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Digital Inclusion Across the Americas and Caribbean

Laura Robinson, Jeremy Schulz, Matías Dodel, Teresa Correa, Eduardo Villanueva-Mansilla, Sayonara Leal, Claudia Magallanes-Blanco, Leandro Rodriguez-Medina, Hopeton S. Dunn, Lloyd Levine, Rob McMahon and Aneka Khilnani
Additional contact information
Laura Robinson: Department of Sociology, Santa Clara University, USA
Jeremy Schulz: ISSI—Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, University of California Berkeley, USA
Matías Dodel: Department of Communications, Catholic University of Uruguay, Uruguay
Teresa Correa: School of Communication, Diego Portales University, Chile
Eduardo Villanueva-Mansilla: Department of Communications, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Peru
Sayonara Leal: Department of Sociology, University of Brasília, Brazil
Claudia Magallanes-Blanco: Department of Humanities, Ibero-American University Puebla, Mexico
Leandro Rodriguez-Medina: Department of International Relations and Political Science, University of the Americas Puebla, Mexico
Hopeton S. Dunn: Department of Media Studies, University of Botswana, Botswana
Lloyd Levine: School of Public Policy, University of California at Riverside, USA
Rob McMahon: Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta, Canada
Aneka Khilnani: School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University, USA

Social Inclusion, 2020, vol. 8, issue 2, 244-259

Abstract: This research brings together digital inequality scholars from across the Americas and Caribbean to examine efforts to tackle digital inequality in Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, the United States, and Canada. As the case studies show, governmental policy has an important role to play in reducing digital disparities, particularly for potential users in rural or remote areas, as well as populations with great economic disparities. We find that public policy can effectively reduce access gaps when it combines the trifecta of network, device, and skill provision, especially through educational institutions. We also note, that urban populations have benefitted from digital inclusion strategies to a greater degree. This underscores that, no matter the national context, rural-urban digital inequality (and often associated economic inequality) is resistant to change. Even when access is provided, potential users may not find it affordable, lack skills, and/or see no benefit in adoption. We see the greatest potential for future digital inclusion in two related approaches: 1) initiatives that connect with hard-to-reach, remote, and rural communities outside urban cores and 2) initiatives that learn from communities about how best to provide digital resources while respecting their diversely situated contexts, while meeting social, economic and political needs.

Keywords: Caribbean; Digital; Divide; Digital; Inclusion; Digital; Inequalities; Digital; Inclusion; Latin; America; North; America (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cog:socinc:v:8:y:2020:i:2:p:244-259

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