When digital democracy falls short: insights from Colombia

June 19, 2017 by Cristian Berrio-Zapata, Darío Sebastian Berrío Gil

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Colombian e-government development has been internationally recognised by the UN as a leader in Latin America, and one of the 20 most developed nations of the world in the area. However, ICT tools and services such as broadband are a luxury. Colombia suffers from an access divide due to economic and infrastructural limitations, and a second level digital divide because of weak information and data literacy. This Brief focuses on identifying the impact of ICT mediation in democratisation and citizen engagement in terms of what is understood as governance, how those representations are legitimised, and the ways in which they change power relations. The authors reviewed Colombian ICT mediation policies, placed them in relation to the context, and contrasted them with previous research about local e-democracy developments. This gave a characterisation of how Colombian e-government routines have evolved.