National Digital Strategy: Does it include us all?

By Laura Coronado *

Recently, the federal government published the guidelines to be followed for access to technology and its implementation in the public administration. Beyond being guidelines, they show the vision of the State of one of the most important areas for the coming years and we must ask ourselves if they really reflect the needs and concerns that we all have as citizens.

The strategy had been highly anticipated. With some glimpses such as the conversation with Mark Zuckerberg and the commitment to guarantee “internet for all” in the first report, there was a certain optimism for true technological equality, since the digital divide in our country continues to be extremely important. Even with the growth that the pandemic implied, 78% of the urban population is an Internet user and only 50% of rural communities have access to cyberspace.

However, in Mexico we still do not realize the importance of digitization. It is labeled as a rich issue, something frivolous or unnecessary in the face of other “big problems.” For this reason, sadly, we miss out on opportunities: wouldn’t it have been better to invest the 450 million pesos of Aprende en Casa in providing technological tools to teachers or looking for schemes so that students could have preferential rates or free access to the networks? Wasn’t it possible to coordinate with global players like Google, Khan Academy, Facebook or YouTube? Education would have been more effective, bidirectional, easy, efficient and fast.

The problem is that we want to solve problems of the present with answers from the past. As Winston Churchill, former English Prime Minister and Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, would say, “no matter how beautiful the strategy is, from time to time you should look at the results” and, beyond the rhetoric, we have to ask ourselves if it is an answer that will guarantee greater digital tools, better opportunities and the necessary skills for all of us.

The strategy establishes principles such as “sovereignty” and “technological independence” that are defined as “the sole power of the nation to make decisions without external interference on what policies should be followed” and “the non-subjection to commitments and conditions imposed in a manner arbitrary by the suppliers or manufacturers of technologies to avoid monopolies and certain dependencies ”.

Is it really how we perceive the digital market? Will these guidelines help us drive an inclusive economy? Does the gap benefit suppliers or manufacturers? Do we need a greater intervention of the State?

Within the specific objectives it is indicated “to improve the quality of social programs through technological solutions” and “to promote the use of ICT infrastructure to provide government services in neglected areas.” Could this be done without the collaboration of platforms, users and government?

William Hague points out that “there is only one growth strategy: hard work.” In an increasingly interconnected, yet polarized and divided world, the goal must be greater digital equality. This can only be done with the help of all the actors involved.

* Researcher at the Faculty of Global Studies
from the Universidad Anáhuac México Norte.

We would love to give thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding content

National Digital Strategy: Does it include us all?