Geographies of E-Government in Latin America and the Caribbean

Almost one-half of Latin Americans now use the Internet. Unsurprisingly, the technology has reshaped how the region’s residents interact with their governments. E-Government includes a variety of forms, ranging from simply obtaining information and downloading of forms to more interactive forms such as applications for licenses, Internet voting, and citizen input into public policy. This paper opens with a review of e-government and its implications. Second, it turns to the digital divide in Latin America, one of the primary obstacles to the adoption of e-government. Third, it utilizes the U.N.’s e-government readiness score to provide an overview of how e-government implementation varies among the region’s countries. The fourth part offers a series of vignettes that highlight how e-government varies among countries, including the most and least successful examples. It concludes by emphasizing that there is no standard “one-size-fits-all” model; rather e-government must be understood contextually and in a path-dependent manner.