Chile and Uruguay have come out on top of the rankings in Latin America in a United Nations e-government survey.
Uruguay ranked number one in the region in the e-government index. It is recognized as the country with the largest per capita export of software in the region.
Online services in Uruguay increased 55% from 2012-14 and telecoms infrastructure improved by 27%. The country is also recognized for the high quality of its third level education in the areas of technology and computing.
Chile came second in the ranking, followed by Argentina, Colombia and Costa Rica.
Central American and Caribbean countries were located in the lower half of the ranking. Haiti was the lowest ranked in the Americas, but demonstrated some progress in 2013.
The survey underscored the challenges facing Latin American nations regarding online services, namely the infrastructure gap and broadband quality.
Deficient telecoms infrastructure in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize dragged down their rankings.
In Mexico, wireless broadband penetration reaches only 9.83% compared to the world average of 23.57%.
Secondly, a gap in complementary assets like IT education or computer literacy creates deficits in human resources.
In general, institutional weaknesses in the design of policies, the organization of programs and stakeholder coordination jeopardized long-term development of e-government practices.
The online service index of Central America was lower than the rest of the region, but still higher than the world average.
South and Central America showed improvements in economic and social indicators since the debt crisis of the 1980s. Governments in general are paying greater attention to ICT and e-government, recognizing the benefits for national sustainable development.
New ICT networks being developed by the public and private sectors are impacting business models and public service delivery.
ICT goods imported to South America and the Caribbean from 2010-12 grew by 3%, above the global average of 1.9%.
E-government development in the region has benefitted SMEs, which represent the majority of private enterprises. E-procurement opens up new opportunities for micro and small business, and the provision of open government data can facilitate urban services.
Rio de Janeiro developed an e-government and open data project to forecast natural disasters in the city and undertake surveillance during global events like the World Cup.