Digital Inclusion Across the Americas and Caribbean

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Digital Inclusion Across the Americas and Caribbean


  • Laura Robinson Department of Sociology, Santa Clara University, USA
  • Jeremy Schulz ISSI—Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, University of California Berkeley, USA
  • Matías Dodel Department of Communications, Catholic University of Uruguay, Uruguay
  • Teresa Correa School of Communication, Diego Portales University, Chile
  • Eduardo Villanueva-Mansilla Department of Communications, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Peru
  • Sayonara Leal Department of Sociology, University of Brasília, Brazil
  • Claudia Magallanes-Blanco Department of Humanities, Ibero-American University Puebla, Mexico
  • Leandro Rodriguez-Medina Department of International Relations and Political Science, University of the Americas Puebla, Mexico
  • Hopeton S. Dunn Department of Media Studies, University of Botswana, Botswana
  • Lloyd Levine School of Public Policy, University of California at Riverside, USA
  • Rob McMahon Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Aneka Khilnani School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University, USA


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Abstract:  This research brings together digital inequality scholars from across the Americas and Caribbean to examine efforts to tackle digital inequality in Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, the United States, and Canada. As the case studies show, governmental policy has an important role to play in reducing digital disparities, particularly for potential users in rural or remote areas, as well as populations with great economic disparities. We find that public policy can effectively reduce access gaps when it combines the trifecta of network, device, and skill provision, especially through educational institutions. We also note, that urban populations have benefitted from digital inclusion strategies to a greater degree. This underscores that, no matter the national context, rural-urban digital inequality (and often associated economic inequality) is resistant to change. Even when access is provided, potential users may not find it affordable, lack skills, and/or see no benefit in adoption. We see the greatest potential for future digital inclusion in two related approaches: 1) initiatives that connect with hard-to-reach, remote, and rural communities outside urban cores and 2) initiatives that learn from communities about how best to provide digital resources while respecting their diversely situated contexts, while meeting social, economic and political needs.

Keywords:  Caribbean; Digital Divide; Digital Inclusion; Digital Inequalities; Digital Inclusion; Latin America; North America

Published:   14 May 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v8i2.2632


© Laura Robinson, Jeremy Schulz, Matías Dodel, Teresa Correa, Eduardo Villanueva-Mansilla, Sayonara Leal, Claudia Magallanes-Blanco, Leandro Rodriguez-Medina, Hopeton S. Dunn, Lloyd Levine, Rob McMahon, Aneka Khilnani. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.