Chile leads Latin America in e-government

Chile takes top spot for Latin America and the Caribbean in latest UN e-government survey ranking greater accessibility and interaction.

 

The 2012 survey from the United Nations (U.N.) Department of Economic and Social Affairs shows that Chile is leading the region in its development and use of new technologies and systems to open up the government and encourage more public participation.

The Andean nation ranks first for Latin America and the Caribbean, and is only behind the United States and Canada in the entire Western hemisphere. It also ranked 8th in the world for overall e-participation.

The UN e-government ranking is based on online service, telecommunications infrastructure and human capital. Generally, it assesses how each government makes its various services available to its people, and the level of participation and interaction of it inspires.

In South America, Chile was followed by Colombia, Uruguay and Argentina, with Brazil rounding out the top five.

According the report, Latin American countries have centered their e-government strategies around social media and interactive platforms, which has done a lot to increase the e-participation across the region.

This is not the first successful technology ranking for Chile, earlier this year it was ranked 34 in the World Economic Forum’s survey of 144 nations’ access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This ranking placed it first for Ibero-American countries in the study, which looked at nation’s access to and use of ICT in the government, business and innovation, and the economic and social impact that ICT generates.

Chile has been implementing various initiatives to connect all Chileans, from the Atacama Desert to the Magellan Strait. One of these projects aim to create thousands of new Wifi hotspots across the country as part of President Sebastián Piñera’s plan to increase Internet access from today’s 40.7 percent of Chileans to 80 percent by 2020.

The government is also building towards that goal by partnering with groups like Connect To Learn, who recently just bought internet to three rural schools in southern Chile. The program hopes to eventually bring broadband coverage to 1,474 designated rural communities in Chile — an estimated three million people.