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Digital inclusion of indigenous peoples

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that the spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has great potential to accelerate human progress, bridge the digital divide and develop digitally inclusive societies and communities.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the urgency of accelerating progress towards achieving digital inclusion globally. Therefore, ensuring that everyone can receive, understand, and use digital information and services is vital during a pandemic or emergency.

ICT knowledge is a key enabler to achieve indigenous peoples' development goals. With this goal in mind, ITU is committed to empowering indigenous peoples through the use and appropriation of ICTs by leveraging indigenous peoples' digital knowledge. ITU focuses on supporting indigenous peoples’ personal development and their communities’ self-sustainability and socio-economic growth.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, there are more than 476 million indigenous people around the world, spread across 90 countries and representing 5000 different cultures. The majority of these populations lack access to adequate economic resources, education and social protection.

Leaving no one behind and no one offline


Since 2002, ITU members have engaged in empowering indigenous communities through ICTs, as reflected in the resolutions adopted and reconducted systematically within the work of the ITU World Telecommunication Development and Plenipotentiary Conferences.

In 2003, the World Summit on the Information Society called to ensure indigenous peoples’ participation in the information society. Since then, much progress has been made, but additional efforts are still needed to fully achieve this goal.


Developing digital skills in Gran Chaco


The Gran Chaco region spans about 1.14 million square kilometres across South America, extending throughout areas of central and northern Argentina, southeastern Bolivia and western Paraguay. It is the largest dry forest in the world with a diverse population composed of a mosaic of identities and cultures, including indigenous communities. But the region has limited access to essential services such as health and education, and the future of young people remains a pressing concern for the community. The Youth Digital Inclusion project led by ITU, in partnership with the local Gran Chaco Foundation, aims to promote ICT capacity development activities for young people from local communities in the Gran Chaco region.


Indigenous community leaders from Gran Chaco answer the question:
What is the importance of digital technology skills for young people in your community?


ITU's digital inclusion training programmes for indigenous peoples

This programme trains people from indigenous and rural communities with expertise that encompass an overall knowledge on the management of ICT networks in Latin America with emphasis on connectivity and community media, as well as on the sustainability and maintenance of these projects and related local indigenous networks.

The final purpose of this training programme is to ensure, indigenous community inclusion in the digital transformation and the self-sustainability of the indigenous communities.

The 2023 edition will be held in collaboration with Redes por la Diversidad, Equidad y Sustentabilidad A.C., Rhizomatica Communications and the Association for Progressive Communications, and the organizations linked to the Techio Comunitario Training Programme for Indigenous People in Latin America.

​The 2023 edition of this blended training programme consists of five online courses delivered through ITU-Academy and one in-person bootcamp to be held at the end of the five modules.

  1. ​Development of community ICT projects (15 May to 11 June 2023),
  2. Basics of electricity and solar energy (19 June to 23 July 2023),
  3. Telecommunications and community networks (31 July to 27 August 2023),
  4. Telecommunications legal framework (4 September to 1 October 2023), Economic sustainability and community engagement (9 October to 12 November 2023)-
  5. In-person bootcamp (20 to 30 November 2023).
Development of community ICT projects ​The 2023 edition of this blended training programme

Available training programmes



Management in ICT Networks in Indigenous and Rural Communities in Latin America 2023

Management in ICT Networks in Indigenous and Rural Communities in Latin America 2023

Instructor led online training (Available only in Spanish)

This program is specifically designed for organizations, collectives and individuals that generate, in indigenous and rural territories of Latin America, communication and/or telecommunications projects in line with their cultural heritage and to better respond to the communication and training needs and requirements of these communities. This training program seeks to develop the capacities, skills and knowledge necessary for the development of projects linked to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Latin America, with emphasis on alternative connectivity solutions and communication media operated by the communities themselves, as well as on the deployment, sustainability and maintenance of these projects. The 2023 edition of this hybrid training program consists of five (5) online courses delivered through ITU-Academy and one (1) 10-day face-to-face training camp to be held in person at the end of the five modules, available only in Spanish.

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Related information

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Photos from ITU events and training programme

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International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples - Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change for Self-determination

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples - Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change for Self-determination

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United Nations - Indigenous peoples webpage

United Nations - Indigenous peoples webpage

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