Evaluation of e-Readiness Indices in Latin America and the Caribbean
The report aims to contribute to a better understanding of the different indices of e-Readiness and their application in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Different institutions have used indices of "e-Readiness" in search to quantify a country's preparedness for the Information Society. These indices are composed of different indicators that are based on various statistics. The weight of each component of the index, as well as the chosen statistics, differs among indices. In the majority of cases, studies of e-Readiness conclude with a "ranking", listing countries more or less advanced on their way towards the Information Society (or aspects of it). Many of these indices were created during years 2001-2003 with an annual frequency, which means that in some cases it is already possible to have three or four consecutive years of these rankings, showing comparable time series. After reviewing the main e-Readiness Indices in chapter two, the third chapter of this report identifies if a general theoretical framework exists that supports the different indices and explains the implications in relation to the index. In the fourth chapter, a comparative analysis on methodology, practical limitations and measurement implications is carried out. The fifth chapter constitutes a comparative analysis at regional and subregional level (South Cone, Andean Community, Central America, the Caribbean). It also presents an analysis of each of the 33 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) member countries, analyzing the differences in the positions that a country has in different indices, including characteristics and shortcomings of the indices. Finally, the sixth chapter presents some recommendations about the theoretical efforts that should be done in this area, including a critical reflection about the composition of e-Readiness indices. The study covers 18 countries in Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela); as well as 15 countries of the Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominican, Granada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Vicente and the Grenadines, Santa Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago). These are the countries that elaborated and approved the Regional Plan of Action for the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean, eLAC2007. This study has been carried out to support action item 26 of eLAC2007, especially goal 26.2, which calls for: "Elaborate comparative studies on the economic and social impact of ICTs, particularly in reference to previously agreed national and international development goals?".
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