Brazilian Digital Inclusion Public Policy: achievements and challenges
AbstractBrazilian Digital Inclusion Public Policy: achievements and cha
This article presents the achievements and challenges of the digital inclusion public policy in Brazil from the perspective of agents working within the Federal Government. It starts with statistics on access to ICT infrastructure in general as well as the actual location of Internet use and socio-economic profile of the users. These indicators relate to the Federal Government strategies to face the digital divide. Three main strategies guide the implementation of the digital inclusion public policy: home access, school and community access centers. Effort is made to supply equipments, connectivity, human resources and capacity building programs, monitored by constant evaluation and indicator building processes. Among many ongoing initiatives, the Computers for Inclusion project (inspired by the Canadian Computers for Schools) and the National Digital Inclusion Observatory are explained in detail. The major challenges are then presented: broadband access in all regions; funds for the maintenance of existing infrastructure; local content production; qualified digital inclusion agents; participatory steering mechanisms for programs, community centers and schools; expanding the numbers of digital inclusion units; co-responsibility among Federal, State and Municipal levels. The conclusion ponders that while many results were achieved in implementing and measuring the strategies for bridging the digital divide, overcoming the stated challenges needs the effective involvement of Government in all its levels in partnership with society.
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