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Joyojeet Pal


Technology for Employability in Latin America

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Since the early 1990s, there has been an increasing interest in technology training centers to build employability options of socially excluded groups in Latin America. This study examines the recent investment into computer centers providing basic technology training for people with disabilities and at‐risk youth. Using primary research in five countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela, we discuss the ways in which technology training impacts the employability concerns of two populations with diverse needs and histories of social and economic exclusion from formal labor markets.

The goal of this report is to provide scholars and policy‐makers an expansive survey of the landscape of issues around technology employability for socially excluded populations. Our findings are broadly divided into three segments. We first examine the environmental factors that impact such projects including the aspirational environment and the discourse of technology. We then discuss the short‐term impacts of these programs including the creation of pathways to employment, community‐building, as well as impacts on self-esteem and stigmatization and the potential of mismatched employment expectations from access to these programs. We finally turn to factors that influence the success of such programs including cost, certification, and accessible technology.
Click here to download the report:
Technology for Employability in Latin America: Research with At‐Risk Youth & People with Disabilities (Joyojeet Pal et al., University of Washington: 2009)

Dr. Joyojeet Pal is a Research Affiliate at the University of Washington.