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Social Services for Digital Citizens: Opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean

During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments became even more reliant on digital tools to provide services to their citizens, accelerating digitalization that was already gaining momentum over the previous decade. However, the creation and implementation of digital services are burdened by several crucial issues, particularly for governments. These include digital government initiatives, data governance, ethics, data collection, oversight, regulatory quality, and data collection. Even before the pandemic, the IADB was interested in exploring the potential of digital technologies to advance social well-being. As a result, TIV was selected to research the impact of the rapidly expanding digital economy on select social sectors. The project aimed to allow governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to maintain pace with the latest technological advancements in health and social protection, labor markets, education, gender, and diversity.

In their report, TIV’s experts established a central thesis of 4IR technologies capable of altering the social landscape, disrupting the status quo, changing how people live and work, and rearranging the valence of cultural and societal ideals. TIV’s experts utilized micro, meso, and macro case studies to help policy leaders understand the nuances of these technologies and their individual and gross impacts. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Cloud Computing, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), among others, were evaluated in great detail. This evaluation incorporated the social sectors explored in the report into the discussion and painted a landscape of how the abovementioned technologies impact and will impact Latin America and the Caribbean. The report has been instrumental for the Latin American and Caribbean region as a roadmap for the future of the Digital Era.

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