct and worldwide competition in markets involving digital goods can
bring devastating consequences for local industries, but can also open new markets for developing

Summing up, the Infrastructure Layer and the Generic Service Layer lay the ground on
which the process of digitization takes place. Both constitute very dynamic markets, which
historically emerge from different technological systems and are therefore interwoven with the
physical, technological and institutional environment in which they are established. Since the
“Infrastructure Layer” and “Generic Service Layer” set the ground upon which the process of
digitization takes place, they are referred to as HORIZONTAL LAYERS.

In turn, the Intermediary and the Fulfillment Layer represent digital activity that takes place
through the Horizontal Layers. The digitization of information flows, communication processes and
coordination mechanisms in different sectors of the society brings special characteristics with it
(non-rivalry and death of distance of digital goods, real-time interactivity, etc.), which influences
the functionality and the behavior of those sectors. Inside a specific sector, intermediary and
fulfillment functions are highly interdependent and are often even integrated. Since the different
sectors of society that are subject to the process of digitization build up vertically onto the
horizontal groundwork, they are identified as VERTICAL SECTORS of an Information Society.

13 First evidence for this is given, as in many countries payment applications through cellular telephones are already at work. By

sending SMS the client can pay its Metroticket, or Sodacan with a simple 2G cell phone.
14 In 1995, The Economist published an influencing and provoking article by Francis Cairncross entitled “The Death of Distance”. It

dealt with the impact the advances in telecommunications and the Internet were having on distance: “The cost of communications
will probably be the single most important economic force shaping society in the first half of the next century…”.

15 The Chilean government is emphasizing the importance of this fact, due to its geographic marginalization. President Ricardo Lagos
in 2000: “In the digital world, there are no longer countries at the center and others on the periphery. Some observers have
proclaimed the death of distance.” (“The country we want”, www.gobiernodechile.cl).

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


ICT for development

Basing on the conceptual framework of the Horizontal Layers and the Vertical Sectors of and
Information Society, two different kinds of strategies to use ICT for development can be
distinguished. Some countries focus on building out a competitive industry in the fast growing ICT
production sectors (Horizontal Layers). Emphasize is laid on the production of hardware or
software. Some small countries boost exports in these sectors (for example Costa Rica and
Taiwan). Some large countries try to build domestic capacity (for example Brazil, India and China)
(UNDP, 2001). The hardware and software industries have been growing tremendously over the
recent decade, and therefore had a decisive direct effect on growth in many countries (in the US:
ICT production contributed 48 percent of GDP growth in 1991-95 and 56 percent in 1996-1999;
Costa Rica ½ of GDP growth in 1999 stemming from ICT production (U.S. Department of
Commerce, 1999, 2000)). However, as mentioned above, ICT production, especially when used for
export, is not automatically implying advancement towards an Information Society or a Digital
Economy. It is merely a fast growing industry.

Other countries are pursuing strategies that seek to use ICT as an enabler of a wider socio-
economic development process. Communication and coordination processes get digitized in order
to raise productivity, mainly through efficiency gains in the Vertical Sectors16. This implies an
institutional reorganization, which is advancing communication practices into a “digital age”. This
affects informal norms of behavior, unwritten rules and agreements, habits, customs and common
forms of interpretation. A new form of institutional and social knowledge needs to find its
“equilibrium” in digital conduct. At the beginning this new form of organization has a casual
character, but over time it becomes habitual. Once at work, digital organization is highly effective.
Digitization of communication and coordination processes can improve market mechanisms in an
economy (see Box “Digitizing Market Mechanisms”), the functionality of the health sector, of
educational systems or in public administration, among other Vertical Sectors.

16 “The key to benefiting form ICT is to focus on policies to foster its use, rather than its production.” (OECD, 2001)

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Box 4

The broader concept of “development” is not restricted to economic activity alone. Sen’s
perspective on “development as freedom” (1999) gives expression to this. The fact that ICT and
digital practices have impact far beyond the economy and can be employed in health, politics,
public administration, education and advanced science, as well as for cultural, social and even
religious activities, shows the potential of the current technology-based paradigm for development.

Two main lines of thoughts help to explain the impact of the ICT paradigm on development
through digitization in the Vertical Sectors. The first argument is related to knowledge transfers,
provoked by the augmented information flow. The second argument is related to the internal
development of an individual society, due to a more valuable form of organization.

First of all, the augmented information flow raises hopes for a decline in information
asymmetry, which is offering the historical chance of integrating all societies, by networking them
in an universal Information Society (Hilbert, 2001c). More people than ever before in history, have
access to an ever-increasing amount of information, at a constantly falling cost (UNDP, 2001).

By digitizing information flows and coordination mechanisms in the business sector, it is aimed
for digitizing informal institutions like markets. A marketplace enables many kinds of sellers and
buyers to meet, communicate and trade. Their own organizations are connected to this electronic
network, as well as their suppliers and customers. The different systems exchange information in
real time, communicating and coordinating business processes. Digitizing communication and
coordination processes that take place in marketplaces is a structural change in microeconomic
organization, which brings several advantages with it. First of all it reduces transaction costs.
Online transactions are a lot cheaper than off-line transactions.

1 . 0 7

0 . 5 2

0 . 2 7

0 . 0 1 5 0 . 0 1

0 . 2

0 . 4

0 . 6

0 . 8


1 . 2

B r a n c h T e l e p h o n e A T M P C I n t e r n e t

R e a l C o s t R e d u c t io n : T r a n s a c t io n c o s t s in U S $

Source: Booz-Allen Hamilton, sited from U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 1999

Furthermore, business coordination and communication can take place on a much larger scale,
with increased speed (in “real-time”) and augmented transparency and information availability.
Sending an electronic “request for quotes” (RFQ) for a demanded product to a B2B marketplace,
with a database of several hundred suppliers connected to it, certainly brings advantages in
comparison to making hundreds of phone calls or personal consultations about the product within
a limited circle of suppliers. Digital markets are an advanced form of doing business. They are
widely accredited by the private sector for significantly raising productivity in their companies.
Especially driven by huge and powerful transnational companies, a Digital Economy is created,
which is introducing significant changes in the functionality of markets and firm behavior.

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


Figure 3

Source: ITU, 2000; ISC, 2001; Empirica, 2000.

The obtained information can help to create knowledge in the different sectors of a society.
For developing countries this would imply that they could move closer in the direction of the
current knowledge frontier in educational standards, health standards, business models, public
sector administration and living standards in general. The augmented and worldwide flow of
information through digital networks offers developing countries the chance to better integrate
themselves into the global exchange of ideas.

According to conventional theory, economies with low living standards and poor growth
rates suffer from an “object gap” (Romer, 1993a). They have insufficient physical and human
capital. The policy advice is to accumulate more capital of all sorts in order to grow and to develop.
New microeconomic-focused growth theory has introduced the notion of an “idea gap [which]
directs attention to the patterns of interaction and communication” (Romer, 1993a). While the
importance of capital accumulation is not neglected, it is increasingly accepted in development
theory that different stages of development are at the end differences in tacit knowledge existent in
a society. This tacit knowledge can be technological knowledge about how to produce certain
products and services, but it is also institutional knowledge in an economy and a society.

A simple thought experiment illustrates that it is individual knowledge, as well as
institutional knowledge, which drives growth. If the earth were turned to the physical state that
existed five thousand years ago, wiping out all structures, physical capital, and civil engineering
projects, but the total of accumulated knowledge were retained, current standards of living would
be recovered within few generations (Romer 1993b). Specific knowledge from the individual, as
well as institutional knowledge that enable efficient coordination mechanisms, would be a basic
requirement to achieve this. It is knowledge about the “way of doing things” that differentiates
growth from a stationary situation. Besides the obvious lack of physical capital in developing
countries, sub-developed markets are characterized by an incomplete institutional structure, which
lacks this kind of knowledge.

This leads to the second line of thought on how ICT can be used for development. The
opportunity for lagging countries is that during periods of paradigm transitions there is time for
learning while everybody else is doing so (Perez and Soete, 1988). While all the world is digitizing
communication and coordination processes in different sectors of the society, developing countries
can make extraordinary advances with regard to their existing institutional structure through
digitization in the Vertical Sectors.

The re-organization that results from digital conduct is introducing a new institutional
setting. Institutional settings determine the form and behavior of organization, as well as the “rules

More people have access… …to more information… …at a lower cost





19'97 20'00

Millions of Internet users
in Latin America





19'97 20'00

Thousands of top-level
domain WebSites in Latin America




19'97 20'00

Price of 64 kbps international
link in Argentina (US$)

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


of the game”. They reduce uncertainty in everyday life by forming patterns of interaction and
shaping the way individuals view and understand communication mechanisms. Institutions enable
effective interactivity. They are a combination of formal rules, informal norms of behavior,
conventions and codes of conduct, and their enforcement characteristics (North, 1993).

An effective institutional structure is the key to growth and development. In fact, all
increases in standards of living can be traced back to discoveries of more valuable arrangements for
the “things” in the earth’s atmosphere (Romer, 1993b). This is also the central lesson learned from
the discussion about the famous “productivity paradox” in the 1980s and the hype about the “New
Economy” at the end of the 1990s. It is not the number of computers that triggers higher
productivity but overall changes in the way the economy works. While discussing the productivity
paradox17, Paul David (1990) emphasizes that technological change make their effects felt only
after they have been embodied in the institutional setting. It is claimed to take “decades” until
organizations and markets are well equipped to incorporate the technological solutions
productively. The focus for economic growth and development is shifting from simply connecting
to the Horizontal Layers of ICT, to incorporating digital practices into the different Vertical Sectors
as soon as possible.

However, formal and informal institutions are based on country and culture specific
environments and are therefore characterized by certain inertia when subject to change. Path
dependencies imply that institutional set ups cannot be copied and applied from one case to another
entirely and also that they cannot be erected wholesale overnight. Following these general
characteristics of institutional changes, also the process of digitization in the Vertical Sectors
makes a domestic learning process indispensable.

Summing up, the ICT-paradigm proposes two different focuses for development. One is to
produce and sell technology of the Horizontal Layers (Infrastructure or Generic Services). Another
is to focus on the digitization of information flows, communication processes and coordination
mechanisms in the Vertical Sectors of a society. This can (a) diminish information asymmetries and
support the integration into the global exchange of “ideas”; and (b) fosters the functionality of
markets and institutional settings in developing countries. “Digitization” is a very powerful policy,
given that inefficient institutions, lack of transparency and incomplete transactions are some of the
most lamented development obstacles in many developing countries.

However in order to employ ICT and digital conduct for development, first of all a highly
capital-intensive technological groundwork is necessary (Horizontal Layers) and secondly policies
need to be found to accelerate the adoption of digital conduct, and to overcome the inertia of
institutional re-organizations. Unless both of these requirements are achieved, the risk of falling
behind (rather than developing) is very high.


The ICT-paradigm and the concept of the Information Society are not purely about
technology, but about humans who communicate through worldwide networks, who can
increasingly exchange codified knowledge, and therefore push creativity for breakthroughs in the
creation of wealth and social development. The use of modern Information and Communication
Technologies (ICT) and the subsequent process of digitization introduce an institutional re-
organization with regard to the way information is transmitted, communication takes place and

17 The discussion about the so-called “productivity paradox” started with the observation that productivity (Labor- as well as
Multifactor Productivity) mysteriously slowed down in the US economy around 1973 and has remained sluggish over the 1980s --just
about the time when computers got on the scene. In 1987 Robert Solow started the discussion with his famous quip: “We can see the
computer age everywhere except in the productivity statistics” (Hilbert, 2001a).

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


coordination is carried out. Digitizing information flows, communication processes and
coordination mechanisms for a specific purpose, has far-reaching impacts on the behavior of the
affected actors and the institutional structure of the specific sector.

The process of digitization constitutes what in literature about technical change is referred to
as a “meta-paradigm” (Freeman and Perez, 1988), “technological paradigm” (Dosi, 1982) or
“techno-economic paradigm” (Perez, 1983). According to a long tradition in economic thought
(from Smith, Ricardo, Marx and later Schumpeter) the capitalist economic development is based on
a continual reconfiguration of production and distribution processes. “The fundamental impulse
that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers’ goods, the new
methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization”
(Schumpeter, 1934). The forces of “creative destruction” are not only restricted to a certain
product. The entire industrial organization, markets and institutions are “incessantly revolutionized
from within” (Schumpeter, 1934). The organizational structure is constantly evolving and aims on
improving performance. Undeniable social and economic transformations occur during these “long
waves” (or “Kondratieffs”18) of technological development, shifting form one “meta paradigm” to
another (Freeman and Perez, 1988). The massive usage of Information and Communication
Technologies and the consequent process of digitization are the latest one (but surely not the last
one) in a succession of pervasive innovations, which have shaped development over the centuries.

18 Nikolai Dmitrijewitsch Kondratieff (1892 -1938) has pioneered the theory of “long waves” and a concluding cyclic phenomenon of

long duration in economic activity. Kondratieff based his theory on the observation of trends in the fluctuation of nineteenth-century
economic indicators (mainly prices). He was convinced that his studies of economic, social, and cultural life proved that a long-term
order of economic behavior existed and could be used for the purpose of anticipating future economic developments.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Figure 4

Source: Martin R. Hilbert; based on Freeman and Louça (2001)

To unleash the far-reaching forces of this paradigm, a technological groundwork is
indispensable. This groundwork consists of a physical Infrastructure and intelligent Service tools
(Horizontal Layers). Both of these Layers are a combination of very dynamic industries, with each
of them following a different model of “industrial organization”. They are interwoven and
interdependent both among themselves and between each other. In the Infrastructure Layer for
example, the development and the functionality of the hardware industry is influenced by
advancements in telecommunications. The same way in the Generic Service Layer, WebPages and
hosting services are influenced by advancements in software or multimedia applications.
Furthermore, the interdependency of both Layers is mutually reinforcing and shaping market
behavior between them. Advances in bandwidth for example (Infrastructure Layer) provide a
stimulus to the software and Web animation industry (Generic Service Layer). The forces of ICT-
convergence heavily influence the actors and competitive regimes that underlie the different
industries involved in the Horizontal Layers of an Information Society. The “creative destruction”
of ICT-convergence is introducing complex mechanisms of substitution and complementation in its

Similar to other technological systems, the Infrastructure and the Generic Service Layer
revolve around very capital-intensive industries. In order to foster their growth, sophisticated
strategies must be found with regard to the financing and the regulation of the involved industries.
Furthermore, the creation and maintenance of these industries require adequate and sufficient
human capital. Such policies need to recognize existing technological systems, local particularities,

1770’s 1840’s 1890’s 1940’s 1990’s

of industry

of industry+
transport steam-

of industry,
transport and

of economy
and transport

Digitization of
Information and
Communication in
economy and society

Cotton-spinning, iron
products, water

machine tools

Electrical +

tanks, diesel

Information and






CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


existing institutions and other special characteristics of the environment in which the Horizontal
Layers of an Information Society are inserted.

The purpose of the deployment of the Horizontal Layers, is the digitization of information
flows, communication processes and coordination mechanisms in different sectors of society.
Almost every social and economic activity involves information and communication processes, of
which many can be subject to digitization. In the economic sector (e-business), in public
administration (e-government), in healthcare (e-health), civil society activities (e-culture); in
educational mechanisms (e-learning) or the information and entertainment industry (e-media) many
of the information and communication processes are already subject to digitization.19 By taking a
closer look on those different Vertical e-Sectors of an Information Society, it becomes obvious
that all of them share similar characteristics with regard to digital conduct (death of distance, real-
time interaction, non-rivalry and network externalities, etc.) and their functionality and behavior is
therefore interdependent. An e-business model for example, pioneered for a B2B marketplace,
might be adopted in the health sector, or for e-government purposes. On the other hand, the
existence of e-government software programs might influence the behavior of other e-sectors (e-
learning, e-culture, etc.). Besides such common characteristics, the behavior of a specific Vertical
Sector is also influenced by the historical and organizational characteristics of the existing sectors.
Such path-dependencies need to be taken into consideration, when –for example— business
processes are taken online (e-business). Also existing health institutions and regulations (e-health),
special characteristics of the educational system (e-learning) or the particularities of the local
media industry (e-media) influence the process of “digitization” in the different sectors.

Finally it becomes obvious that the technological groundwork of the Horizontal Layers of an
Information Society, is necessary, but not sufficient, in order to achieve the digitization of
information and communications processes in the Vertical Sectors. The process of digitization
represents a complex institutional change, and does not happen automatically by introducing the
adequate technology. Path-dependencies and local particularities require the support of the process
by different Diagonal Areas. Policies need to aim for overcoming the inertia of required
institutional re-organization by fostering the development of the Infrastructure and Generic Service
Layer, as well as to strengthen and to guide the digitization of information flows and
communications processes in the Vertical Sectors of an Information Society. Such development
strategies need to include all stakeholders of an Information Society (public sector, private sector
and civil society) and a clear vision need to guide the particular society on its unique path into the
“digital age”.

In this respect it is necessary to adjust and to establish adequate Regulatory Frameworks.
These need to ensure the development of the different Horizontal Layers through regulation of the
involved industries and should enable the extension and growth of digital conduct in the Vertical
Sectors, ensuring secure and confidential information exchange. Furthermore, the creation of an
adequate Regulatory Framework for the Information Society implies a special focus on the
provision of several basic rights (such as freedom of speech, intellectual property rights, linguistic
non-discrimination, etc).

The technology and its implementation require financial capital. Resources need to be
mobilized in order to enable the creation of a universal Information Society for all. Financing a
sustainable Information Society involves the private sector and the public sector, while the private
sector’s focus on profit must be respected and addressed, and the public sector needs to find
mechanisms to assure the inclusion of all its citizens.

19 The list of Vertical sector might be continued, for a more detailed discussion see Introductory paragraphs of the Chapters “Vertical


Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Last but not least, in order to create and exploit the Horizontal Layers adequately, and enable
digitization of information flows, communication processes and coordination mechanisms in the
different Vertical Sectors, Human Capital is required, for it is the driving force behind the

Figure 5


Treating these three different functional fields in one integrated approach allows identifying
interdependencies, direction and causality of and between the different fields. This allows to work
with it, to identify eventual bottlenecks in the different areas and to come up with adequate policy
actions. It also enables to demonstrate how the different areas relate to each other.

The presented conceptual framework allows for example, to structure complex issues like the
“Digital Divide”, which generally speaking refers to the divide between the ones who are included
and the ones who are excluded from the new technology-based paradigm. The Digital Divide
clearly originates in the Infrastructure Layer (Horizontal Layer). It refers to access to the physical
Net. However, the discussion also extents to the Generic Service Layer, since ICT-access is a
combination of telecommunications—, hardware-and software performance and pricing.
Inadequate software programs can be a major obstacle for ICT adaptation.

These generic issues can be felt in all of the different Vertical Sectors. The lack of affordable
infrastructure or the lack of adequate software can contribute to a Digital Divide throughout all
vertical areas (in the e-business sector, the e-learning sector, the e-government sector, etc.).
However, the discussion can also center on the Digital Divide inside one specific Vertical Sector










































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(for example connectivity in small and medium sized enterprises (e-business), connectivity in
schools (e-learning), in hospitals (e-health), in public administration (e-government), etc.).

Diagonal Areas on the other hand, aim for aim for overcoming the inertia of required
institutional re-organization by fostering the development of the Infrastructure and Generic Service
Layer, as well as to strengthen and to guide the digitization of information flows and
communications processes in the Vertical Sectors of an Information Society. In order to bridge the
Digital Divide, strategies involving all stakeholders of the Information Society and diagonally
permeate all the different Horizontal Layers and Vertical Sectors must be developed and
implemented. Such policies must embrace the establishment of an adequate Regulatory Framework
needs to be created, considering requirements of every single one of the different horizontal layers
and vertical sectors (for example intellectual property rights issues). However, regulatory aspects
might also focus on a specific area, for instance the regulation of the “infrastructure” (e.g.
telecommunications regulation, regulatory issues with regards to technical standards, etc.). On the
other hand, the regulation of standard issues for example, also accounts for the “Generic Service
Layer” (open vs. proprietary software, etc.). Furthermore, the Regulatory Framework touches all
different vertical areas. Legislation relating to digital signatures and electronic certificate can
bottleneck the development in every single vertical area. On the other hand, some special
legislation might be required for particular vertical areas (for example special privacy laws in the e-
health sector, etc.). The same accounts for Financing mechanisms. Resources need to be mobilized
to finance both horizontal areas, in order to close the Digital Divide. Investments into infrastructure
and to develop digital service tools that fit local needs are indispensable to build an Information
Society. However, also the process of digitalization in the various vertical areas requires financial
support (e.g. Venture Capital institutions in the e-business sector). General trade issues and
economic support would embrace all horizontal and vertical areas. Last but not least, Human
Capital and capacity building aspects are omnipresent and indispensable to transform into an
Information Society20. Adequate profiles need to be found to support the built out of every single
one of the horizontal as well as the different vertical areas. Complex discussions like the “brain-
drain” can be structured with the help of this conceptual framework along the different fields of

It is important to point out that the presented conceptual framework has to be understood as a
“generic” model that allows us to explore different behavioral scenarios in the transition to the
Information Society. The “generic” model can be used on different geographic levels (global,
regional, national and local level21). Applying the model to a country or region specific situation
requires the consideration of regional peculiarities (general degree of development, markets,
institutions, public policies, customs, traditions, etc.).

20 The diagonal issue “Human Capital” should analytically not be confused with the vertical issue “e-learning”. The first issue centers

in the discussion on how the workforce can be prepared to exploit the ICT-paradigm adequately. Human capital in an Information
Society serves to deploy the technology correctly, as well as to win competitive advantages in a knowledge-based economy. “E-
learning” instead, is about digitizing education systems. The goal is to support the education process by using information
processing and communication facilitating technologies. Of course, between these two issues exist countless spillover effects. As
ICT make educational networks easier than ever it is also an adequate tool to support the capacitation of human resources.

21 The differentiation of these levels would create a scenario of “cubes into cubes”.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Figure 6

The dynamics that constitute the interrelationship between the different fields in the model
are characterized by uncertainty, incomplete contracts, irrational behavior, spillover effects and
other deficiencies and ‘market failures’. An open dialogue between the different actors, institutions
and organizations from all the different Horizontal Layers, Diagonal Areas and Vertical Sectors is
indispensable for mastering the complex task of “building an Information Society”. Since the
characteristics of every particular field vary in different regions and countries, there is no “one size
fits all” recipe for the transition towards an “Information Society”. The “optimum transition
path” depends on country and region-specific particularities. In order to support the necessary
dialogue on a regional level in Latin America and the Caribbean, the following part of the paper
proposes an agenda with concrete policy actions to foster the creation of an Information Society in
the region.






























































































CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


III. Policy Agenda for the
Information Society in Latin
America and the Caribbean

The advent of modern Information and Communication
Technologies (ICT) and the establishment of a global “Information
Society” are forcing countries of all shapes and sizes to take a fresh
look on their development agendas. As a central principle of
modern scientific thinking, the theory of evolution holds that it is
neither the size, nor the strength and not even the intelligence of an
organism that assures its prevalence in the course of evolution, but
rather its flexibility –the ability to adapt to its changing
environment (Dosi, et. al 1988). The changes that ICT introduce to
the economy, public administration, the health sector, cultural
participation, education and the media, present a great challenge
and at the same time a great opportunity for organizations and
citizens all over the world. For developing countries, the goal has
to be not only to “prevail in the course of evolution” –meaning not

22 The presented policy conclusions base on the findings and expertise of the different articles of the book “Building an Information

Society: A perspective form Latin America and the Caribbean” (Hilbert and Katz) and a number of other studies on the subject. The
author would like to thank the researchers and contributors of the various studies for their valuable input. This includes: Noah Elkin,
Richard Downes, Sven Rusch and Iain Ballesty, Alejandro Arancibia, Glen Canessa, Manuel Jose Cardenas, Jacqueline Abarza,
John Tonelli, Gonzalo León, Claudio Orrego, Robert Rodrigues, Marcelo Bonilla, Felipe Jara, Antonio Rosa, Tadao Takahashi,
Francisco Gómez Alamillo and Ben Petrazzini.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


to fall further behind-but rather to use the present structural changes as a chance to catch up. Even
beyond the “Internet and high-tech crash” of 2000-2001, it becomes obvious that the Internet and
the process of digitization are here to stay. They present a “meta-paradigm” which will not simply
“disappear again”. This makes clear that the “process of digitization” and the transition toward an
Information Society should be an indispensable and urgent task on every development agenda,
since the question is not about “if to digitize” or “not to digitize”, but rather “when to digitize” and
“how to digitize”. Adequate policies, which involve all stakeholders of an Information Society,
need to be put in place, aiming for a smooth and rapid transition

Following the structure of the conceptual framework presented in the first part of this paper,
this section sets up a policy agenda to tackle the complex task of “Building an Information Society”
in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

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Box 5


Pursue an integrated approach in the build-out of the Infrastructure Layer (involving all different
actors of the telecom- AND hardware markets); Exploit the full potential of ICT-convergence (digital
TV, 3G mobile, powerline, etc.); Promote the creation of one or several “regional hubs” for IP traffic,
with sufficient capacity of peering with Tier 1 operators.

Building the generic services layer:

Assure the provision of adequate software applications, preferably based on open-standards; Set
up mechanisms to overcome the short-term financial and organizational requirements of their
implementation; Support the establishment of a strong ASP industry.

Strategies for an information society:

Establish and maintain national and regional Information Society programs, which integrate the
interests of all stakeholders of the Information Society, namely the public sector, the private sector
and civil society, be it on a local, national, regional or global level.

Regulatory frameworks for an information society:

Assure the creation and maintenance of high performance Infrastructure and Application Layers,
through sophisticated regulation; adjust the juridical framework to enable digital practices in the
Vertical Sectors through a program of region wide cooperation, with special attention paid to security
and privacy; focusing on adequate intellectual property rights regimes.

Finanzing an information society:

Build a new international finance infrastructure to equilibrate the severe impacts of worldwide
booms and crisis in the region; srengthen local investments and Venture Capital mechanisms;
consider access to information through ICT a ‘public good’ and search for public finance
mechanisms to deliver it.

Human capital for an information society:

Set up ICT training incentive mechanisms for providers and consumers of e-practices; recognize
and promote tacit knowledge as the decisive competitive advantage in the Information Society;
foster the formation and support the preservation of a rightly-skilled workforce.

Digitizing the business sector:

Promote academic and private sector research about and for the digitization of business
processes in developing regions; support the establishment and functionality of B2B, especially
among Small and Medium sized enterprises; encourage and enable the banking sector to take a
lead-role in e-commerce development.

Digitizing government:

Make the usage of ICT an essential part of State modernization projects; Set up an inter-
ministerial e-government project team, which provides strong leadership in close cooperation with
the private sector on the one hand (top-down), and on the other hand allows active participation of
municipalities and the civil society (bottom-up).

Digitizing the health sector:

Make e-health an integrated part of current health sector reforms and avoid to treat the issue as
an isolated project; Build on and integrate existent information systems; Assess the appropriateness
and quality of e-health services; Provide special legislation for privacy protection and security in the
health sector.

Digitizing culture:

Promote ICT as a tool for cultural participation, especially regarding traditionally excluded groups
in a society, such as indigenous groups, old people, women and children; Encourage investigations
and campaigns to stimulate discussions and awareness about the cultural dimension of digital

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Box 5 (continuation)

Building the infrastructure layer

Policies to narrow the Digital Divide in the Infrastructure Layer need to aim toward an
increase in investment and lowering variable and fixed-cost access prices. This can be attained in a
number of different ways. Firstly, short-term initiatives and pilot projects (“micro-policies”) need
to aim for fast result, by lowering individual access costs through public and shared access models
or by particular cooperation mechanisms (for example computer recycling). Secondly, long-term
“macro-policies” need to consider all different kinds of access alternatives (such as traditional
Internet, 3G mobile telephony, digital TV, powerline, etc). Different technological solutions to
access ICT infrastructure need to stay in healthy competition with each other. Furthermore, the
provision and the performance of companies in the hardware industry are often neglected. While
the focus is set on affordable telecommunications, high hardware prices are a major obstacle for
access to the Infrastructure Layer in LAC. The creation and provision of cheap and just sufficiently
sophisticated access equipment needs to become an essential part of the Digital Divide agenda.

The increasing importance of IP traffic and missing peering agreements with North
American operators lead to the fact that LAC IP network operators bear the majority of the costs of
providing Internet connectivity to and from North America (which represents 60 percent of total
LAC Internet traffic). The creation of one or several “Latin American and Caribbean hub(s)” would
be an adequate solution to prevent this from happening and to positively favor the development of
the Infrastructure Layer in the region. However, the creation of a “LAC hub” would require joint
forces in the domestic telecommunications sector. This also bears the risk of the creation of
monopoly power in the region, which would then prevent the benefits of the hub from being passed
on to consumers. An open dialogue between governments, telecommunications regulatory bodies
and operators is required to work on this urgent issue23.

Besides the “traditional Internet”, technological advances open up new alternatives to access
the “heart of the Information Society”. Given the high TV penetration and the high familiarity with
the TV technology in LAC households, the introduction of digital TV presents a great opportunity
for the region. The first step in the transition from analogue to digital TV is to select a national
platform. The decision about an adequate platform standard has to go far beyond technical
considerations. The impact on the domestic industry, the possibility of equipment production and
royalties, the cost of implementation, the time to market of each system, the cost of receivers,

23 Regional public sector institutions like Regulatel (Foro Latinoamericano de Entes Reguladores) and private sector associations like

Ahciet (Asociación Hispanoamericana de Centros de Investigación y Empresas de Telecomunicaciones) provide adequate forums to
do so (see also Ahciet and Regulatel (2001).

Digitizing education:

Define the precise goals for e-learning projects; Promote the development and sharing of
educational software; Provide incentive mechanisms for the teachers to integrate ICT in their
personal pedagogic approach; Institutionalize real-time knowledge-transfer from the Worldwide
Web to local classrooms.

Digitizing the media:

Consider the unique position of the media industry in the Information Society; Create scale in
the regional media industry, in order to protect local content providers and to establish an
iinternationally competitive information and entertainment industry in the region

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


forecasts regarding reductions in receiver prices and other contributing factors in favor of universal
access need to be considered. A central lesson from the heterogeneous situation of analogue
television in LAC is that a common technical platform for digital TV in LAC could support the
flow of content in the region decisively.

Box 6

Another potential alternative to access the Infrastructure Layer is mobile communications
systems. However, extending mobile data services to benefit all society in the region, will require
major changes in the region’s approach to the mobile industry. Overcoming the challenges of urban
concentration of mobile services, providing services to low-income groups, declining market
conditions, stifling tax burdens, high license fees, lack of co-ordinated spectrum (especially with
regard to 3G), an uncoordinated approach with regard to standard issues and additionally
preference for wire line over mobile subsidies, requires a cold appraisal of the basis of a public-
private partnership that will allow mobile telephony to continue its current growth in the region.

Box 7

Building the generic services layer

The provision of adequate software tools and services is a major issue. Market mechanisms
are often not sufficient to create programs that serve broader development goals. The market may
produce video games and adult entertainment, but not necessarily adequate applications to confront
local needs in health care or educational services. This is a classic example of market failure that
justifies government intervention. Open and international standards are key to assure
interoperability in the Generic Service Layer and not to create closed and separate user circles.
Open standards can also play an important role in the provision of adequate software systems in a
local context. Innovative applications based on open source software foster the adjustment of
applications to local particularities and promote local innovation in software programming. This
also implies that a minimum level of local programming capacity is indispensable, to assure the
adjustment of services to domestic requirements.

The institution of a mobile and wireless public services working group within the CITEL, to seek
ways through which mobile communications could contribute to the connectivity agenda and other
major initiatives, would allow administrations to take full advantage of mobile ICT’s unique
capabilities and cost-effectiveness. Included in its agenda would be proposals related to mobile-
Internet, cheap end-user equipment, applications for mobile services (especially for social use),
mobile-commerce, emergency services through the mobile interface, as well as the familiar attention
to international roaming and fraud.

As with PCs and advanced digital cell-phones, digital TV needs to be supported by some kind of
software in the “Applications Layer”. It is important to assure that an open standard is chosen as
the API (Application Programming Interface) for digital TV, in order not to repeat the mistakes which
have been made in PC software markets. Especially in developing countries open standards are
essential to prevent the creation of “lock in” effects and to assure the introduction of an open
“Internet” in digital TV networks. All stakeholders involved (consumers, local industry, and
international investors) can only benefit from the many opportunities an open digital TV Interface
brings with it. It would also facilitate the production of adequate content and business models for a
technology that might affect up to 90 percent of the LAC population directly, in the near future.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Regarding the usage of digital services, it is recognizable that in LAC most attention is set on
the digitization of outer-firm processes (such as digital communication and coordination through
B2B or B2C marketplaces or online portals), while the challenge of digitizing internal mechanisms
in organizations is neglected.

Box 8


However, up-front costs of internal software systems are very high, their implementation
requires a large effort (3-18 months projects) and provokes profound changes in social and
productive organization. While the long-term productivity gains greatly exceed the required initial
investment, the short-term financial and organizational requirements (such as the provision of an
executing implementation team) may be too high, especially for small agents. It is necessary to
provide short-term incentive mechanisms or loans to motivate also small organizations to make
the necessary investments and organizational adjustments.24

With world-class ERP solutions ranging from US$ 100,000 to US$ 2 million at the beginning
of 2002 (excluding implementation and labor training costs), the possibilities for small and medium
sized organizational units to access such technological systems are very restricted. The business
model of Application Service Provision (ASP) reduces the cost of such applications.

Box 9

Strategies for an information society

The establishment and implementation of regional, national and local Information Society
development strategies are indispensable in order to seize the “Digital Opportunity”.
“Leapfrogging” development stages is possible, however, it is not an automatic process. Market
mechanisms by themselves rather tend to deepen the Digital Divide between and within societies.

24 These incentives need to consider the full cost of the implementation of application systems (hardware, telecom, software,

implementation services, capacitation and training, reorganization, etc.).

The ASP model reduces the cost of acquiring and up-dating software applications by sharing
infrastructure, service organization and maintenance costs. By deploying preconfigured solutions
and shared training, implementation costs are also reduced. Furthermore, liability and enforcement
assurances of the service provider guarantee the client the functionality of the system and provide a
constant up-date of applications in an industry where performance outdates very fast. Therefore a
well functioning and strong ASP-industry is essential to provide high quality application services to a
large part of organizations in LAC. The creation and establishment of the industry deserves special

In many developed countries, the process of digitization started “inside the house”, before
moving on to “interconnecting different actors”. In LAC on the contrary, a large part of the
organizational units wrote their first email before introducing their first electronic database. This
accounts for firms, as well as for schools, hostipals, Ministries, etc. The lack of internal application
systems is a major obstacle to the adoption of more advanced inter-organizational applications.
Digitizing information flows, communication processes and coordination mechanisms inside an
organizational unit makes a large contribution to the overall efficiency increases and greatly
facilitates the adaptation of inter-organizational online practices. The benefits from Internet
marketplaces and online activities between actors in LAC stay limited as long as the vast majority of
the internal organization takes place with “paper and pen”.

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To prevent this from happening strong and visionary leadership is required, reducing coordination
costs and uncertainty.

In international initiatives, “meaningful participation” (UN ICT Task Force, 2002)25 of
developing countries has to be assured, and from its side, LAC needs to assure to get involved, to
contribute and to benefit from such international initiatives through “meaningful participation”.
Furthermore, tailor-made attention on a regional and national level is paramount, since technical
change and eventual leapfrogging strategies are interwoven with its physical, historical, social and
institutional environment. The ‘heritage form the industrial age’ provides different starting points,
in different regions and countries. In order to assure the incorporation and full exploitation of the
existing assets, it is paramount to induce the participation of all stakeholders of an Information
Society in such an initiative.

On the regional level, the countries in LAC are in the process of setting up “LACNET”, the
Latin American and Caribbean Regional Network of the UN ICT Task Force
(www.unicttaskforce.org)26. The active participation of the countries in this initiative will be
essential for the success of this regional strategy tool.

On a national level, it is essential that eventual governmental initiatives embrace the entire
government, which includes the different Ministries, as well as local municipalities. The
establishment of an inter-ministerial institution seems advisable to achieve this goal. It needs to be
assured that the program becomes an initiative of the State, not merely the current government in
power. However, the most important factor is that national Information Society development
strategies do not only aim for integrating the entire public sector (including all regulatory and
technical authorities) into their decision taking, but also the private sector, the civil society, and
regional and global organizations. Cooperation with foreign governments, multi-lateral lending
agencies, trade organizations and other intergovernmental organizations needs to be employed as a
strategic tool for the creation of a domestic Information Society. Private-public sector
partnerships and civil society participation, should not be misinterpreted as a division of labor,
whereas the private sector is expected to merely provide funding, civil society organizations
provide democratic accountability and the public sector allocates the “donated” resources. Such a
division of labor is not sustainable in the long run. In order to path the long way towards an
Information Society, common visions about future development trajectories need to be found and
implemented together. The concerns and interests of the civil society need to be addressed at the
highest level of policy making. The private sector's focus on profits (at least in the long term) must
be respected and addressed, while the public sector and civil society need to ensure that no part of
society gets excluded form the benefits of progress.

The work of such a national Information Society program does not necessarily require
tremendous financial support. Its work should rather focus on creating synergies, linkages,
cooperation and coordination among the many stakeholders of a national Information Society,
and on joint decision taking27.

25 United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force; Working Group 1;

26 United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force; Regional Networks;

27 The presented best practice from Belgium, with regards to the creation of an early warning virus alert network, showed how great

advances can be achieved with little financial input, through joint coordination between the different stakeholders of an Information

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Regulatory frameworks for an information society

The regulatory challenge with regard to the creation of an Information Society is three-fold:
first of all, the Infrastructure and the Generic Service Layers need to be regulated. This involves the
regulation of the telecommunications and hardware industries, as well as to assure the functionality
and high performance of the software market. Secondly, it requires the adjustment of the juridical
framework to enable digital practices in the Vertical Sectors. And thirdly, an intellectual property
rights regime is needed, which recognizes the characteristics of a Digital Economy and an
Information Society.

A well-functioning and well-regulated telecommunications industry is key in the process of
building an Information Society. In contrary to many developed countries, the majority of LAC
telecommunication industries have been privatized at a moment when the infrastructure penetration
was still very low. Regulation mechanisms therefore also differ from those applied in markets that
have already reached an almost complete penetration. Incentive mechanisms need to be found
which foster the growth of the network and assure universal inclusion. To find an adequate and
sustainable level of competitiveness (workable competition) to allow the operators –on the one
hand—- to extract enough rent to justify further investments in the network build-out and on the
other hand to seek low prices and high service quality, constitutes one of the most difficult tasks in
telecommunications regulation in LAC –and elsewhere in the world.

Box 10

The omnipresent significance and the potential strategic power of technical standards are
often underestimated in technological development strategies in LAC. The neglect of the issue and
the uncoordinated search for foreign investments created a uniquely challenging standard scenario
in LAC, which can present a serious obstacle for smooth technological development in the future.
The suggested policy is three-fold. First of all, before introducing a new technological system (such
as 3G or digital TV) an institutionalized process of testing has to identify the best solution, with
regard to the particular situation. Such a mechanism needs to take the process of ICT-convergence
into consideration (which implies for example the interdependency of 3G systems with digital TV
systems, given their eventual convergence). Brazil’s extensive process of testing digital television
standards during 2000 is a best practice in this respect. More countries in the region should
participate in such standard testing mechanism, and the high costs of such tests could be shared on
a regional scale. Secondly, in a later stage, such a regional mechanism could also evaluate the costs
and benefits of proprietary standards versus open standards for the different technological
solutions in the market. Constant and profound economic analyzes is indispensable to decide on
this crucial question. In principle, open standards should be favored, since they prevent “lock in”
effects, assure low intellectual property royalty payments, foster integration and interoperability
and therefore lead to industrial participation, competition and scale on a common platform. Thirdly,
it also becomes essential for LAC countries and companies to participate in standard
consortiums worldwide. Many of those consortiums are open for participation. This would assure
that the special characteristics of the region are considered when a new standard is created, and

Experience shows that the existence of an antimonopoly or competition body creates positive
dynamics. However, the lack (or at least an unsatisfactory performance) of such an antimonopoly
institution in many LAC countries, creates an institutional vacuum in telecommunications regulation.
Furthermore, the long-term investment cycles in the telecom industry require stability in
telecommunications regulation. Telecom regulation has to become a policy of the state (not of a
particular government in power) which reduces uncertainty and establishes trust in the sector.

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


furthermore, through the close cooperation with countries and companies on the technological
frontier in such consortiums, LAC could convert from being a “standard taker” into becoming a
“standard maker”.

Furthermore the adjustment of the juridical framework is key. In theory, the less rigid
regulatory environment in LAC (in comparison to stiff regulatory environments in some developed
countries) should provide the region with the chance to move a lot faster in adjusting their
regulatory framework to the needs of the digital age. In practice however, the low priority given
to the issue results in missing or inadequate legislation in LAC and is a major obstacle for the
adaptation of e-practices. Adequate legislation is a basic requirement for digitization. Such a
juridical framework includes digital signatures, online contracts, electronic certificates, network
security, credit card and e-payment fraud, cyber-crime in general, online consumer protection,
intimacy and privacy rights, authentication, liability and data integrity.

Box 11

The role of intellectual property rights in the transition towards an Information Society is
essential. An incentive regime is needed, which balances the need for an adequate rate of profits
form research and development (R&D) expenditure and the social demand that innovators should
not overexploit dominant market positions from their patent holding. Such a regime also has to
recognize the special characteristics for digital goods, such as non-rivalry and non-excludability.
Furthermore, closely related to the above-mentioned technical standards, the risks and benefits of
“closed” vs. “open standards” need to be evaluated constantly. And finally, the stakeholders of the
Information Society in LAC should not underestimate the importance of Internet governance and
domain name system management.

Financing an Information Society

The necessary resources that have to be mobilized in order to finance the establishment of an
Information Society in LAC require the joint effort of the private and the public sector.

Digital transactions are often cross-country and the current heterogeneity of legislation
throughout the region presents a severe obstacle for cross-border e-practices, and therefore for
the full exploitation of the digital opportunity. A program of cooperation should be established on
a regional level in LAC, to promote the convergence of regulatory frameworks. With regard to the
limits of the Model law on electronic data interchange of UNCITRAL, a forum should be created
on a regional level (for example through OAS or Grupo de Río) which would analyze and discuss
issues like the non-discrimination between the recognition of electronic and hand-written
documents; technological neutrality and harmonization of digital signature legislation; or the
institutionalization of a system of certification entities that establish similar requirements for
electronic certification and the mutual recognition of them.

Regarding subjects that require a regional coordination and are not covered by the model law
(especially the trade of digital goods and services, taxation issues, consumer protection, cyber-
crime and fraud and data integrity) forums should be created on a level of the existent integration
process (especially Andean Community and MERCOSUR). The directives and recommendations
of the European Union could serve as a raw model on such a level (especially with regard to the
definition of the juridical nature of electronic contracts; consumer rights; definition of which
legislation should be applied in digital cross-border transactions (the country of origin or the
country of reception); the establishment norms for e-payment to provide security and a climate of
confidence in e-practices).

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Box 12

In the long run, a new international finance architecture will be needed, to equilibrate the
severe impacts of worldwide booms and crises in LAC (Ocampo, 2001)28 and to assure a constant
minimum flow of capital to the region. The assurance of adequate finance mechanisms for the
transition towards an Information Society in LAC, should be part of this global program.

In the short run, one of the best ways to encourage foreign investment seems to be by
increasing the amount of local investment. Foreign investors will be discouraged from investing in
the region if local investor participation does not increase. Governments must put mechanisms
into place to encourage the private sector to invest in local capital markets, rather than sending
money offshore to more secure markets. Experience from other countries (especially from Israel29)
show that governments themselves can act as a catalyst for emerging Venture Capital markets. The
deployment of ICT and digital networks itself, can be used to assure a better, more transparent
and more flexible resource allocation in capital markets of all shapes and sizes in LAC. Such “e-
Finance” networks present a special opportunity for micro-enterprises and SMEs.

Furthermore, more advanced security laws to protect minority shareholders rights are
required, bankruptcy laws need to be streamlined in order to give creditors the needed security to
encourage additional lending and corporate governance regulations need to be set in place. Courts
have not been protective of these rights, because of the lack of a well-defined body of law in this
respect. Effective financing mechanisms also relate to business culture, as for example many LAC
companies are family-run businesses and their owners have traditionally been insensitive to the
needs of minority shareholders.

Considering historical evidence from the diffusion process of TV and radio receivers, there
seems to be little economic reason why the Digital Divide should be closed in the near future, if the
transition towards an Information Society is to be solely guided by market mechanisms. In order to
accelerate the process of ICT diffusion, the public sector in low-come countries will have to find
creative ways how the limited resources available can be efficiently used to provide a minimum
level of ICT access to the entire society. Policies with regard to the formation of public goods,

28 Ocampo, José Antonio (2001); “Growth with stability. Financing for development in the new international context”; ECLAC,

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean;

29 In the early 1990s the Israeli government set up a Venture Capital company, Yozma, to act as a catalyst for the emerging industry,
With a budget of US$100 million, Yozma invested in local companies and attracted foreign capital. The fund is a model for the
state-led emergence of a VC and high-tech industry.

LAC is very sensible and vulnerable to worldwide economic trends. A worldwide economic
downturn has been shown to have disastrous and multiplied effects on regional finance
mechanisms. After worldwide high-tech stock markets crashed in 2000, the formerly extraordinarily
high Venture Capital flow into LAC stopped completely. Also, foreign investment flows towards the
region diminished decisively in the early 2000s. However, foreign direct investment and venture
capital continue to be indispensable to finance the creation of an Information Society in the region.
The “ICT evolution” continues, driven by the forces of ICT-convergence. This requires resources to
build out te Infrastructure Layer, the same as financing mechanisms to assure capital for the
Applications Layer and the different Vertical Sectors. Building out wireless and mobile infrastructure
(especially 3G) and the adaptation of digital television will require significant amounts of investments
in the years to come for LAC. The creation of adequate content and new business models (such as
for digital TV or for 3G) requires flexible venture capital mechanisms. If the region does not want to
fall too far behind in these ongoing developments, strong and stable financing mechanisms and
markets are indispensable.

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shared access, cross-taxing incentives for nascent industries (including the industries in the
Horizontal Layers, as well as in the Vertical Sectors) or “paternalism” that aims for accelerating
the adoption of the new paradigm, require detailed evaluation and visionary actions from the public
sector. The risk is too high, to create another form of inequality and exclusion when leaving
development completely to market mechanisms.

Human capital for an information society

Two policy directions have to be considered for the challenging task of creating “human
capital” at the service of an Information Society.

The first one centers on training issues. Analysis from the Vertical Sectors showed clearly
that the usage of ICT and the adaptation of digital practices requires a learning process (on the
supply, as well as on the demand side of online exchange). Public sector authorities, private sector
entrepreneurs and third sector leaders, who aim for the integration of e-practices, need to assure
that employees, as well as clients and members are constantly trained for the ever-changing e-
environment. Investments into training aspects need to be considered by public incentive
mechanism policies, which foster the adoption of digital practices, for example through tax-
incentives for the institutionalization of ICT training30.

Box 13

The second policy direction in the Diagonal Area of Human Capital aims at the creation of
“tacit knowledge”, in order to gain a competitive advantage in a society where information is
widely available through digital networks. This involves the notorious “brain drain”. While

30 An example from the e-commerce section (Magazine Luiza from Brazil) showed that training could even become a substantial part

of an e-commerce business model, and therefore benefits the company and its clients.

Training of human resources and awareness programs for staff members proves to be
important in e-sectors, since opposition to change from professionals is frequently a major
obstacle to deployment. This accounts for civil servants in e-government, physicians and health
professionals in e-health, teachers in e-learning and employees in companies.

Training strategies need to identify target groups on the basis of functions and training needs
in the specific Vertical Sectors and Horizontal Layers (e.g. in the health, the governmental and
business sector; or telecommunications and software). Training programs need to be developed to
meet the identified needs of a target group. The establishment of a network of training focal points
seems useful, taking into account the specific organization and circumstances of local

A dynamic and proactive cooperation within the academic sector (especially integrating
universities) proves highly effective. The creation of a university network for technical assistance
and for education purposes (for example to capacitate high-school teachers, physicians,
entrepreneurs of micro-enterprises and SMEs, etc.) is a very cost-effective solution. The
institutionalization of such a network requires a stable coordination. Especially the introduction of a
“hierarchy” in the capacitation network (whereas educators capacitate educators in an ongoing
chain) proves efficient.

It can be made use of e-learning to facilitate the required training process. For example
distance education, virtual consultant portals or educational and informative Intranets for health
professionals, micro-enterprise- and SME entrepreneurs, teachers or public sector authorities are
cost-effective solutions to reach a broad audience. Such virtual information and education
mechanisms should not only be deployed for professionals but also for consumer education.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


workforce mobility cannot be prohibited in an increasingly globalize and free world, incentives
need to be found to motivate highly skilled professionals to stay in low-income countries. Sharing
ownership and responsibility with professionals, are two first steps. Trusting and building on the
future generation of young professionals, instead of losing them, requires a change in business
culture. This presents a major challenge for LAC, where the hierarchical organization of many
(family-run) enterprises rather bears the potential to motivate young professionals to leave their
home country.

Box 14

Since curriculums and study programs become obsolete very fast, the identification of
professional profiles, which fit the special requirements of the particular industries in LAC, imply
a shared responsibility between education institutions, the public sector and the industry itself. The
creation of a network of representatives from all the different players involved, which acts, as an
observatory to monitor and propose adequate professional profiles, becomes indispensable to avoid
the common “skill-mismatch”.31 Taking into consideration the often very similar characteristics.
and requirements in LAC industries, such an observatory could even work on a supranational scale,
in order to make use of synergies.

In many LAC countries special agencies exist, which support the training of the national
workforce. Over the decades these “national apprenticeship agencies” became powerful and
recognized organizations and manage a considerable annual budget. However, being relicts of the
time of import substitution, they are ill equipped to meet the demanding challenges of a workforce
in the Information Society and would need profound overhauling. These agencies would also be the
right place to start initiatives with regard to private-public sector partnerships and the identification
of adequate professional profiles. Putting these agencies fully into service of creating a well-
equipped workforce for the Information Society in LAC would be a powerful policy.

Digitizing the business sector (e-Business)

A large amount of scientific research is necessary to untangle and help to understand the
functionality of the Digital Economy in LAC. Research centers and academic investigations are in
high demand to analyze what can, and what cannot be done over digital networks in LAC, to

31 The presented project “Career-Space” shows an alternative through which a public-private sector partnership can help to identify

adequate and demanded professional profiles.

Also existing education mechanisms require more attention in LAC. The public sector
responsibility to provide adequate basic education to all society, gains weight in an economy that
competes for tacit knowledge. Public-private sector collaboration in tertiary education is
indispensable in order to provide updated content to an affordable price. Experience shows that
the interest of the private sector in a well-equipped local workforce can even be used to finance
part of the expensive tertiary education. Creative ways have to be found to incorporate the
industry, while preventing the capacitation of individual “firm experts” in universities. However,
even the creation of “firm experts” (especially through postgraduate studies) does not go against
the goal of creating high quality human capital. Funding should be competitive.

Public-private sector partnerships are also necessary to create “life-long-learning”
mechanisms, which implies the extension of national education systems to the existent workforce.
The concept of “life-long-learning” would even justify that the public sector re-budgets some of its
expenditures on higher education, so that not only the 20-25 year old can profit from it, but also the
25-60 year old. Involving the private sector in this effort, could lead to subsidies and tax allowances
for individuals and firms to invest in skills. Such a policy would also reduce the risk of out-dated

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identify bottlenecks and to underline best practices, considering the special characteristics of the
region. It is indispensable to create research networks between the public sector, private businesses
and the academia to accomplish this urgent task and to foster the understanding of digitizing
business processes in LAC.

The main focus of e-commerce in LAC is set on B2B transactions. B2C commerce is still
small and is not expected to gain substantial weight until the “masses” are connected through new
technological innovations (like for example digital TV). In many cases B2B commerce is also a
basic requirement in order to develop B2C commerce, since B2C “up-front” retailing often entails
solid B2B “back-stage” mechanisms. In this respect, the focus needs to shift from seeing the
Internet as a “new sales channel” and it needs to be focused on the digitization of the entire
business and commerce process, by integrating digitized inner-firm processes into an outer-firm
network. At the same time, however, the region must remain cognizant of the structural changes
that labor-saving technologies present in a region where low-cost, low-skill manual labor is a
central facet of the economy and where high levels of un- or underemployment have historically

Box 15

The Brazilian experience shows that the banking sector can play a central role in the
development of e-commerce, especially online transactions. Payment systems remain crucial.
Bank—sponsored or bank—facilitated online transactions help stimulate consumer e-commerce
and create confidence in online activities. Direct and indirect support, incentive mechanisms and
even obligations for the banking sector to invest or develop secure transaction applications prove
very beneficial for the progress of overall online activity. Brazil’s e-commerce pre—eminence in
the region is to a large part due to the country’s advanced e-banking sector. The special
characteristics of LAC need to be considered (such as the low credit card penetration) and creative
and alternative payment systems (such as mobile payment applications and smart cards) need to be

There is a clear positive relation between the size of the firm and ICT usage. However, evidence
shows that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) adapt very quickly to e-commerce, mainly
by adopting online business models which have been developed elsewhere. This is underlining the
benefits and the potential of the “quick follower”. The structural importance of micro-enterprises and
SMEs in LAC economies and the high potential benefits form putting their business practices online,
points to an area worthy of attention for governments, public-private partnerships and multi-lateral
lending agencies1. Providing training, and financial- and technical support to micro-enterprises and
SMEs to better integrate them into national and international digital supply chains is indispensable in
order to break the “vicious circle” between usage and benefit, and to enter the “virtuous circle” of
network externalities. Therefore the integration of micro-enterprises and SMEs in LAC is essential to
become competitive in what is an increasingly globalized Digital Economy.

A multitude of standards in different online trading platforms (especially technical standards and
standards with regard to product definitions), present a major obstacle for micro-enterprises and
SMEs to get fully integrated into local and international digital supply chains. Technical assistance is
necessary, and at the medium-term a national strategy needs to be found to deal with the issue.

Security concerns are especially large with SME e-commerce providers. It is fundamental to
promote the diffusion of secure transaction technology and software within domestic enterprises.
Consumer groups and business and trade organizations should mount education and awareness
campaigns about the process and security of trading online. Taking these steps can help overcome
consumer and business aversion to e-commerce.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Digitizing government (e-Government)

The digitization of public services holds great promises for performance quality and cost-
effectiveness of public administration in LAC. It can also support the massification of the Internet,
as experience form Chile, Brazil and Mexico shows that “killer-applications” like online tax paying
or B2G portals, are decisive motivators for companies in their decision to go online. In the long
run, e-Government can contribute significantly to citizen participation in a democracy. For now,
digital organization in public administration can increase transparency and support anti-corruption
initiatives, a long-standing concern in the region, and elsewhere in the world. It needs to be assured
that e-government initiatives become an integrated part of existent state modernization reforms
and not to be treated as a separate project. It is important to prevent the discussion from becoming a
debate about technology and computation, but rather a reflection about public administration and
governance. The entire spectrum of public sector activity needs to be incorporated in the effort of
digitization (including traffic regulation, police, fire departments, natural disaster prevention, etc.).

Generally speaking, e-government projects undergo five stages, which start with the (1)
digitization of administrative processes inside the public sector, continues with (2) an increasing
Web presence, (3) an increasingly interactive online dialogue with the citizens, (4) online
transactions and (5) eventually the integration of the e-government front-end interface.

Box 16

Digitizing the health sector (e-Health)

The deployment of ICT to improve performance in the health sector is widely neglected in
LAC and the concept of e-health is not adequately embraced and often misinterpreted. E-health
goes far beyond telemedicine and distance consultations. Similarly to what has been pointed out in
regard to B2B and B2C e-commerce, the “business-to-consumer” interaction of telemedicine is
only a small part of e-health. The greatest challenges in the implementation of ICT in health and
healthcare are related to digitizing “back-office” processes, automating intra- and
interorganizational health structures and creating digital networks inside and between the different
units of the national health sector.

In the light of current modernization and health reforms in the LAC, e-health needs to be
made an integrated part of each particular health sector reform model and not to be treated as an
isolated project. E-health efforts must be aligned to each healthcare model organizational goals and
priorities and must deploy a technological architecture and infrastructure best suited to enhance

To realize an e-government project, realistic objectives, strategic planning and strong
leadership are indispensable. E-government initiatives can greatly benefit from experiences from
other countries and from experiences of the private sector. Cooperation with the private sector
(especially in the technological field) is necessary, but not sufficient. The government has to
become a leader in ICT adoption itself. The internal resistance to such kinds of reforms should not
be underestimated. To overcome it leadership from the highest level of the public sector is
required. However, an e-government project team needs to incorporate all different stakeholders of
public administration. The “top-down” approach needs to be balanced with a sufficient degree of
“bottom-up” participation. New ways of public administration need to fit the actual demand of the
citizens. Ahciet’s initiative “digital cities”, which gathers almost two hundred municipalities from
Iberoamerica, presents a best practice with respect to assure participation and cooperation
between all stakeholders of an e-government in LAC (www.iberomunicipios.org).

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efficiency and quality of care in each particular implementation environment. International
cooperation in the field of e-health has to consider the particular stage of development and
characteristics of the national reform process in a developing country, in order to provide assistance
that is properly linked to the real needs of the sector.

The healthcare sector in LAC is a largely decentralized industry populated by diverse
organizations with overlapping responsibilities and diverse and many times conflicting goals,
resources, and incentives. However, e-health solutions are complex and costly to develop and
implement. Coordination among the different actors in the health sector is necessary, in order to
create synergies and economies of scale in the development of e-health applications and in order to
exchange experience and knowledge to facilitate implementation. The participation of the private
sector through cooperative partnerships, especially with the informatics industry, is indispensable.
Outsourcing networks will need to become more common in the health sector in order to keep up
with the rapid advances taking place in the area of ICT.

In the past decades, a great variety of information systems have been implemented in LAC
health and healthcare organizations. In order to enhance effectiveness and lower costs, such
systems must be integrated and technological interfaces are required to make possible the
interoperability of the existing technological infrastructure and its multiple component subsystems.

It is essential to integrate and deploy existent ICT infrastructure and alternative
technologies for e-health services (such as ATM technologies, computer labs in schools and info-
centers, smart cards for medical records, wireless and mobile communications, etc). Shared access
models located in public spaces like for instance in pharmacies, hold great potential, since for the
end-user the most significant benefits lies in the temporary access to technology-mediated
improved health services and not in the continuous ownership of sophisticated technology.

Box 17

The area of standards in the healthcare sector is in constant flux and one must be attentive to
the evolution of the recommendations arising from national and international standard-setting
bodies and professional working groups. It is advisable to carefully evaluate existing options
regarding guidelines, norms, and standards developed by the technical and scientific community
before introducing new routines and procedures.

Furthermore, national authorities should develop means for assessing the appropriateness and
quality of health services provided via digital networks. Outcome-based quality improvement
programs will be of great importance in assuring quality and cost-effectiveness of online medical
care. Evidence-based information should permit the user to follow the links between data,
inferences, and conclusions. Authentication, access control, confidentiality, integrity, and reliable
content attribution are key requirements for health-related advice and decision making.

The implementation of a legal and regulatory framework that facilitates medical communication
at the professional level – such as interstate/province licensure and accreditation of healthcare
providers— must be addressed. Consumer protection is key in e-health and special legislation that
ensures the protection of personal health information is required.

The European and North American experience demonstrated that regulatory powers can play a
significant role in coaching the healthcare industry into complying with a variety of guidelines
related to data standardization, quality assurance, security, and privacy. As in all Vertical Sectors,
incentive regulation is the most cost-effective policy tool to assure the rapid and smooth
digitization of the sector.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


Digitizing culture (e-Culture)

The Digital Divide has implications that go far beyond economic and material
characteristics. It is a symbolic abyss in the distribution of information, citizen participation,
political inclusion and representation, social services, security and prevention mechanisms,
consumption of arts, cultural goods and the participation in the cultural life of a community at large
(be this community local, national, regional or global).

Like always in times of great structural change, civil society organizations are in
extraordinary demand and require special attention and substantial support in LAC. ICT and digital
conduct is of high importance for civil society, not only for their cost-effective and powerful
coordination and organization, but also in the interest of developing and promoting social policies
and to open the debate about citizens’ rights to communicate and to participate. Neither access to
ICT, nor interactive applications do automatically ensure participation. Human capacity and a
minimum of common virtual habit are required and need to be fostered through a “bottom-up”
approach. Discussions about arising problems (such as required or non-required censorship in
cyberspace, etc) have to be stimulated and need to involve all society.

Investigations should go beyond the technical dimension of ICT and need to capture ICT in
its potential for being a communication system at the service of a community, a tool to create social
and political participation, new forms of transparency and to enhance cultural life. The final goal is
to exploit the digital opportunity to create a new forms of cultural, social and political participation,
especially regarding traditionally excluded groups in a society, such as indigenous groups, old
people, women and children. ICT should not become a tool to force minority groups into the
majority culture, but rather to allow them to integrate digital conduct into their cultures and to
support variety. Campaigns to stimulate discussion and awareness about this dimension of the
Information Society seem fundamental, especially in a region with such harsh social inequality as
in LAC.

Digitizing education (e-Learning)

Like with most Vertical Sectors, the digitization of the educational sector has to be seen as
an evolution of existing institutions. Schools and their goals, authority, hierarchy and power
regimes, incentive mechanisms, culture and learning traditions make up part of this evolution in the
educational sector. E-learning is not a stand alone “additional activity”, but needs to be integrated
into existent reforms and modernization efforts in the different educational systems of the region.

Programs that aim for digitizing part of the learning mechanism need to define precise goals.
ICT permit to cover a vast range of necessities in the educational process. Nonetheless, it is
fundamental to concentrate efforts on some of them, in order to prevent confusion and
disorientation, which leads to decreasing motivation and fading political and financial support of
such programs.

The innovation should be incremental. The introduction of ICT in the scholar system is a
slow process. It is a “next generation issue”, linked to cultural change. Therefore, e-learning
programs should be institutionalized as long-term projects of the State, rather than a government,
in order to assure the stability and continuity of the effort. The development and usage of quality
indicators, to measure progress and innovation, is very efficient, since advances in e-learning
cannot be measured through “returns of investments”.

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Box 18

It is also essential to institutionalize the exploitation of the worldwide flow of information, in
order to integrate LAC better into the global “exchange of ideas” which takes place in digital
networks. Real-time “knowledge transfer” through digital networks into the classrooms of LAC
does not occur automatically. Up-dated information to feed curriculums and enrich classes might
be largely available in cyberspace. However, the millions of WebPages around the globe rather
present an information overflow, overwhelming teachers and students alike. A virtual structure of
easily identifiable and adequate quality content from all over the world (through special search-
engines, etc) would be of great importance.

Digitizing the media (e-Media)

LAC countries have to be aware of the signification and the potential powers of the media
industry in an Information Society. Media and entertainment companies are the driving force in
“content creation”. Their economic-, social-, cultural and political weight in the Information
Society is unpredictable. Policy directions are twofold.

The first one aims at the creation of an internationally competitive information and
entertainment industry. The industrialization and the professional production of “cultural goods”

Projects need to start with awareness raising between directors and supervisors of the
establishments. This is necessary since the usage of ICT needs to be institutionalized in the system.
Then building out the Infrastructure Layer and Applications Layer is key. A dynamic cooperation with
the private sector (especially telecomm, hardware and software producers) proves valid.

Quantitative and qualitative insufficiencies in educational software present a major obstacle.
Market-mechanisms by themselves do not create adequate and sufficient applications to support the
learning process in the different classes that are foreseen by the curriculum. Economies of scale
need to be reached to share the cost of developing educational software. Such collaboration can
even be established on an international scale.

The main subject to change however, is the teacher and educator. In the presented example
from Chile, a complex and well-institutionalized human resource development network has been
established, involving the Ministry, the private sector and especially universities and advanced
academia, which sustains an extensive network of “teacher-instructors” as the central axis of
constant innovation.

Besides such training institutions, incentive regimes need to be provided for the teacher, to
integrate ICT into the daily practices of its curriculum. Often, the time-consuming process of
educating him/herself about ICT is not even remunerated. Additionally, missing understanding about
the potential possibilities, fear of the unknown and large personal efforts to re-adjust the habitual
pedagogic approach (e.g. the loss of the teacher’s knowledge monopoly, by sharing the teaching
process with interactive ICT applications), give little incentive for the teacher to profoundly reshape
its teaching-plan, by digitizing part of its curriculum. As a result, visits to the computer-lab are seen
as an additional “on-top” activity, rather than becoming part of the core-apprenticeship. Awareness
raising, information and best-practice sharing, political and immaterial incentives and even norms
and certain obligations to speed up the incorporations of ICT into the educational processes,
become necessary.

In this respect, it is also important to point out that a major obstacle for the integration of ICT into
the core-curriculum of daily teaching, is the homogeneity of the initiatives. The different contexts and
peculiarities of the classes need to be considered. The teacher still needs to have the right to select
its personal pedagogic approach and it rather needs to be aimed for reaching certain goals and
milestones of e-learning, instead of pedantically dictating what and in which way computers have to
be used throughout classrooms.

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


and content (and the eventual export through digital networks) is an increasingly profitable
business in the Information Society. LAC is very rich in culture and the common Christian and
western-world roots suggest the lucrative European and North American markets as potential
export destinations.

The second policy direction aims for the protection of the local media industry. The media
industry requires special attention, given its weight in the political life of a country, its influence on
domestic culture, social life and “national identity”. The key question to consider here is not so
much if local content provider will continue to provide local content, but rather if they will be able
to stay independent financially. In the long run, also the particular relation between financial
control and control over content has to be considered. The segmented media market in LAC is
making it very easy for transnational media giants (such as AOL-Time Warner, Bertelsmann,
Vivendi Universal, Walt Disney, Viacom, News Corp or Sony), to compete with or to eventually
take over the different (comparatively small) LAC content providers one by one. While the logical
response would be to call for protective legislation, the existing global information infrastructure
breaks down any eventual and existent attempt to protect the domestic industry through an import-
substituting legislation.

An effective and market-based policy alternative would be to create scale in the regional
media industry itself. This would increase the regional negotiating power in the process of
worldwide media concentration, and would provide domestic companies with sufficient economies
of scale to enter sincere and stable strategic alliances with their transnational counterparts. Such a
regional alliance would also favor the establishment of a competitive information and
entertainment export industry. However, it needs to be assured that such a regional alliance will not
create a regional media monopoly itself. Sophisticated regulation and concrete cooperation between
the different national governments and regulatory bodies of regional trade unions can provide for
this assurance.

Final consideration

Finally, the lack of “information” about the development of an “Information Society” in
LAC is a major obstacle itself. The dynamics which exist both within and between the different
Horizontal Layers, Diagonal Areas and Vertical Sectors create a fast-changing and complex
scenario, which requires constant evaluation in order to assure that Latin America and the
Caribbean will find and maintain its particular “optimum transition path” towards an Information

In close alignment with other global, regional, national and local initiatives, this publication
contributes to the joint-effort of finding such a path and calls for the continuation of such endeavor.

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133



AHCIET (Asociación Hispanoamericana de Centros de Investigación y
Empresas de Telecomunicaciones) and REGULATEL (Foro
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Números publicados
50 El impacto de las transnacionales en la reestructuración industrial en México. Examen de las industrias de autopartes

y del televisor, Jorge Carrillo, Michael Mortimore y Jorge Alonso Estrada, Red de inversiones y estrategias
empresariales, (LC/G.1994), 1998. www

51 Perú: un CANálisis de su competitividad internacional, José Luis Bonifaz y Michael Mortimore, Red de inversiones
y estrategias empresariales, (LC/G.2028), 1998. www

52 National Agricultural Research Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean: Changes and Challenges, César
Morales, Agricultural and Rural Development, (LC/G.2035), 1998. www

53 La introducción de mecanismos de mercado en la investigación agropecuaria y su financiamiento: cambios y
transformaciones recientes, César Morales, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1181 y Corr.1) 1999. www

54 Procesos de subcontratación y cambios en la calificación de los trabajadores, Anselmo García, Leonard Mertens y Roberto
Wilde, Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1182-P) N° de venta: S.99.II.G.23 (US$10.00), 1999. www

55 La subcontratación como proceso de aprendizaje: el caso de la electrónica en Jalisco (México) en la década de los
noventa, Enrique Dussel, Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1183-P) N° de venta: S.99.II-G.16 (US$
10.00), 1999. www

56 Social dimensions of economic development and productivity: inequality and social performance, Beverley Carlson,
Restructuring and Competitiveness Network, (LC/L.1184-P) Sales N°: E.99.II.G.18, (US$10.00), 1999. www

57 Impactos diferenciados de las reformas sobre el agro mexicano: productos, regiones y agentes, Salomón Salcedo Red
de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1193-P) N° de venta: S.99.II.G.19 (US$10.00), 1999. www

58 Colombia: Un CANálisis de su competitividad internacional, José Luis Bonifaz y Michael Mortimore, Red de
inversiones y estrategias empresariales, (LC/L.1229-P) N° de venta S.99.II.G.26 (US$10.00), 1999.

59 Grupos financieros españoles en América Latina: Una estrategia audaz en un difícil y cambiante entorno europeo,
Alvaro Calderón y Ramón Casilda, Red de inversiones y estrategias empresariales, (LC/L.1244-P) N° de venta
S.99.II.G.27 (US$10.00), 1999. www

60 Derechos de propiedad y pueblos indígenas en Chile, Bernardo Muñoz, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1257-
P) N° de venta: S.99.II.G.31 (US$10.00), 1999. www

61 Los mercados de tierras rurales en Bolivia, Jorge A. Muñoz, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1258-P) N° de
venta S.99.II.G.32 (US$10.00), 1999. www

62 México: Un CANálisis de su competitividad internacional, Michael Mortimore, Rudolph Buitelaar y José Luis
Bonifaz, Red de inversiones y estrategias empresariales (LC/L.1268-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.32 (US$10.00), 2000.

63 El mercado de tierras rurales en el Perú, Volumen I: Análisis institucional, Eduardo Zegarra Méndez, Red de
desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1278-P) N° de venta: S.99.II.G.51 (US$10.00), 1999 www y Volumen II: Análisis
económico Eduardo Zegarra Méndez, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1278/Add.1-P) N° de venta:
S.99.II.G.52 (US$10.00), 1999. www

64 Achieving Educational Quality: What Schools Teach Us, Beverley A. Carlson, Restructuring and Competitiveness
Network, (LC/L.1279-P) Sales N° E.99.II.G.60 (US$10.00), 2000. www

65 Cambios en la estructura y comportamiento del aparato productivo latinoamericano en los años 1990: después del
“Consenso de Washington”, ¿Qué?, Jorge Katz, Red de reestructuración y competitividad, LC/L.1280-P) N° de
venta S.99.II.G.61 (US$10.00), 1999. www

66 El mercado de tierras en dos provincia de Argentina: La Rioja y Salta, Jürgen Popp y María Antonieta Gasperini,
Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1300-P) N° de venta S.00.II.G.11 (US$10.00), 1999. www

67 Las aglomeraciones productivas alrededor de la minería: el caso de la Minera Yanacocha S.A., Juana R. Kuramoto
Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L1312-P) N° de venta S.00.II.G.12 (US$10.00), 2000. www

68 La política agrícola en Chile: lecciones de tres décadas, Belfor Portilla R., Red de desarrollo agropecuario
(LC/L.1315-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.6 (US$10.00), 2000. www

desarrollo productivo

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


69 The Current Situation of Small and Medium-Sized Industrial Enterprises in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and
St.Lucia, Michael Harris, Restructuring and Competitiveness Network, (LC/L.1316-P) Sales Nº E.00.II.G.85
(US$10.00), 2000. www

70 Una estrategia de desarrollo basada en recursos naturales: Análisis cluster del complejo de cobre de la Southern
Perú, Jorge Torres-Zorrilla, Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1317-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.13
(US$10.00), 2000. www

71 La competitividad de la industria petrolera venezolana, Benito Sánchez, César Baena y Paul Esqueda, Red de
reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1319-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.60 (US$10.00), 2000. www

72 Trayectorias tecnológicas en empresas maquiladoras asiáticas y americanas en México, Jorge Alonso, Jorge Carrillo
y Oscar Contreras, Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1323-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.61 (US$10.00),
2000. www

73 El estudio de mercado de tierras en Guatemala, Jaime Arturo Carrera, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/1325-P)
Nº de venta S.00.II.G.24 (US$10.00), 2000. www

74 Pavimentando el otro sendero: tierras rurales, el mercado y el Estado en América Latina, Frank Vogelgesang, Red de
desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L1341-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.19 (US$10.00), 2000. www

75 Pasado y presente del comportamiento tecnológico de América Latina, Jorge Katz, Red de reestructuración y
competitividad (LC/L.1342-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.45 (US$10.000), 2000. www

76 El mercado de tierras rurales en la República Dominicana,, Angela Tejada y Soraya Peralta, Red de desarrollo
agropecuario (LC/L.1363-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.53 (US$10.00), 2000. www

77 El mercado de tierras agrícolas en Paraguay, José Molinas Vega, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1367-P) Nº
de venta S.00.II.G.145 (US$10.00), 2000. www

78 Pequeñas y medianas empresas industriales en Chile, Cecilia Alarcón y Giovanni Stumpo, Red de reestructuración y
competitividad, (LC/L.1368-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.72 (US$10.00), 2000. www

79 El proceso hidrometalúrgico de lixiviación en pilas y el desarrollo de la minería cuprífera en Chile, Jorge Beckel,
Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1371-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.50 (US$10.00), 2000. www

80 La inversión extranjera en México, Enrique Dussel Peters, Red de inversiones y estrategias empresariales,
(LC/L.1414-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.104 (US$10.00), 2000. www

81 Two decades of adjustment and agricultural development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Max Spoor
Agricultural and Rural Development, (LC/L.1380-P) Sales Nº E.00.II.G.54 (US$10.00), 2000. www

82 Costa Rica: Sistema Nacional de Innovación, Rudolph Buitelaar, Ramón Padilla y Ruth Urrutia-Alvarez, Red de
reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1404-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.71 (US$10.00), 2000. www

83 La formación de un cluster en torno al turismo de naturaleza sustentable en Bonito, MS, Brasil, Red de desarrollo
agropecuario (LC/L.1633-P Nº de venta S.01.II.G. 172 (US$10.00), 2001. www

84 The transformation of the American Apparel Industry: Is NAFTA a curse or blessing, Gary Gereffi, Investment and
Corporate Strategies, (LC/L.1420-P) Sales Nº E.00.II.G.103, (US$10.00), 2000. www

85 Perspectivas y restricciones al desarrollo sustentable de la producción forestal en América Latina, Maria Beatriz de
Albuquerque David, Violette Brustlein y Philippe Waniez, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1406-P) Nº de
venta S.00.II.G.73 (US$10.00), 2000. www

86 Mejores prácticas en políticas y programas de desarrollo rural: implicancias para el caso chileno, Maximiliano Cox,
Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1509-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.47) (US$10.00), 2000. www

87 Towards a theory of the small firm: theoretical aspects and some policy implications, Marco R. Di Tommaso y
Sabrina Dubbini, Restructuring and Competitiveness Network, (LC/L.1415-P) Sales N° E.00.II.G.86 (US$10.00),
2000. www

88 Desempeño de las exportaciones, modernización tecnológica y estrategias en materia de inversiones extranjeras
directas en las economías de reciente industrialización de Asia. Con especial referencia a Singapur Sanjaya Lall, Red
de inversiones y estrategias empresariales, (LC/L.1421-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.108 (US$10.00), 2000. www

89 Mujeres en la estadística: la profesión habla, Beverly Carlson, Red de reestructuración y competitividad,
(LC/L.1436-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.116 (US$10.00), 2000. www

90 Impacto de las políticas de ajuste estructural en el sector agropecuario y agroindustrial: el caso de Argentina, Red de
desarrollo agropecuario, G. Ghezán, M. Materos y J. Elverdin, (LC/L.1618-P). Nº de venta S.01.II.G.158
(US$10.00), 2001. www

91 Comportamento do mercado de terras no Brasil, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, G. Leite da Silva, C. Afonso, C.
Moitinho (LC/L.1484-P) Nº de venta S.01.II.G.16 (US$10.00), 2000. www

92 Estudo de caso: o mercado de terras rurais na regiao da zona da mata de Pernambuco, Brasil, M. dos Santos
Rodrigues y P. de Andrade Rollo, Volumen I, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1447-P) Nº de venta
S.00.II.G.127 (US$10.00), 2000 www y Volumen II, M. dos Santos Rodrigues y P. de Andrade Rollo, Red de
desarrollo agropecuario (LC/L.1447/Add.1-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.128 (US$10.00), 2000. www

93 La participación de pequeños productores en el mercado de tierras rurales en El Salvador, H. Ever, S. Melgar, M.A. Batres y
M. Soto, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1448-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.129 (US$10.00), 2000. www

CEPAL - SERIE Desarrollo productivo No 133


94 El impacto de las reformas estructurales en la agricultura colombiana, Santiago Perry, Red de desarrollo agropecuario
(LC/L.1449-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.130 (US$10.00), 2000. www

95 Costa Rica: el nuevo marco regulatorio y el sector agrícola, Luis Fernando Fernández Alvarado y Evelio Granados
Carvajal, Red de desarrollo agropecuario (LC/L.1453–P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.133 (US$10.00), 2000. www

96 Cuero, calzado y afines en Chile, László Kassai, Red de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L. 1463-P) No de venta
S.00.II.G.143 (US$10.00) 2000. www

97 La pobreza rural una preocupación permanente en el pensamiento de la CEPAL, Pedro Tejo, Red de desarrollo
agropecuario, (LC.L.1454-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.134 (US$10.00), 2000. www

98 Incidencia de las reformas estructurales sobre la agricultura boliviana, Fernando Crespo Valdivia, Red de desarrollo
agropecuario, (LC/L.1455-P) Nº de venta S.00.II.G.135 (US$10.00), 2000. www

99 Mudanças estruturais na agricultura brasileira: 1980-1998 boliviana, Guilherme Leite da Silva Dias y Cicely
Moitinho Amaral, Red de desarrollo agropecuario, (LC/L.1485-P) Nº de venta S.01.II.G.17 (US$10.00), 2001.

100 From Industrial Economics to Digital Economics: An Introduction to the Transition, Martin R.Hilbert, Restructuring
and Competitiveness Network Sales, (LC/L.1497-P) Sales Nº E.01.II.G.38 (US$ 10.00) www

101 Las nuevas fronteras tecnológicas: promesas, desafíos y amenazas de transgénicos, César Morales, Red de desarrollo
agropecuario, (LC/L. 1590-P) Nº de venta S.01.II.G.132 (US$ 10.00) 2001.

102 El mercado vitivinícola mundial y el flujo de inversión extranjera a Chile, Sebastian Vergara, Red de
reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L. 1589-P) No de venta S.01.II.G.133 (US$ 10.00) 2001. www

103 Regímenes competitivos sectoriales, productividad y competitividad internacional, Red de reestructuración y
competitividad Jorge Katz y Giovanni Stumpo (LC/L.1578-P) Nº de venta S.01.II.G.120 (US$10.00), 2001. www

104 Latin America on its Path into the Digital Age: Where Are We?, Martin R.Hilbert, Restructuring and
Competitiveness Network, (LC/L 1555-P) Sales No E.01.II.G.100 (US$ 10.000), 2001.www

105 Estrategia de desarrollo de clusters basados en recursos naturales: el caso de la bauxita en el norte de Brasil, Jorge
Chami Batista, Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1570-P) No de venta S.01.II.G.113 (US$ 10.00)
2001. www

106 Construcción de ambientes favorables para el desarrollo de competencias laborales: tres estudios sectoriales, Red de
reestructuración y competitividad, Mónica Casalet, (LC/L.1573-P) No de venta S.01.II.G.116 (US$ 10.00),

107 La competitividad internacional y el desarrollo nacional: implicancias para la política de IED en América Latina.
Michael Mortimore, Sebastián Vergara, Jorge Katz, Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1586-P) No de
venta S.01.II.G.130 (US$ 10.00), 2001. www

108 América Latina en el proceso de internacionalización de las empresas finlandesas, Kent Wilska, Ville Tourunen, Red
de reestructuración y competitividad,.(LC/L. 1599-P) No de venta S.01.II.G.140 (US$ 10.00), 2001. www

109 Colombia: Alcances y Lecciones de su experiencia en Reforma Agraria,, Alvaro Balcazar, Nelson López, Martha
Lucía Orozco y Margarita Vega, Red de desarrollo agropecuario (LC/L.1602-P), No de venta S.01.II.G.142 (US$
10.00), 2001. www

110 El mercado de tierras en México, Roberto Escalante, Red de desarrollo agropecuario (LC/L.1604-P), No de venta
S.01.II.G.144 (US$ 10.00), 2001. www

111 Fusiones y adquisiciones transfronterizas en México durante los años noventa, Celso Garrido, Red de desarrollo
agropecuario (LC/L.1622-P), No de venta S.01.II.G.161 (US$ 10.00), 2001. www

112 El turismo rural en Chile. Experiencias de agroturismo en las Regiones del Maule, La Araucanía y Los Lagos,
MartineDirven y Jorge Shaerer, Red de desarrollo agropecuario (LC/L 1621-P), No de venta S.01.II G.160 (US$
10.00), 2001. www

113 Informe marco jurídico nacional e internacional sobre inversión extranjera directa en Chile, Felipe Lopeandia, Red
de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1623-P) No de venta S.00.II.G.163 (US$10.00) 2001. www

114 Education and the labour market in Latin America, Beverly A. Carlson, Red de reestructuración y competitividad,
(LC/L. 1631-P) No de venta E.00.II.G.169 (US$10.00) 2000. www

115 Programas de apoyo a las micro, pequeñas y medianas empresas en México, 1995-2000, Gilberto García y Víctor
Paredes, Red de reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1639-P) Nº de venta S.01.II.G.177 (US$10.00) 2001.

116 Políticas de competitividade industrial no Brasil, 1995-2000, Regis Bonelli, Red de reestructuración y
competitividad, (LC/L.1641-P) Nº de venta S.01.II.G.181 (US$10.00) 2001. www

117 Mercado de trabajo y formación de recursos humanos en tecnología de la información en Brasil. ¿Encuentro o
desencuentro?, Lidia Micaela Segre y Clevi Elena Rapkiewicz, Red de reestructuración y competitividad,
(LC/L.1658-P) Nº de venta S.01.II.G.192 (US$10.00) 2001.

118 Los derechos de propiedad intelectual en el mundo de la OMC, Jacqueline Abarza, Jorge Katz, Red de
reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1666-P) Nº de venta S.01.II.G.200 (US$10.00) 2000. www

Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean


119 La dinámica de oferta y demanda de competencias en un sector basado en el conocimiento en Argentina, Red de
reestructuración y competitividad, (LC/L.1696-P) Nº de venta S.02.II.G.8 (US$10.00) 2002.

120 Innovación tecnológica y perfeccionamiento de las pequeñas y medianas empresas en la República Federal de
Alemania: Incentivos y financiamiento, Jörg Meyer-Stamer y Frank Wältring, Red de reestructuración y
competitividad (LC/L.1709-P) Nº de venta S.02.II.G.16 (US$10.00) 2002.

121 Microfinanzas en países pequeños de América Latina: Bolivia, Ecuador y El Salvador, Francesco Bicciato, Laura
Foschi, Elisabetta Bottato y Filippo Ivardi Ganapini, Red de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1710-P) Nº de
venta S.02.II.G.17 (US$10.00) 2002.

122 Acceso a tecnología después de las reformas estructurales: la experiencia de las pequeñas y medianas empresas en
Brasil, Chile y México, Marco Dini, Red de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1738-P), Nº de venta
S.02.II.G.50 (US$10.00) 2002. www

123 Pequeñas y medianas empresas industriales y política tecnológica: el caso mexicano de las tres últimas década, Mauricio de
Maria y Campos, Red de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1743-P), Nº de venta S.02.II.G.55 (US$10.00) 2002.

124 Fatores de competitividade e barreiras ao crescimento no pólo de biotecnologia de Belo Horizonte, Pablo Fajnzylber,
Red de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1754-P), Nº de venta S.02.II.G.66 (US$10.00) 2002. www

125 Adquisición de tecnología, aprendizaje y ambiente institucional en las PYME: el sector de las artes gráficas en México,
Marco Dini, Juan Manuel Corona y Marco A. Jaso Sánchez, Red de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1755-P), Nº
de venta S.02.II.G.67 (US$10.00) 2002.

126 Las PYME y los sistemas de apoyo a la innovación tecnológica en Chile, Marcelo Monsalves, Red de reestructuración y
competitividad (LC/L.1756-P), Nº de venta S.02.II.G.68 (US$10.00) 2002. www

127 As políticas de apoio à geração e difusão de tecnologias para as pequenas e médias empresas no Brasil, Marisa dos
Reis Botelho y Maurício Mendonça, Red de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1757-P), Nº de venta S.02.II.G.69
(US$10.00) 2002. www

128 El acceso de los indígenas a la tierra en los ordenamientos jurídicos de América Latina: un estudio de casos, José Aylwin,
Volumen I, Red de desarrollo agropecuario (LC/L.1767-P), S.02.II.G.81 (US$10.00), 2000 y Volumen II, José Aylwin,
Red de desarrollo agropecuario (LC/L.1767/Add.1-P), Nº de venta S.02.II.G.82 (US$10.00), 2002

129 Structural reforms, technological gaps and economic development. A Latin American perspective, Mario Cimoli and
Jorge Katz, Restructuring and competitiveness network (LC/L.1775-P), Sales Nº E.02.II.G.89 (US$ 10.00) 2002

130 Business development service centres in Italy. An empirical analysis of three regional experiences: Emilia Romagna,
Lombardia and Veneto, Carlo Pietrobelli and Roberta Rabelloti, Restructuring and Competitiveness Network
(LC/L.1781-P), Sales Nº E.02.II.G.96 (US$ 10.00) 2002

131 Hacia una educación permanente en Chile. Red de reestructuración y competitividad (LC/L.1775-P), No. de venta
S.02.II.G.98 (US$ 10.00) 2002

132 Job losses, multinationals and globalization: the anatomy of disempowerment, Beverly Carlson, Restructuring and
Competitiveness Network (LC/L.1807-P), Sales Nº E.02.II.G.118 (US$ 10.00) 2002

133 Toward a Conceptual Framework and Public Policy agenda for the Information Society in Latin America and the
Caribbean, Martin Hilbert and Jorge Katz, Restructuring and Competitiveness Network (LC/L.1801-P), Sales Nº
E.02.II.G.114 (US$ 10.00) 2002

• Readers wishing to obtain the above publications can do so by writing to the following address: ECLAC, Division of Production,
Productivity and Management, Industrial and Technological Development Unit, Casilla 179-D, Santiago de Chile. Some issues
may not be available.

• Publications available for sale should be ordered from the Distribution Unit, ECLAC, Casilla 179-D, Santiago, Chile, Fax (562) 210
2069, publications@eclac.cl.

• : These publications are also available on the Internet: http://www.eclac.cl

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