Development in Latin America has been discussed since the early 1950s and began with the diffusion of innovations concept where countries like Brazil and Colombia would incorporate models brought by developed countries to foster economic growth, use media for technological and scientific advancements, address local problems and manage processes of modernization. In the 1970s such type of development was criticized because it responded to the interests of the wealthier, already developed countries. As development efforts continued to fail and socio-economic and financial limitations surfaced, the 1980s were described as La Decada Perdida (The lost decade in Latin America).9Development in Latin America is not the same as for countries more economically advanced like the United States.
The differences are not only economic but social and cultural as well. Any intervention has to take into account the context in which change can be implemented and address not only the elite culture but the popular one as well. Interactive, digital, and participatory technology is encouraged to take part in the development process more so to educate members of the community and to encompass popular innovations and individual creativity.
Public policies in information technologies need to reflect local development in order to guide practices of change for other regions. Concurrently, they need to promote members of the community to stimulate change by finding their own meaning in applications that could potentially improve quality of life. In order to reduce inequality First Human Development Report for Latin America & the Caribbean proposes that policies must affect people (reach), address setbacks that cause poverty (breadth) and empower people to create the change desired (ownership).10 This type of thinking is a new approach to development and may be one possible solution to combat the eight objectives of human development in Latin America the Millennium Development Goals strive to address.9