Instruments for financing the information society: a framework for policy-making
Division of Production, Productivity, and Management and the ECLAC office in Brasilia
The development of the information society calls for national strategies that will enable countries to make full use of the sources and instruments available for financing digital development. Formulating and implementing such strategies requires a comprehensive vision and plans of action that set out clear priorities based on the criteria of efficiency, transparency, social solidarity and public-private agreements. This document looks at one of the crucial tools for implementing strategies for the development of the information society: financial instruments. The analysis highlights the wide variety of sources and alternative uses of resources and places them in a framework oriented towards policy-making. These considerations are put forward in the context of the Declaration of the World Summit on the Information Society, which established a Digital Solidarity Agenda. The structure of the document is as follows: (i) introduction; (ii) identification of the economic features of the information society, with emphasis on the developing countries; (iii) identification of agents and instruments for financing the information society, including international financing alternatives and the criteria on which international cooperation should be based; (iv) discussion of the relationship between digital development strategies and financing policy, highlighting the multiplicity of uses to which such financing can be put; (v) presentation of the criteria that should guide public financing policy, which are indispensable for allocating resources efficiently and ensuring due accountability; and (vi) conclusions.