Latin American Economic Outlook 2020

Digital Transformation for Building Back Better

image of Latin American Economic Outlook 2020

The Latin American Economic Outlook (LEO) 2020 focuses on the role of digital transformation in helping to navigate through challenging times. The Covid-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on socio-economic conditions, accentuating the already complex scenario faced by a region with significant structural weaknesses. This unprecedented crisis comes at a time of high aspirations and reinforces the need to transform the very foundations of the development model in the region. The report explores how digital transformation can help to cope with the current socio-economic situation, boost productivity, strengthen institutions and achieve higher levels of inclusion and well-being. The LEO 2020 also highlights that international partnerships are fundamental to reaping the benefits of the digital transformation.

The LEO is a joint annual publication produced by the OECD Development Centre, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the European Union (EU). It is the first pillar of the EU Regional Facility for Development in Transition for Latin America and the Caribbean.

English Also available in: Spanish

The digital transformation for all

Access to and use of digital tools in Latin America and the Caribbean can have a strong impact on inclusiveness. Digital tools, such as the Internet, are less unequally distributed than income and some public services. Despite significant reductions in socio-economic, gender, age and geographical disparities, policies should focus on closing the remaining gaps. This chapter describes such advances and the trends in Internet access and use at home, work and school. It presents the potential impacts of the future of work, and assesses the digital skills of the current workforce. It also analyses schools’ role in the digitalisation era and in fostering digital inclusiveness. It concludes by describing how, in the context of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, the digital divide constitutes a vulnerability in the region and may amplify other inequalities in the absence of appropriate policies. In this context, digital inclusion must be understood as necessary to ensure social welfare.

English Also available in: Spanish


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